Low-oxygen event troubling in Hood Canal
Arrr mateys, there’s nothin’ like a
noggin o’ rum cuppa joe to sober wake ye up on a Thursday morn. And there’s nothin’ like a depressing video of a fish die-off to harsh ye mellow. The footage of Hood Canal comes from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and includes a brief explanation of the problem:
Hood Canal is an underwater fjord where normal oxygen exchange in the water takes place slowly because of the depth of the water and the canal’s shape. Nitrogen entering the water from human sources stimulates algae blooms in the canal. When algae decomposes, it absorbs oxygen from the water. Under certain weather and wind conditions, the level of life-sustaining dissolved oxygen in the water drops so low that fish and other underwater species suffocate.
Parts of Hood Canal are prime habitat for slow-reproducing species, such as rockfish and lingcod. These fish are most susceptible to low-oxygen events because they normally live as long as 25 years before reproducing offspring. [Emphasis be mine.]
The video speaks for itself. It’s pretty gruesome, so I recommend watching with one eye closed. (This here’s where an eyepatch comes in handy!) As Billy Frank, Jr., says “[Puget Sound] is hollerin’ for help.”