Fish are showing up dead by the thousands on shores across the United States. Scientists say high temperatures leading to low dissolved oxygen levels and excessive microscopic algae bloom are the likely causes of some 6,000 gizzard shad and 600 adult white perch deaths in Delaware.
Surface water testing showed dissolved oxygen levels low enough to be lethal to fish in Delaware’s Silver Lake. “As long as these conditions persist, there’s a chance of more fish kills in Delaware,” said John Clark, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) Fisheries Section administrator, in an interview with NBC.
“Aggravating this summertime problem, increased temperatures lead to warmer water, which holds less dissolved oxygen. So seeing more fish kills this year as the heat continues would come as no surprise.”
In northwestern South Carolina, some 500 fish were found dead at Lake Hartwell, a popular fishing destination on the border with Georgia. South Dakota and Tennessee have also reported that an extremely high number of fish were found dead in multiple lakes and rivers. Knoxville, Tennessee residents described the terrible stench of about 10,000 dead bluegills in their neighborhood.
“It’s really putrid,” said Paula Gumpman, president of the local neighborhood association, in an interview with the Knoxville News Sentinel. “It’s like after a hurricane. Gooky and yucky.”
Public Service Director of the area David Brace said this is a public health issue, not to mention that “it just smells real bad.”
Fish in numerous land-locked waters have fallen prey to the heat, as fish continue to surface all over the United States in the summer’s deadly hot temperatures. The video below shows what the situation looks like in South Dakota and how residents are reacting.
Image from hobvias sudoneighm, striatic on the flickr Creative Commons