Fish die-off in Oregon – 08/13/2005

  • October 30, 2013 at 7:08 pm #884

    (checkout the reason why this supposedly happened!)

    Massive dieoff attributed to lack of oxygen

    August 13, 2005

    One problem, in this case, took care of another, at least to a
    limited extent.

    On July 21, a massive school of anchovies, a baitfish known to pizza
    aficionados and anglers alike, swarmed into the Necanicum River
    estuary and Neawanna Creek.

    The Necanicum is a 22-mile-long river that flows into the Pacific at
    Seaside in the northwest corner of the state.

    So many of the silvery fish showed up, “they basically overwhelmed
    the available oxygen supply and suffered a large dieoff,” said Chris
    Wheaton, the Northwest Region manager for the Oregon Department of
    Fish and Wildlife.

    “We also received reports of other species dying in the same area,
    probably due to the lack of oxygen that’s caused by this dieoff of
    the number of anchovies,” he told members of the Oregon Fish and
    Wildlife Commission during a recent meeting in Salem.

    That included flounder, perch sculpin and even a few juvenile coho

    It’s a phenomenon that’s not unknown, but it was the size of the
    dieoff that happened on the Necanicum, he added.

    “Naturally, this often occurs along the coast, but usually in very
    small numbers, smaller than this,” Wheaton said.

    “This was estimated to be a dieoff of hundreds of thousands of
    anchovies in that area.”

    Residents of Seaside also were overwhelmed — by the smell.

    “We did get a number of reports from people subsequent to this,
    primarily asking when we were going to get rid of the smelly, dead
    mass of fish in the lower river estuary,” Wheaton said.

    “And finally nature kind of takes care of itself. There were a lot of
    sea birds that were eating anchovies,” he said.

    Just before talking about the anchovy incident, Wheaton had told
    commissioners that a lack of food had been causing a dieoff of adult
    seabirds like common murres.

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