BH : Mass Die-off (Fishes) Ma-Me-O Beach, North-America / Canada
BH : Mass Die-off (Fishes) / North-America / Canada [0:0]
Posted: 24 Jul 2012 08:35 PM PDT
EDIS Number: BH-20120723-35886-CAN Date / time: 23/07/2012 06:02:30 [UTC] Event: Biological Hazard Name of Hazard: Mass Die-off (Fishes) Area: North-America Country: Canada State/County: Province of Alberta
Number of Deads: 0 Number of Infected: 0
Description: Beach-front property owners on Pigeon Lake were shocked Sunday morning to see "thousands" of dead fish wash up on the sand along Ma-Me-O Beach. Seagulls were feasting on the piles of dead walleye along the beach as community members led a self-started clean-up operation on the lake 109 kilometres southwest of Edmonton. From the window of her cabin, Deborah Cresswell said she could see at least a dozen people walking the shoreline, organizing the fish into piles and shovelling them into the bucket of a backhoe for disposal. "It's surprising because we've been going to the beach and swimming every day and suddenly ... we go to the beach and it's littered with thousands of dead fish," Cresswell said. "The fish started coming in last (Saturday) night after it was really windy," Cresswell said, speculating that "the weather gets a little too hot and when the water gets above a certain temperature, the fish all die." The fish aren't small either, Cresswell said. Each fish is at least a foot-and-a-half long and would've made any sport-fisherman happy with his catch. Even now, the dead fish are still washing ashore, she said. Cresswell has lived in a cabin on Ma-Me-O Beach with her husband for several years. She said they've seen this happen twice before and believe it may be affecting the property values of cabins on the lake. "I think it is affecting the sale of cabins out here," Cresswell said. "In the last few years, with the green algae and fish dying, people don't want to come here and swim as much." Cresswell said swimming and camping at Pigeon Lake has seen an increase in popularity this year, but fears people will stop coming if there are no fish to cast a line for. Alberta Fish and Wildlife could not be reached for comment Sunday. Pigeon Lake is a popular recreation lake. The summer village of Ma-Me-O beach has a population of up to 200 people during the summer. Ma-Me-O Beach gets its name from the Cree words for a "place of many shore birds."
Event updates: Situation Update No. 1 on 25.07.2012 at 03:35:17.
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