Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Buurrr (Florida fish fry freeze)

You don't find any ice fishing in Florida but this winter you just might.

The super cold that has penetrated much of the Southeast has gone as far south as the Florida Keys and the Everglades. This has resulted in a massive die-off - and not just with baitfish, either.

Conservationists and state fish and game people are finding literally millions of fish. Among the dead are such important game fish as snook, bonefish as well as tarpon.

Some ecologists are saying the loss could rival that of 1977 and 1978 - the deadly winters that had also infiltrated Ohio and caused extensive wildlife damage.

Scientists said a second wave of fish deaths are expected, too. That is because many fish have been weakened by the deep and extended cold and are thus vulnerable.

As a result, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission has ordered a temporary closure on snook, bonefish and tarpon fishing, or at least the keeping of such fish. The snook prohibition continues through until September and for bonefish and tarpon until April.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

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