Aug 19

Official: “Thousands of Millions” of fish wash up dead in Alaska — Piles of them… I have never seen anything like it… First time we’ve ever heard of this (VIDEO) (ENENews, Aug 19, 2015):

Alaska Dispatch News, Aug 13, 2015 (emphasis added): Warm water killing fish in Mat-Su and Anchorage… killing salmon in the Matanuska and Susitna valleys… Arctic char… have also gone belly up… “It will have some impact but in the long term for species that return multiple age classes, I wouldn’t characterize it as a disaster,” said Mike Bethe, Mat-Su area manager for the Habitat Division of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game… dead salmon have been found near the [Knik River’s] weir… Dead fish have been turning up in other Mat-Su streams…

Juneau Empire, Aug 7, 2015: Herring mystery… dead baby herring in the algae-filled empty squares of the Statter Harbor breakwater. “It’s hard to know why, but there’s a lot of them,” Juneau-based marine ecologist Michelle Ridgway] said. “It’s fairly dramatic.”

KUCB, Aug 17, 2015: Dead herring… on Unalaska shorelines… “Hundreds of herring floating in the water,” Caleb Livingston [said] “But what really got my attention was the few that drifted on the beach were not being eaten by the eagles, or seagulls or terns.” Scientists have been receiving reports of dead and dying whales, birds and the small fish… “Their fins are deteriorated while their eyes are intact,” [Melissa Good, Univ. of Alaska Fairbanks] said. “I think it’s probably bait fish that got dumped.” Even so, Good said she will send herring… to an Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation lab…

Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, Feb 24, 2015:

  • 26:45 — Moses Tcheripanoff, Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium geographer: If you wouldn’t mind sharing with us a little about what’s going on here, it’s a really interesting observation.
  • 27:30 — Roderick Phillip, Environmental Coordinator for the Native Village of Kongiganak, AK: Needlefish, thousands of millions [i.e. billions] of needlefish… For about  a mile there was needlefish and smelts. Dead needlefish… It was just millions of needlefish, piles of them… and also smelts. Last year… same situation… It was the first time we heard of needlefish and smelts being flooded out of the river.
  • 29:30 – M. Tcheripanoff: How did all those fish die? … I’m trying to understand what exactly happened to cause the fish die-off… You haven’t ever seen this kind of thing happen before, other than last year?
  • 30:45 — R. Phillip: I talked to the local board and elders, they haven’t heard about this [happening before].

Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium,  Local Environmental Observers Network, Feb 20, 2015: Fish die-off… Kongiganak, Alaska… This is unusual for our community to see thousands of fish dead… like last year we are starting to see this happen. I have not seen anything like this ever since I could remember for the past 35 years. Last years fish die off was the first and recently a lot more fish died off in a larger scale.

See also: US Govt: “We don’t know what’s going on” in Pacific — Many baby seals abandoned; Dozens of walruses dead; Dying whales, birds, fish — “Unprecedented things happening” — Experts: “It’s been a very unusual marine mammal year… I’m really worried, very concerned”

Watch the ANTHC webinar here

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