Thousands of dead fish wash appear in Bluff harbour, Iowa, USA
The Spring thaw arrived at Bluff’s Harbor Marina this week and brought with it thousands of dead shad.
During two months of ice and freezing temperatures, the fish in the marina slowly ran out of oxygen. Harbormaster Jon Billups said even using bubblers, which churn air and oxygen into the marina during the winter months to keep ice down, did not help this year.
“We’ve had winters where there weren’t any fish killed because there wasn’t enough ice to matter,” said Billups. “But this time it was so long. We had over two months of solid ice down here. It’s a shame, but it’s nature.”
As the ice thaws and becomes translucent, the silvery fish, not much bigger than minnows, are exposed, frozen right where they were swimming. In some places, ice fishers reported the ice about a foot thick.
The fish kill means good news for fishermen, though, who use shad as bait. Billups said fishermen are welcome to bring buckets and dip nets to Bluff’s Harbor Marina and take as many as they want.
Pelicans, gulls and eagles have already begun to help themselves.
Courtesy of thehawkeye.com