Low oxygen levels may have led to fish deaths in Spittal Pond – The Royal Gazette | Bermuda News, Business, Sports, Events, & Community

Log In

Reset Password
BERMUDA | RSS PODCAST

Low oxygen levels may have led to fish deaths in Spittal Pond

First Prev 1 2 Next Last
Dead fish at Spittal pond (Photograph supplied)
Dead fish at Spittal pond (Photograph supplied)

Low oxygen levels in Spittal Pond may have caused a number of fish to die at the site in recent weeks.

A spokesman for the Department of Environment and Natural Resources said dead juvenile snappers were collected from the shoreline at the eastern end of Spittal Pond, Smiths, on May 30.

He said: “We could not determine a cause of death, possibly low oxygen levels in pond, which may occur as water temperature rises.

“Also, we had over five inches of rain in May and this will decrease the salinity of the pond water, which is very stressful for marine fishes. The combination of stresses may have caused their demise.

“Spittal Pond will remain a challenging environment for fishes because of the large fluctuations of oxygen levels and salinity.”

The spokesman said the department was not aware of any such changes in other coastal ponds, such as Mangrove Lake.

He added that there is “no capacity” to control or change the conditions in Spittal Pond.

“It is a marginal environment for marine fishes that are introduced and trapped in there,” he said.

It is unusual for ocean fish to be in the pond.

The spokesman added: “Survey work done in Spittal Pond by Dr Martin Thomas in the later 1980s found only the small mosquito fish to be very abundant and a few American eels.

“He also recorded that mullets had been seen on one occasion. He thought that storm events can wash small fishes into the pond from the south shore and this may have happened last fall, with Hurricane Paulette.

“This is an unusual and noteworthy event if the factors that introduced the fishes to the pond are correct and the assumptions about their demise are true.”

Members of the public who see large numbers of dead fish should report them via https://environment.bm/contacts-for-strandings, or call the Bermuda Aquarium Museum and Zoo on 293-2727.

You must be Registered or to post comment or to vote.

Published July 05, 2021 at 7:49 am (Updated July 03, 2021 at 2:06 pm)

Low oxygen levels may have led to fish deaths in Spittal Pond

What you
Need to
Know
1. For a smooth experience with our commenting system we recommend that you use Internet Explorer 10 or higher, Firefox or Chrome Browsers. Additionally please clear both your browser's cache and cookies - How do I clear my cache and cookies?
2. Please respect the use of this community forum and its users.
3. Any poster that insults, threatens or verbally abuses another member, uses defamatory language, or deliberately disrupts discussions will be banned.
4. Users who violate the Terms of Service or any commenting rules will be banned.
5. Please stay on topic. "Trolling" to incite emotional responses and disrupt conversations will be deleted.
6. To understand further what is and isn't allowed and the actions we may take, please read our Terms of Service
7. To report breaches of the Terms of Service use the flag icon