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Florida Wildlife Officials Seek Public’s Help To Monitor Fish Kills By Using Hotline

By on June 20, 2017 in WNDB News

Florida – The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is asking for the public to use its hotline to monitor marine and freshwater fish kills in Florida, especially during the warm summer months.

Weather can be a major contributing factor in fish deaths. According to the FWC, extreme temperature fluctuations and the blazing heat of summer can lead to fish kills since warmer water has less oxygen than cooler water.

If there is a lack of rain during the warm-weather months, water levels can fall, causing poor water quality. When there are heavy rains, that rain can wash out the vegetation and cause it to decompose. That decomposition can also remove oxygen from the water. The lack of oxygen in the water can affect the health of saltwater and freshwater marine life.

The FWC monitors and documents fish kills, health issues with aquatic animals, and associated environmental events. Theresa Cody, associate research scientist for the FWC,  says, “The public’s involvement is critical to locate, monitor, and understand the extent of fish kills. Reporting observations to the hotline ensures a coordinated response to incidents and alleviates public concern.”

The Fish Kill Hotline is sponsored in part by a U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program grant. Cody says all information that is gathered through the hotline on fish kill events is used with directed research to further understand the causes of fish kills and diseases that affect the fish.

You can report fish kills to the FWC at MyFWC.com/FishKill or by calling the FWC Fish Kill Hotline at 800-636-0511. You can also visit the “FWC Reporter” app on your iOS or Android mobile devices. It is not necessary to report fish kills in man-made retention or private ponds to the FWC.

Copyright Southern Stone Communications 2017.

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