Thursday, January 21, 2010

Fish kill in Florida

The cold snap in Florida resulted in a huge fish kill:
Bob Pucinelli, former Bay area outdoors radio host, reported from the Everglades that the temperatures in some creeks there was 47.5 degrees, far below the 55 that is usually lethal for snook. The Bay area temperature was 41 degrees in many canals that had provided cold refuges for the fish in other seasons, according to captain Scott Moore, a leading Bay area snook conservationist. And north of Tampa Bay, the water was far too cold for survival of snook that had gradually migrated there over a succession of 10 warm winters. In fact, water on the flats was so cold, it killed some reds and trout in the Homosassa area.
There will be survivors, to be sure. Fish in spring outflows such as those in the Chassahowitzka, Homosassa and Crystal rivers should be fine, as will those huddled into the hot-water outflows from the state's many power plants.
There was, however, a silver lining:
While it might take snook and other saltwater game fish years to rebound, the cold snap should at least temporarily help less-popular freshwater natives such as sunfish by knocking off walking catfish, Mayan cichlids and other tropical exotics that have invaded the Everglades and many of South Florida's canals and ponds, said Loftus, who retired from the park last year and now runs a consulting business, Aquatic Research and Communication in Homestead.
I wonder how global warming can be blamed for this.

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