Monday, August 6, 2012

First In, First Out

I was dragged out to sea. Wicked accident. Will describe later, if ever.

If you believe in evolution you believe we evolved out of the muck and mire of primordial seas. So in the water we began, and evolved up onto land and into apes and then whatever. Last stop - zombie. Everybody knows the story.

Perhaps it's only natural that the sea dies off first. First in and on the Earth, first out into oblivion. Poetic thought right there.

The dead fish clogged the water supply to the power plant. "We've never seen anything like it." Famous last words.
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 they've seen thousands of dead sturgeon, catfish, carp and other species in the Lower Platte River.

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.

"It's something I've never seen in my career, and I've been here for more than 17 years," said Mark Flammang, a fisheries biologist with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

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 nation's counties -- nearly 1,600 in 32 states -- as natural disaster areas. More than 3,000 heat records were broken over the past month.

Iowa natural resources 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.
[Associated Press]

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