Thousands of fish are dying in the Midwest as the hot, dry summer dries up rivers and causes water temperatures to climb in some spots to nearly 100 degrees.
About 40,000 shovelnose sturgeon were killed in Iowa last week as water temperatures reached 97 degrees. Nebraska fishery officials said theyve seen thousands of dead sturgeon, catfish, carp, and other species in the Lower Platte River, including the endangered pallid sturgeon. And biologists in Illinois said the hot weather has killed tens of thousands of large- and smallmouth bass and channel catfish and is threatening the population of the greater redhorse fish, a state-endangered species.
So many fish died in one Illinois lake that the carcasses clogged an intake screen near a power plant, lowering water levels to the point that the station had to shut down one of its generators.
"Its something Ive never seen in my career, and Ive been here for more than 17 years," said Mark Flammang, a fisheries biologist with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. "I think what were mainly dealing with here are the extremely low flows and this unparalleled heat."
The fish are victims of one of the driest and warmest summers in history. The federal U.S. Drought Monitor shows nearly two-thirds of the lower 48 states are experiencing some form of drought, and the Department of Agriculture has declared more than half of the nations counties nearly 1,600 in 32 states as natural disaster areas. More than 3,000 heat records were broken over the last month.
Iowa DNR officials said the sturgeon found dead in the Des Moines River were worth nearly $10 million, a high value based in part on their highly sought eggs, which are used for caviar. The fish are valued at more than $110 a pound.
In this July 26, 2012 photo, dead fish float in a drying pond near Rock Port, Mo., as a turkey vulture paces the shore.
Gavin Gibbons, a spokesman for the National Fisheries Institute, said the sturgeon kills dont appear to have reduced the supply enough to hurt regional caviar suppliers.
Flammang said weekend rain improved some of Iowas rivers and lakes, but temperatures were rising again and straining a sturgeon population that develops health problems when water temperatures climb into the 80s.
"Those fish have been in these rivers for thousands of thousands of years, and theyre accustomed to all sorts of weather conditions," he said. "But sometimes, you have conditions occur that are outside their realm of tolerance."
Geno Adams, a fisheries program administrator in South Dakota, said there have been reports of isolated fish kills in its manmade lakes on the Missouri River and others in the eastern part of the state. But its unclear how much of a role the heat played in the deaths.
One large batch of carp at Lewis and Clark Lake in the states southeast corner had lesions, a sign they were suffering from a bacterial infection. Adams said the fish are more prone to sickness with low water levels and extreme heat. But he added that other fish habitat have seen a record number this year thanks to the 2011 floods.
"When were in a drought, theres a struggle for water and its going in all different directions," Adams said. "Keeping it in the reservoir for recreational fisheries is not at the top of the priority list."
Confederate History - Dispelling the Myths 2015-07-03 3:28
History books, the media, the school systems, etc abound in falsehoods and inaccuracies of Confederate and Southern history. This fact sheet will help to clarify and dispell some of these rampant inaccuracies.
MYTH - The War of 1861 - 1865 was fought over slavery.
FACT - Terribly untrue. The North fought the war over money. Plain ...
Gays Rights May Open Door for Pedophile Rights 2015-07-03 3:31
Democrats have attempted to normalize pedophilia as a sexual orientation.
A recent Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage may soon allow pedophiles to argue they are suffering discrimination.
âUsing the same tactics used by âgayâ rights activists, pedophiles have begun to seek similar status arguing their desire for children is a sexual orientation no different than heterosexual or homosexuals,â writes Jack Minor ...
Artificial Intelligence Takes the Battlefield: Who Is Really Running Jade Helm 15? 2015-07-03 2:31
Who is really going to be running Jade Helm 15?
There is more to the story than just training for martial law in states designated as âhostile statesâ â already a chilling pretext with overtones of greater federal power that could spiral out of control.
But it seems that it is actually A.I. â artificial intelligence â that is at the helm ...
Robot kills man at Volkswagen plant in Germany 2015-07-03 2:32
A 22-year-old worker was grabbed by the robot and crushed against a metal plate
A robot has killed a man at a Volkswagen car factory in Germany.
The 22-year-old worker died from injuries he sustained when he was trapped by a robotic arm and crushed against a metal plate.
The man, who has not been named, was part of a team that ...