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Recent St. Pete fish kill unexpectedly killing pelicans

Massive fish kill in St. Pete neighborhood causes dozens of pelicans to fall ill or die.

  • St. Petersburg city workers have been collecting thousands of pounds of dead fish from the Riviera Bay neighborhood that are apparently making pelicans sick, as well.
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  • Of those, three of the pelicans have died, bringing the total number of dead pelicans to seven.

St. Petersburg city workers have collected thousands of pounds of dead fish that are apparently making pelicans sick, as well.

@BN9: Massive fish kill in St. Pete neighborhood causes dozens of pelicans to fall ill or die.

ST. PETERSBURG — 

St. Petersburg city workers have been collecting thousands of pounds of dead fish from the Riviera Bay neighborhood that are apparently making pelicans sick, as well.

Workers have found about a dozen sick and dead pelicans over the past few days, according to Stormwater director John Norris.  

“It looks like we have a classic thermal inversion in the lake due to the low temperatures we had last week,” said Norris.

Norris told us city crews pulled 2,000 pounds of dead fish out of the Riviera Bay neighborhood lake on Thursday that’s bordered by Macoma Drive NE and Riviera Bay Drive NE. Homeowner Paul Morgan said the problem began on Tuesday.

“Pretty large, probably over 1,000 fish,” said Morgan. “All different kinds and some of them pretty fairly good size.”

Morgan said fish kills happen in the lake every few years when there’s an extreme temperature change. What’s unusual about this one is that it’s the first time birds are being killed too.

“We’ve got some birds who are in here trying to eat the fish,” he said. “It looks like they’re sick.”

Specifically, Norris said city workers collected four dead pelicans.

Seaside Seabird Sanctuary operations manager Eddie Gayton said he’s attempted to rescue seven pelicans and one great white egret. Of those, three of the pelicans have died, bringing the total number of dead pelicans to seven.

Gayton, too, said he’s not yet sure what’s killing the birds.

“They’re acting like it may be a toxin,” he said. “We’re going to do the best we can.”

Recent St. Pete fish kill unexpectedly killing pelicans

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