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Entire fishery dead in Nevada marina

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posted on Jan, 16 2014 @ 02:22 PM
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I searched and was surprised to see there doesn't seem to be a thread on this yet. All of the fish in a man-made, stocked lake near Reno, Nevada have died. The story initially says as many as 100,000, but then it says that is probably conservative and notes that almost a million fish have been stocked in the lake since 1998.

They think all fish in the lake (between about 100,000 and 1,000,000 fish) may be dead now, just over the last month or so.

Fox News is reporting:



SPARKS, Nev. – State wildlife officials are trying to figure out why all the fish have died in a northern Nevada marina where the stocked fishery has flourished since the man-made lake was created nearly 15 years ago.

As many as 100,000 trout, bass and catfish have died over the past month in the Sparks Marina along U.S. Interstate 80 east of Reno, apparently the result of a dramatic, unexplained drop in dissolved oxygen levels, Nevada Department of Wildlife spokesman Chris Healy said Wednesday...

Fish biologists confirmed low oxygen levels caused the death of an estimated 3,000 fish in one corner of the lake in mid-December but Healy said they thought at the time the event was localized and of limited impact. Since then, they've been unable to detect any live fish in the 77-acre lake...

"The 100,000 dead fish figure is something that is probably a pretty conservative guess," said Healy, who estimates they've stocked close to 1 million adult fish in the lake since they started in 1998.

"We don't know if any small fish have survived, but for all intents and purposes, the fishery doesn't exist anymore..."


Oxygen levels in the water dropped significantly, but they don't know why other than guessing that possibly a sudden temperature drop could have affected the normal temprerature layers in the lake:



Scientists say a bitter cold snap could have caused oxygen-poor waters to rise from the old rock quarry's bottom to the surface, but they don't understand what sparked the massive die-off...

...a boat survey on Monday found dissolved oxygen levels far too low to support the fish at 11 different sampling locations. Readings from an electronic fish-finder also revealed no fish swimming in the lake's depths.

Lakes like the marina consist of different layers of water temperatures, with the warmest water on top holding the highest oxygen content, Healy said. He said one theory is that the surface water may have chilled very quickly, sank toward the bottom of the lake and stirred up material on its floor, causing a "violent turnover" that could have sucked up additional oxygen...

Healy said testing earlier this week found dissolved oxygen levels in the range of 1.1 to 1.9 parts per million. Fish do best with levels in the range of 7 to 9 parts per million and typically can't survive when it drops below 5 parts per million, he said.


They are testing for any other toxicity in the lake but don't expect any because they have been routinely testing:



Michael Drinkwater, manager of the Truckee Meadows Wastewater Reclamation Facility which collects water from the lake, is awaiting results of new toxicity tests conducted last week but said routine testing has revealed no problems before...


I could be wrong, but I can't imagine a sudden cold snap could have such a huge effect. And if it's not toxic pollution, I wonder if they are going to rule out seismic possibilities such as toxic gas being released into the water.




posted on Jan, 16 2014 @ 02:31 PM
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reply to post by ikonoklast
 


Lake turnover happens alot, and usually with similar results as seen in this article. Often it only kills the largest fish, as the smaller guys don't need as much concentration of disolved O2 to survive, but in extreme cases it can completely kill a lake.



posted on Jan, 16 2014 @ 03:49 PM
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That lake was once a open mine pit. When I lived there. A massive flood occurred in 1996. Parts of I-80 caved into it. Over night it was filled with water.
But that's not the issue. The problem started when oil and other chemicals seeped into he ground from a nearby plant. About a mile west on i-80 next to John Asquagas Nugget. It was an issue then I my gut feels it is the issue now. It was never meant to be a marina. But Sparks city officials went with it.

As far as as lakes turning over. The only lake as far as I knew is Pyramid lake. About 35 mins north.

Edit: Sparks solvent/fuel sight.
Even though lake itself was cleaned up. The chemicals are still deep within.

Look up Nevada division of environmental protection. Bureau of corrective actions.
edit on 16-1-2014 by Bigburgh because: (no reason given)
edit on 16-1-2014 by Bigburgh because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 16 2014 @ 04:26 PM
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It was just brought to my attention. From family that still reside there. Reno had a fairly sizable earthquake in the last 5 month. Around October.
In Reno there is a good fault that runs right down Virginia street.

This may have contributed in ground shifting releasing some of the chemicals...or other earth gasses..
Its not uncommon to have fish die offs around these events.

But my gut still says solvent/fuel plant.

Edit: Helms gravel pit. I knew that name would come back to me.

ndep.nv.gov...
edit on 16-1-2014 by Bigburgh because: (no reason given)
edit on 16-1-2014 by Bigburgh because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 16 2014 @ 10:44 PM
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reply to post by Bigburgh
 


Very good info. It may be the case. It is nice to see comments from someone who knows about the area and still has relatives there to ask. They often just cover up the contaminated areas to slow the release. That doesn't really fix the problem though.



posted on Jan, 16 2014 @ 10:53 PM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Jan, 17 2014 @ 02:29 AM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Jan, 17 2014 @ 08:09 AM
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reply to post by ikonoklast
 


Very interesting story. Hope you stay on top of it. ...and I suspect you're right - more likely it's contamination than lake turnover.



posted on Jan, 17 2014 @ 08:38 AM
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reply to post by burdman30ott6
 


burdman30ott6
Lake turnover happens alot, and usually with similar results as seen in this article. Often it only kills the largest fish, as the smaller guys don't need as much concentration of disolved O2 to survive, but in extreme cases it can completely kill a lake.


I had only vaguely heard about lake turnover before and didn't know much about it. I found a number of interesting references, but I especially liked this excellent article for those who may want to learn more: Lake Turnover - how it works.

I'm not sure how often the really extreme cases of it completely killing a lake occur. I tried to get an idea of how often it might happen, but Google came back with mostly links to this particular fish kill and even to this ATS thread.



posted on Jan, 17 2014 @ 08:52 AM
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reply to post by Bigburgh
 


Bigburgh
But my gut still says solvent/fuel plant.

Edit: Helms gravel pit. I knew that name would come back to me.

ndep.nv.gov...


Interesting info and reference, thanks. It's kind of shocking to learn how much they've had to micro-manage the whole watershed and ecological system there as a result of the past pollution! Sounds like a high-runner on the list of possible causes.

As rickymouse said, it's great to get the input from someone who knows the local area and has family still there. One of the great things about ATS is that we can often get information much closer to the source.


Bigburgh
It was just brought to my attention. From family that still reside there. Reno had a fairly sizable earthquake in the last 5 month. Around October.
In Reno there is a good fault that runs right down Virginia street.

This may have contributed in ground shifting releasing some of the chemicals...or other earth gasses..
Its not uncommon to have fish die offs around these events.


Seismic activity was one of my first thoughts. In some of the earthquake threads, people have been reporting increased activity in California. And some of the ATS'ers who live or have relatives in California said that the qualities of the tremors they were feeling had changed. From past experience, some said they felt the type of tremors now being felt were the type to be more worried about as a prelude to something bigger - rumbling and rattling versus sharp and sudden.

I looked up the area around Sparks, and I see it's listed as being quite a bit higher than average in earthquake and volcanic activity both for the country and for the state. Given that, plus the earthquake you mentioned near Reno in October, plus the activity next door in California, it made me wonder whether toxic gases might possibly have been released by seismic activity.



posted on Jan, 17 2014 @ 10:52 AM
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I live on Lake Michigan and it turns in the fall and spring. Brings all kinds of crap up from the bottom. takes a week to clear afterwards



posted on Jan, 17 2014 @ 09:52 PM
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ikonoklast
reply to post by burdman30ott6
 


burdman30ott6
Lake turnover happens alot, and usually with similar results as seen in this article. Often it only kills the largest fish, as the smaller guys don't need as much concentration of disolved O2 to survive, but in extreme cases it can completely kill a lake.


I had only vaguely heard about lake turnover before and didn't know much about it. I found a number of interesting references, but I especially liked this excellent article for those who may want to learn more: Lake Turnover - how it works.

I'm not sure how often the really extreme cases of it completely killing a lake occur. I tried to get an idea of how often it might happen, but Google came back with mostly links to this particular fish kill and even to this ATS thread.



I read the article. It states that at 39° f the water turns over. I have to dispute that a bit. Pyramid lake for example. Has thermal vents ( that you can see. Like a geyser to the north ) that water is usually around 80° f while the rest stays in the 70's . And having been on that lake when it happens is a butt puckering experience. There have been waves in such cases. The bottom is silt and cave under the silt. In fact there was a usaf crash that was never recovered. My neighbor was fishing far out and the boat flipped according to witnesses and his body was never recovered. Few years later his son also drowned in the lake and never recovered...CREEPY. but true.
BUT PYRAMID lake deserves a thread of its own..
I know of these things because was part of the Washoe County Sheriff Hasty team.

I'm interested to know if man made lakes do turn over as apposed to natural.
Thanks for replying back.
Thanks everyone for the stars. I feel like I actually contributed.
edit on 17-1-2014 by Bigburgh because: (no reason given)


Edit: answered my own question. Helms gravel pit is very deep. At least 200 ft when it was just a gravel pit. So the water at the bottom could get to near freezing temps...enough to freeze from the bottom up. The water in the marina is murky. So sunlight would not penetrate to the deep. But I do not believe its enough to kill off fish..though it may cause lack of oxygen.. but fish will simply surface to more suitable areas of the lake.
Lake Tahoe is actually quite cold..60°f. Snow run off waters. Darn good fishing there and much colder than sparks marina. The run off from lake Tahoe is how the Truckee river forms and runs through Reno. Best brown,cutthroat and rainbow trout you'll find. Fortunately Truckee river is only 15ft deep at most in some spots. So as it passes by the Solvent plant. It goes well over the seeping chems. However sparks marina is so deep, that it remains a victim of chemicals that seeps down and outward.
edit on 17-1-2014 by Bigburgh because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 18 2014 @ 12:26 AM
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reply to post by Bigburgh
 


Bigburgh

ikonoklast
Lake Turnover - how it works.


...Thanks for replying back.
Thanks everyone for the stars. I feel like I actually contributed.


Edit: answered my own question. Helms gravel pit is very deep. At least 200 ft when it was just a gravel pit. So the water at the bottom could get to near freezing temps...enough to freeze from the bottom up...


You're welcome, and thank you, you have contributed.
It's been very helpful having someone in the thread that knows the area and the history.

I'm no expert on the turnover aspects, just read up a little for this thread. But apparently it would be very unusual for such a body of water to freeze from the bottom up:



Why doesn't water freeze at the bottom of a lake?...

A cubic metre of ice is less dense than a cubic metre of water. That means a given amount of water has to expand to form ice. The pressure at the bottom of the lake doesn't allow this expansion to take place...

Ice crystals have a nice hexagon type structure which occupies more space than the less ordered liquid - same number of molecules taking up more space means lower density - so ice floats. If the frozen bits float then the last bit to get frozen is right down at the bottom. The bottom of the lake can freeze but it will be the last bit to do so. It takes a lot of energy to unlock water molecules from ice - conversely it takes a lot of energy to turn water into ice - so conversion of water into ice soaks up a lot of 'cold' (must be a better way of putting that) and the ice forms a (fairly) good insulatiing layer between cold air and the water at the bottom of the lake...

SOURCE: PhysForum

That fits with my experience too. Where I live it can get pretty cold, as low as -15 F or more occasionally. I've never seen a lake freeze except near the surface.

Did I understand you correctly that the thermal vents you mentioned are at Pyramid Lake, not Helms? Hopefully they will test for more than just industrial pollutants and will detect if there are any dissolved toxic gases released by seismic/volcanic activity.



posted on Jan, 18 2014 @ 10:24 PM
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Yes thermal vents at pyramid lake..pyramid is a natural lake. High in alkali..taste salty..rock structures resemble that of the geysers at Yellowstone. All that mineral buildup. Pyramid has one of the more violent turnovers at times. Not bottom content just floating up..but waves are reported and witnessed by myself with a dive partner. starting from one end of the lake and traveling to the other side..

Now in the case of the sparks marina. Its purely man made with no thermal vent activity. Now southwest Reno does have hot springs..which are used for power sources. But not so much east of town where the marina is in sparks. Most of that activity is again sw Reno. Or look up mount Rose highway..in the Galena forest section. You'll see the power plants that harness the steam.






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