A Massive Fish Die-Off is Underway In Mobile Bay, AL: “This Has Never Been Seen Before and Tests Reveal Not Related to Red Bloom”

A widespread fish kill is underway across Mobile Bay. It appears to be affecting primarily filter-feeding fish such as menhaden, sardines, alewives and shad.

Dead fish are present in the shallows and on beaches on both sides of the bay, from Point Clear to Daphne on the eastern shore and from Arlington Point south to Fowl River on the western shore. Dead and dying fish also dot the surface of the bay, from one side to the other.

The kill does not appear to be related to a red tide bloom occurring in the Gulf of Mexico and around Dauphin Island. Instead, the bloom in the upper bay appears to be another species of algae with a similar neurotoxic effect on fish.

Therefore shall the land mourn, and every one that dwelleth therein shall languish, with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven; yea, the fishes of the sea also shall be taken away- Hosea 4:3 (KJV).

Fish affected by the algae swim in a markedly erratic fashion, zipping straight ahead for a time, then falling into lazy circles, often swimming on their side or even upside down.

AL.com collected samples of sick fish and the water where they were found during trips across the bay, from Fairhope to the mouth of Fowl River, on both Tuesday and Wednesday. Those fish were provided to the Dauphin Island Sea Lab for analysis. In addition, AL.com measured oxygen levels and salinity where the samples were collected using a YSI meter, a standard tool for environmental sampling.

“There does not appear to be a correlation with oxygen or salinity,” said Andy Depaola, a microbiologist with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration lab on Dauphin Island. Depaola participated in the AL.com sampling trip. “Those oxygen levels were not low enough to kill fish.”

Fish seen floating in circles, surfacing to the top of the water.

Fish seen floating in circles, surfacing to the top of the water.

Alison Robertson, who specializes in harmful algal blooms with the Dauphin Island Sea Lab, said she had ruled out red tide, which is caused by an organism called Karenia brevis, in the bay. The red tide algae prefers the high salinity found in the Gulf of Mexico. It does not do well in lower salinity, particularly the low levels of salt measured in the AL.com sampling.

Robertson said she had received numerous reports of dead fish from locations all around the bay. She is working to isolate the algae causing the problem.

Andy Depaola checks salinity levels in an area where lots of dead sardines were seen floating on the surface.

Andy Depaola checks salinity levels in an area where lots of dead sardines were seen floating on the surface.

“Along the Gulf coast, Destin to Dauphin Island, we have had many fish kills over the past 7 weeks that we have shown were associated with Karenia (red tide) blooms offshore,” Robertson said.

The toxins associated with red tide were found in the guts and flesh of fish from those kills.

“The fish kills being seen in and around Mobile Bay at the moment are inconsistent with that, and there are in many cases none or at least very low numbers of Karenia in the Bay waters that we have tested alongside affected fish,” Robertson said. “Lots of small menhaden are being reported in many areas — from Weeks Bay to Fairhope, to Fowl River — exhibiting spiraled swimming or swimming sideways. We tested dissolved oxygen in over 26 sites over the past 2 days and everything looks great, levels between 7-10 mg/L which is exactly what we would expect based on the water temperature.”

Robertson said her lab was investigating whether there was another phytoplankton species affecting the fish. She said that other most other algal species do not pose a human health concern.

The Fish that are primary dying are shown in this illustration.

The Fish that are primary dying are shown in this illustration.

“We are following those leads right now,” Robertson said. “A few fish collected were dissected and examined under microscope but there are no overt signs of problems and the gills look healthy.” 

She noted that all of the samples provided to her by AL.com were small juveniles.

“While this is concerning and we will continue to look at the cause of the kills, we are really only seeing the very small planktivores being affected at the moment,” Robertson said. “And fish such as menhaden are particularly sensitive to changes in their environment.”   

Map of where the die-off is happening.

Map of where the die-off is happening.

Dead or dying fish were visible at all times during the AL.com trips across the bay. Pelicans were seen swimming around on the surface of the bay scooping the dead fish out of the water. Likewise, pods of dolphins were seen gorging on the stricken fish.

Algal blooms in the bay typically peter out after a few days. This bloom has been particularly long-lived, and is already into its second week.

While only filter feeding fish have been affected, fishermen around the bay have reported that both speckled trout and redfish appear to have vacated the areas where the sick fish are visible.

Source: AL

See Also: The Largest Toxic Algae Bloom Ever is Spreading Rapidly, Forcing Coastline Closures and Causing Mass Ocean Life Die-offs

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  • ”..keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: Which some professing have erred concerning the faith…”-1 Timothy 6:20-21 (KJV). 
  • Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath: for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner: but my salvation shall be for ever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished.- Isaiah 51:6 (KJV).
  • But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up- 2 Peter 3:10 (KJV).
  • Therefore shall the land mourn, and every one that dwelleth therein shall languish, with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven; yea, the fishes of the sea also shall be taken away- Hosea 4:3 (KJV).
  • The earth mourneth and fadeth away, the world languisheth and fadeth away, the haughty people of the earth do languish – Isaiah 24:4 (KJV).
  • Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken- Luke 21:26 (KJV).

Previous Prophecy:

  • And it shall come to pass, if they will not believe also these two signs, neither hearken unto thy voice, that thou shalt take of the water of the river, and pour it upon the dry land: and the water which thou takest out of the river shall become blood upon the dry land. –  Exodus 4:9 (KJV).
  • And the fish that was in the river died; and the river stank, and the Egyptians could not drink of the water of the river; and there was blood throughout all the land of Egypt.- Exodus 7:21 (KJV).
  • And had turned their rivers into blood; and their floods, that they could not drink. – Psalm 78:44 (KJV).
  • He turned their waters into blood, and slew their fish. –  Psalms 105:29 (KJV).
  • And they rose up early in the morning, and the sun shone upon the water, and the Moabites saw the water on the other side as red as blood: – 2 Kings 3:22 (KJV).

Future Prophecy:

  • And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood; – Revelation 8:8 (KJV).
  • These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will. –  Revelation 11:6 (KJV).
  • And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood. – Revelation 16:4(KJV). 

He is Coming-Are You Ready Ministries focuses on preparing the elect for the events to come, and to wake up the lost –as God does not wish anyone to perish -2 Peter 3:9 (KJV). We vet, source and report daily headline news stories and reveal their relation to prophecy. We believe in the imminent return of Jesus Christ, we support and love Israel as God commands us, and we believe the BIBLE is the final authority on all matters of life.

In the Faithful Service of Jesus Christ, 

Lisa Muhar


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