SF Bay Harmful Algae Bloom 2022

There is a massive fish die off going on in the SF Bay and possibly further up the delta due to an ongoing algae bloom of Heterosigma akashiwo. Big fish die offs just started happening in the past few days in Lake Merritt, Palo Alto, Richmond....its really wide spread. If you are out and about in the SF Bay in the coming weeks and see fish or other organisms dead that you may think are associated with the algae bloom, please add them to this project:

"SF Bay Harmful Algae Bloom 2022"
https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/sf-bay-harmful-algae-bloom-2022

If you are tagged in this journal post it is because you are one of the top 100 fish observers in the SF Bay Area.

Thanks for any contributions, they will definitely help agencies figure out the extent of this event and maybe, big maybe investigate the cause and help prevent similar events in the future.

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Publicado por damontighe damontighe, 30 de agosto de 2022

Observaciones

Fotos / Sonidos

Qué

Gobio Aleta Amarilla (Acanthogobius flavimanus)

Observ.

damontighe

Fecha

Agosto 28, 2022 08:17 AM PDT

Comentarios

Yikes, I'd read about this but I didn't realize how bad it was!
I was already planning to wander down to the show in the next few days to see if I could spot any interesting fish species, so I'll definitely add whatever I find.

Are there any human health concerns for breathing in ocean spray / touching stuff etc?

Publicado por graysquirrel hace 3 meses (Marca)

Thanks, Damon - I will try to get by Lake Merritt today as I am slated to go into Oakland.

Publicado por gyrrlfalcon hace 3 meses (Marca)

@graysquirrel - no immediate human health concerns with Heterosigma blooms, but there are a few papers that speculate a toxin but with low evidence. It seems its deadly impact is usually through causing anoxic events. However if you hear anything through health care professionals etc., I would like to know.

Publicado por damontighe hace 3 meses (Marca)

@gyrrlfalcon - I'd love to have you at Lake Merritt, but your knowledge of the bay on your side would be even more valuable as there is data rolling in showing sturgeon, striped bass showing up dead as far south as Santa Clara County, so more data on the Peninsula side of the bay would be a huge help!

Publicado por damontighe hace 3 meses (Marca)

@damontighe - thanks for your important work! I'll add my observations from the east bay to the project, and post this on social media. Any idea for specific places I should check in the south bay? I might be able to go for a short walk today or tomorrow.

Publicado por merav hace 3 meses (Marca)

Thanks for that, @damontighe - will do all sides, as time allows. I've got some routes along the Bay here in San Mateo county that are in need of walking

Publicado por gyrrlfalcon hace 3 meses (Marca)

@damontighe - Will try to get out to San Pablo bay in the next few days. Have shared your story on my instagram as well. So heartbreaking. Thanks for all that you do.

Publicado por direbecca hace 3 meses (Marca)

@damontighe - I should have time to head down to San Pablo Bay tomorrow, possibly some locations in the Napa-Sonoma Marshes or Petaluma River, although I don't know if there is a lot of impact further up tidal water bodies. I see you were over near Mare Island today, so I'll stay further West of that. If you have any tips about where to look or where not to bother, let me know.

Publicado por matthewl hace 3 meses (Marca)

Went to Middle Harbor Shoreline Park at low tide this morning. I didn't see any obvious evidence of a die-off: no groups of dead marine organisms, just a long-dead pinniped and some crab exoskeletons. However, when I went to the channel (by the observation tower) there was a large group of gulls, Caspian Terns, and some cormorants and they seemed to be catching fish suspiciously easily. The water was a bit brownish as well. I suspect the fish were unhealthy but can't prove it. I didn't add any observations to your project but if you want to go for it.

Publicado por tiwane hace 3 meses (Marca)

@damontighe
Since some of the species are auto-obscured, I've added you to my trusted list to make sure you can see the actual locations.

I checked several beaches from near the the Marin Yacht Club, out to Bullhead Flat in China Camp, and found 6 large sturgeon, 1 striped bass, and an unusual number of dead yellow shore crabs.

I also noticed a lot of tiny transparent organisms like these washing up:
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/133025447
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/133025445

Not sure what they all are, but they look like they're probably an important part of the food chain and they're dying in massive numbers. Easy to overlook unless the sunlight is hitting them just right, so that might be a good thing for everyone to keep an eye out for. Not as obvious as the huge dead fish, but I suspect no less important.

I also walked the section of the SF Bay Trail between Baypoint Dr and the Target store in San Rafael and didn't see any obvious impacts there yet. Spotted a few small schools of still-alive minnows hanging out in the shallows.

Publicado por graysquirrel hace 3 meses (Marca)

I worked my way along San Pablo Bay from Day Island to Tubbs Island, but access to the actual shoreline is quite challenging in this area. Most of this is being restored to tidal marsh and mudflat. I saw very little that seemed related, except two bat rays which I'm pretty sure were there a lot longer, possibly wanton waste from clueless shore fishers (hate to say it, as a shore fisher).

In the next few days I'll probably visit the beaches and piers along Paradise Dr. and into Tiburon.

Publicado por matthewl hace 3 meses (Marca)

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