Sunday, August 28, 2011

Large Fish Kill Reported After Virginia's Earthquake - 27th Aug 2011

So, maybe there were some local victims of Tuesday's earthquake after all.

That's a possibility Loganville resident Carl Wiessel can't help but wonder about. Wiessel woke up Wednesday morning to find 60 or 70 dead fish floating in his pond. The small lake, located off Broadnax Mill Road and Lake Edmund Drive, is home to several different species of fish, including large catfish, smaller brim and crappie and largemouth bass. It was the bass that suffered the most, as nearly all the deceased fish were bass.

"I've been taking care of this lake for 18 years," Wiessel said. "I've never seen anything like this."

Wiessel said he called the Environmental Protection Agency and they wouldn't address an issue that was contained on private property, unless there was a problem upstream or downstream.

So he called the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Fish and Wildlife division. He was told the likely cause was a phenomenon known as "stratification." Typically, the warm water in a pond is near the surface, while the colder air is near the bottom. Stratification occurs when these temperatures suddenly invert for a brief time. This causes an abrupt drop in oxygen near the bottom, causing the fish there to effectively suffocate. Hardier species such as catfish will be less affected as the large bass that prefer the cooler waters near the pond bottom. Authorities say it is a more common occurrence than one might think.

Still, given the timing of the demise of his fish population being so soon after the earthquake, Wiessel isn't so sure it's a coincidence. Read More