Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Heat Killing Fish by the Millions in the Midwest

This is something I don't think any of us counted on. The intense heat and drought has caused water temps in shallower lakes, ponds, and streams to reach as high as 100%. this is a photo of hundreds of dead fish at a pond in Rock Port, MO.

Possibly a million or more fish have recently been found floating dead in Illinois waters. Some 40,000 shovelnose sturgeon alone were found dead in Iowa last week. These sturgeon were valued at $10,000,000 because their eggs are prized for caviar.

Dan Stephenson, a biologist with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, said, "We're talking hundreds of thousands (killed), maybe millions by now," Stephenson said. "If you're only talking about game fish, it's probably in the thousands. But for all fish, it's probably in the millions if you look statewide."

High levels of bacteria have also been found in lakes lately. Carp at Lewis & Clark Lake in Missouri have been found with lesions on them indicated bacteria. This is typical when water gets hot. This includes flesh eating bacteria which is often found in water. There's also a brain eating bacteria that enters through the nose. Not a good time to be on the jet-ski.


  1. All the tadpoles that were living in our fountain died too. Not a good thing for our fish, except those terrible Asian carp that fly into boats.

    Ewww, people flesh eating disease and bacteria? Not fish issues? Bad stuff.

  2. Thank God we'll get some relief in a couple of days. 85% is gonna feel like winter after this.

  3. The weather is very strange this year. Poor fishes.

  4. On the positive side, the Asian Carp seem to be taking the brunt of this heat kill off in some areas. Not that we'll get ahead of the problem but every little bit helps. I'm going to start bowfishing for 'em here in a couple of weeks. They're supposed to be good eatin'. We'll see.

  5. Poor fishies indeed Ros. I feel very sorry for the little fellas.

    Tom, my old high school buddy, Lee, catches big carp in back of his house in Silver Creek and cooks them all the time. You've got to take that mud vein out, and then they're pretty tasty, but still boney. I think if you microwave them that it will burn a lot of the bones out. (Microwaves cook from the inside out.) I know that big fish retailers have a way of burning the bones out. I'm not sure if they do it with mircowaves though. Might be worth a try.

  6. I've had regular carp and buffalo. The bones pretty well cook out of 'em. I've watched a couple videos about cleaning the Asian Carp and it look like the bones can be pretty easily removed from the filet. You waste a little meat but there seems to be quite a bit on those things so that shouldn't be a problem. They've moved up the Meramec now at least to Pacific and maybe as far as Catawissa. I'm hoping that the cool temperatures in the springs keep 'em from coming any farther up. I read somewhere that somebody's building a cannery up in Grafton and they're going to start fishin' for 'em and shipppin' 'em over to the Orient. Jobs is jobs and I'm glad to see the ol' entrepreneurial spirit at work.

  7. True about the jobs. I'm glad SOMEBODY is doing okay.

  8. "Microwaves cook from the inside out"

    I never knew that. It explains why the plate stays cooler!

  9. Here's the boring explanation, Ros. Microwaves don't cook from the inside out. The RF (radio frequency) generated by a microwave oven, around 2.4ghz, excites the water molecules in the food. It causes them to move around, creating friction which in turn creates heat, which in turn cooks your food. Since the surface of most foods tends to be drier than the center the center cooks more quickly. If the moisture level was consistent throughout it would cook consistently on the surface and center.

    Most cookware has very little moisture so it doesn't heat up as quickly as the food being cooked on it.

    I'm a ham radio operator. All of us have to be very careful with our radios and antennas so that we don't harm ourselves or others with the RF generated by our rigs. At low power, say 5-10 watts, using radios in close proximity to antennas isn't dangerous. Much above that limit and we can cook ourselves - just like being in a microwave. Duration of exposure and other factors being important considerations, too.

    With a directional antenna and sufficient power I could slowly cook my neighbors. So don't piss me off. :)

    If I'm transmitting at say 30 watts and touch my antenna it's likely that I'll receive an RF burn. If my finger touches the antenna the burn will not be apparent to the eyes because, just like a microwave and for the same reasons, it'll be burnt in the center. My finger has more moisture to work with inside than it does out.

    So, there's your radio lesson for the day. Sorry for the geek moment. Sometimes I can't help myself.

  10. "Since the surface of most foods tends to be drier than the center the center cooks more quickly."

    Instead of telling us how microwaves DON'T cook food from the inside out, it seems to me that you just explained exactly how they DO! :-)

    Call it the laymen's term for it, but all I know is, I took some computer repair classes 25-years ago, and when my electronics class got to the part of the course that talked about various "waves" and energy, our instructor said that mircowaves "cooked from the inside out," and he explained why just as you did.

  11. You're probably right about that, though it has less to do with the truth of my statement than with my inability to convey my thoughts accurately. They aren't cooking it from the inside out by their nature but because of the location of the moisture. They could just as easily cook from the outside in if the outer layer was wetter.

    I need to take some writing and logic courses.

    Realizing all this I think an experiment may be in order. The next time I boil water I'm going to have to see just what part boils first. It would be interesting to have some way to measure various places in the water and make comparisons. It seems it should heat equally unless the water absorbs some of the RF before it can affect other areas. I always notice the edges simmering first but I attributed that to the glass holding some of the heat from the water. I wonder what type of thermometer I could use. Certainly not mercury or electronic, unless it was well shielded. Maybe I should go online and....sorry, geek attack! It can happen anytime and any place. I gotta get back on my meds.

  12. I guess what it comes down to is, if microwaves cook the inside of food first, it's not the microwaves fault. :-)

    I figure that as long as I wear a lead baseball cup near a microwave, all is good!

  13. Now if only I knew where to buy a lead baseball cup....

  14. It's not my head I worry about. Not much to hurt up there. It's all the other marginally functioning parts I liked to try to keep goin' just a bit longer.

  15. I said basebal cup-not cap. So I think we're on the same page!