Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Recommends Residents To Handle Dead Fish From Lagoon Carefully
By Space Coast Daily // March 23, 2016
do not touch fish with your bare hands
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission recommends the people should not be handling the dead fish without proper protection. If people handle dead fish they should do so with caution and wear gloves because some fish have spines, which can cause puncture wounds.
People should not eat any fish that appear ill and should follow proper cooking procedures. It is recommended that the fish be fully cooked.
Natural Resources, Public Works, Solid Waste Management and Parks and Recreation departments are working in tandem with the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office in response to the recent Indian River Lagoon fish kill.
Cleanup began Monday morning to remove any dead fish spotted on the shorelines of County parks and any affected County-owned waterfront property. The cleanup is being organized by Parks and Recreation.
The Sheriff’s Office has agreed to provide assistance as needed with inmate labor.
Natural Resources Management is conducting water tests to determine the source of the fish kill, which was first discovered on Friday. The Florida Fish and Wildlife officials are also involved.
Terry Williamson, a biologist with Natural Resources, said the office is collecting water quality data and samples but initial findings point to an algae bloom generated by warm conditions and high nutrients in the lagoon last week.
“There are a lot of nutrients in the water, causing the algae to bloom,” said Williamson.
“When the local nutrients are depleted and the algae starts to decompose the dissolved oxygen drops to a level that killed some fish. The high winds we’re having today should help mix the water in the lagoon and get the oxygen levels back up.”
Williamson said residents can play a role in helping avoid fish kills. That includes keeping leaves and grass clippings out of storm drains and following the county’s fertilizer ordinance.
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