Bradenton, Florida – Just before Mother’s Day weekend, Jeff Riggan started to smell something pungent outside his apartment. He is an artist and often paints the wildlife that frequent the ponds of the Carlton Arms Apartment complex.
What do you want to know
- There was a massive fish kill in Manatee County
- The two most affected fish species were mojarra and mullet
- FWC said it was likely the result of low dissolved oxygen in the water.
“Everyday, every day, I’m here to do this,” he said with a brush in his hand. He has been an artist since the age of 15 and these days he mainly paints wild animals.
“It’s the game here. I love wildlife, I was born and raised here,” he continued.
But on Thursday last week, a smell began to interfere with the exterior painting process. It smelled of death. “Well, first of all you can’t get over the smell, that’s for sure, and then you notice a few fish popping up,” Riggan said.
He followed his nose and came across a huge blue crab between his fence and the nearest pond. It was dead. “He couldn’t take on water like the fish,” Riggan said.
Riggan started walking to all the ponds and found hundreds of dead fish clustered along the banks. A big problem with so many dead fish is that they attract birds. “The scavengers come in. The first-class birds come in, the big blue herrings, and all the egrets, and the wood storks, and there’s some here feasting. But they’re fighting with the buzzards over the carcasses and the remains of all those dead fish,” Riggan said.
While vultures are a bit of a concern, Riggan finally got it when he came across a group of almost 500 dead fish.
“Look at this, it’s horrible,” he said. FWC went out to investigate and found that this fish kill was caused by low oxygen levels in these particular water bodies. Low oxygen levels occur on windy days and when there are long periods of cloud. cover.
Either way, Riggans wants the apartment complex to try to find a way to put more oxygen into the water so this doesn’t happen again. “Anyone who needs to fix what they need to fix, I hope that happens because we can’t keep seeing this,” Riggan said.
FWC said the two most affected fish species were mojarra and mullet.