The truth about the Salton Sea

Geoff Read g.read at niwa.cri.nz
Sun Aug 15 01:04:36 EST 1999


Mary Ann Tiffany <mgarrow at sunstroke.sdsu.edu> wrote:
> The newspaper report is overkill re. the fish kill at the Salton Sea. 

Oh?

> been studying the zooplankton out there for almost three years. We have 
> several quite healthy polychaete worms, the larvae of one (Neanthes 
> succinea) is present in the plankton almost year round 

As far as I can tell only Neanthes succinea has been reported before in 
the lit. But I see Larry Lovell mentioned Streblospio benedicti. Is it known 
when that arrived, and what are the other species?  

> The lake is 45 ppt, not all that salty ...

Oh?

> I just returned from the lake and there was a 
> minor fish kill that occurred on Tuesday, probably caused by anoxia after 
> a wind event and overturn of the lake. 

The Lycos report says about 7.6 million, and it happened on 
Wednesday. 

> There are so many fish in this 
> highly productive lake that the number killed was insignificant. 

And, granted, kills of fish & birds apparently happen every year. 
Excessive productivity related to agricultural pollution, and rampant 
bacterial diseases from polluted water are also not unique to this lake. But 
the unsolvable (without massive heaps of money) continual salinity rise, 
means the current biota, including of course the fish, cannot survive. An 
early study seemed to suggest 50ppt was about the limit for Neanthes 
succinea reproduction. Getting close - it would be interesting if someone 
could re-run that  study on the population as it is now!

--
Geoff Read <g.read at niwa.cri.nz>


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