Sunday, February 25, 2018
Outdoors

Captain's Corner: Factors in recent fish kill are unclear

Nearshore conditions have taken a turn for the worse after a recent raw sewage dumping. The raw sewage might have contributed to the fish kill near John's Pass, Treasure Island and St. Pete Beach. Though Red Tide algae is unconfirmed, the bacteria from sewage might help feed the algae if present. An abundance of nitrogen can make algae grow. Red Tide depletes oxygen levels in the water and can kill fish. Nevertheless, there is a massive amount of dead or dying fish on the beach. Anglers have found a surplus of large red snapper offshore in shallow depths. In as shallow as 25-30 feet of water, red snapper are taking baited hooks offered for other species. Red snapper are considered by NOAA/National Marine Fisheries to be in a shortage and are closed to anglers. You can't convince anglers of any shortage by having to shake snapper off by the hundreds. Red snapper are generally found in depths of greater than 80 to 150 feet. Perhaps due to the passing of Hurricane Hermine, conditions offshore may have pushed them closer to the beach. Hopefully, they'll find a permanent residence in shallower water.

Larry Blue charters out of Madeira Beach Marina. Call (727) 871-1058 or visit CaptainLarryBlue.com.

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Published: 02/14/18
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