Thursday, January 7, 2010

FWC News - Cold temperatures impact Fla. fish, wildlife

FWC News - Cold temperatures impact Fla. fish, wildlife
To report a dead or distressed manatee, call the FWC Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922).
Cold weather also can affect sea turtles. When the water temperature drops, stunned sea turtles may float listlessly in the water or wash onto shore. Although these turtles may appear to be dead, they are often still alive. It is important to report these turtles to the FWC Wildlife Alert Hotline as soon as possible.

The FWC, working with the Sea Turtle Stranding and Salvage Network, recovered more than 250 cold-stunned sea turtles in Mosquito Lagoon in Brevard County this past week. Sea turtle rehabilitation facilities throughout the state will house these animals until they can be released when temperatures warm.

The FWC Fish Kill Hotline has received several reports of cold-related fish kills over the past few days. Extended periods of unusually cold weather can kill fish outright by cold stress or make fish more susceptible to disease. Warm-water species, including the popular game fish snook, are particularly vulnerable to cold temperatures. Fish affected by the cold may appear lethargic and may be seen at the surface where the water may be warmer from the sun. Recreational regulations still apply with these fish.

The FWC monitors fish disease and mortality events around the state. The FWC asks the public to report dead and dying fish to the Fish Kill Hotline at 800-636-0511.

All other distressed wildlife may be reported to the FWC Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922).

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