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City provides morning update on fish kills, beach conditions

July 31, 2018
Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

The city of Sanibel reported that less fish washed ashore today on the island than on the morning of July 30, but there was still a significant volume so collection mode remains in full press.

Thus far, two large carcasses have been reported, according to officials.

On July 28, the city began collecting and removing dead sea life from the Gulf and bayside beaches due to the unprecedented volume washing up on the shores of Sanibel. In addition to city crews, staff is being augmented with contractual labor. The crews are collecting the entire length of the beaches.

Article Photos

Crowder-Gulf, the city of Sanibel's debris removal contractor, with fish kill cleanup equipment.

Crowder-Gulf, the city's debris removal contractor, has equipment rolling-in to assist. At this time, the east side of the Sanibel Boat Ramp has been designated as one of the city's staging areas.

The city is continuing to augment crews with labor from two landscapers previously under contract.

Today's first light of day report from the Sanibel Public Works Department is as follows:

- Lighthouse Beach and Sanibel Boat Ramp

Current Conditions: Poor

Red Tide: Heavy presence

Strong Odor of dead sea life

Substantial deposit of dead sea life

- Algiers Beach (Gulfside City Park) and Tarpon Bay Beach

Current Conditions: Fair

Red Tide: Present at slight levels

Mild odor of dead sea life

Moderate deposit of dead sea life

- Bowman's Beach and Blind Pass

Current Conditions: Fair

Red Tide: Present at slight levels

Mild odor of dead sea life

Moderate deposit of dead sea life

- Turner Beach Park

Current Conditions: Good to Excellent

Red Tide: No sign

Odor: None

No presence of dead sea life

Based on tides, winds and currents, the conditions may alter quickly and significantly.

Due to the frequency, magnitude and volume of the current deposits, private property owners on Sanibel may collect dead fish from the beaches. Dead sea life can be doubled bagged and placed into the owners' commercial dumpster. For sea life on private property that is too large to be removed by hand, email If possible, include a photo and an address in the email.

A large portion of the dead fish on the beach are catfish. The pectoral (side) fins and dorsal (top) fin contain sharp venomous spines; extreme care should be used when handling the fish. Beach-goers should also avoid stepping on dead catfish as some sharp barbs can even penetrate the sole of a shoe.

City Manager Judie Zimomra noted that staff is putting forth its best efforts to accomplish the task. The tides, changing currents and new deposits which are left immediately following a clean-up pass makes a hot, tedious and odoriferous task even more challenging.



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