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fish02Don’t let yesterday’s pretty picture fool you. The sad truth is that there is much more to the Salton Sea than spectacular birdwatching. Its shores are, in fact, littered with dead fish. Massive fish die-offs are an annual occurrence there due to an oxygen-depleting combination of salt and heat (summer temps can reach as high as 120 degrees) that basically causes the fish to suffocate. As many as 7.6 million Salton Sea fish have been known to expire in a single day.

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5 thoughts on “117/366

  1. Actually, I think the deoxygenation is mostly caused by the high organic content (fertilizer) of the runoff into the water. This stimulates large blooms of algae, which consume CO2 and produce oxygen. Then the algae dies, falls to the bottom, and decays, which consumes oxygen. Then the fish suffocate, die, decay, cause more oxygen depletion. Lots of stink. Bad smells happen when anaerobic processes are at work, i.e., without oxygen. Rotten egg smell…Decay of dead flesh is one such process.

    • I have no doubt you’re right about the agricultural runoff being a key factor. Much better minds than mine have applied themselves to this complex ecological disaster. I’ll stick with taking photos and leave the science to the scientists. :-)

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