US Heatwave Causing Record Massive Fish Deaths

Thousands of fish are dying in the Midwest as the hot, dry summer dries up rivers and causes water temperatures to climb in some spots to nearly 100 degrees, reports Grant Schulte at the Huffingtonpost. About 40,000 shovelnose sturgeon, worth nearly $10 million for their caviar, were killed in Iowa recently as water temperatures reached 97 degrees. Thousands of dead sturgeon, catfish, carp, and other species have been seen in the Lower Platte River, including the endangered pallid sturgeon. In Illinois, the hot weather has killed tens of thousands of large- and smallmouth bass and channel catfish and is threatening the population of the greater redhorse fish, a state-endangered species. “It’s something I’ve never seen in my career” said Mark Flammang, an Iowa fisheries biologist for seventeen years. “I think what we’re mainly dealing with here are the extremely low flows and this unparalleled heat” he added. The fish are victims of one of the driest and warmest summers in history. Thirty two states are experiencing some drought, and the Department of Agriculture has declared more than half of the nation’s counties, nearly 1600, as natural disaster areas.

Midwest Heat Wave 2012: Thousands Of Fish Die In Hot Weather

Grant Schulte, Huffingtonpost

About melharte

Mel (Mary Ellen) Harte is a biologist (PhD) and climate change educator. She co-authored the free online book, COOL THE EARTH, SAVE THE ECONOMY, available at www.CoolTheEarth.US, and writes the CLIMATE CHANGE THIS WEEK column at the HuffingtonPost. Living summers in the alpine Rockies, she is on the frontlines of watching what climate change can do. Her diagnostic digital photographs of wildflowers have appeared in numerous publications.
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