Saturday, February 4, 2023

Drought causes massive fish kills in historically downpiped rivers and lagoons

Over the weekend, on National Route 5, on a bridge that crosses the Salado River in Buenos Aires province, cars crowded the side of the road to watch and photograph an eerie sight: Thousands of fish are lying dead in the river.

A similar situation was experienced in the province of Santa Fe, in The remnants of the shoals are visible in the water at Laguna del Plata, about 20 kilometers from the city of Vera y Pintado, San Justo Department, 180 kilometers north of the capital of Santa Fe, according to a Twitter user who shared a recording with his cell phone. On one side a pile can be seen on the ground, but already floating lifeless on the lagoon.

Strictly speaking, despite rain over the past weekend, the drought continues to show its might, and just as it was previously reflected in the dryness of streams and some lagoons, the fish die-off appears to validate the environmental disaster it has caused The phenomenon La Nina happened last three years.

In conversation with LA NACION, agricultural producer Juan Manuel Zunino, a native of Alberti, the town near the National Route 5 bridge over the Salado River, commented: “The river is at one of its historic downspots. I’m 53 years old and I’ve never seen a river like this As it is now with the water level so low. In many places it is practically cut off and without any current”, he comments.

Dead Fish Floating In The River
dead fish floating in the river Ivan Greco – Ivan Greco

The manufacturer explained that experts in the field assure that they exceed Worst drought in last 60 years, In this context water scarcity was added. Due to the high temperature, the dissolved oxygen in the water gets reduced and there is a massive fish kill in the river., This weekend the local thermometer marked plus 40 degrees. of temperature. He remarked, “There are places where the tents were resting directly on the mud, the water not being high enough to cover them.”

Further, it is added that dredging works were carried out, but 200 meters before and after the bridges were not included, As a result, as elevation decreases, the channel narrows significantly, under conditions of high temperature and drought.

From this sight, more and more dead fishes are being found floating on the river bank. Zunino assured that he had never seen anything like it.

National Route 5 Bridge Over The Salado River
National Route 5 bridge over the Salado River Ivan Greco

The Salado River is one of the streams that run through part of the main agricultural area. Its initial sources are in the La Salamanca, del Indio and Pantanosa lagoons, all connected to the Chanar lagoon, which is located in the vicinity. teodelinasouth of Santa Fe County, Then it runs about 650 km until it ends at the Río de la Plata. It passes through Bragado, Alberti, Chivilcoy, 25 de Mayo, among others.

“There has been water in the river in the recent past, but it has gone down a lot due to the drought of the last three years. The whole year last year saw 622 mm of rain, of which about 400 occurred from late January to March, when the average was between 1000 and 1200 mm.”, indicated Aldo Ruben Bergamini from the Association of Rural Producers of Alberti.

Producers In The Area Assure That They Have Never Seen A River At That Level, Nor Have They Seen Such A Quantity Of Dead Fish.
Producers in the area assure that they have never seen the river at that level, nor have they seen such a quantity of dead fish. Ivan Greco

Further, he indicated in this context that the water level has dropped by two to three metres. ,production is greatly affected, there were already problems planting the crops, very little first-grade corn was made, and for what second-grade was made, conditions were worse than fair. The same happens with first grade soybeans,” he said.

According to the details, Alberti has about 600 producers who work on 120,000 hectares. Agriculture is dominated by livestock.

Along the same lines, Zunino, which has a company that provides spraying services, faced a 15% reduction in activity and huge delays. “Planting of soybean and corn, which usually starts in late September, October or November, was delayed and the focus shifted to December and January. for that reason There are things we should have done in October and November And we’re doing them now, like corn fertilization should have been done in early December, but we’re doing them now,” he remarked.

in Santa Fe

Meanwhile, in Santa Fe Silver Lagoon, According to officials in the field, more than 15,000 samples Various river species failed to survive the steady reduction in water-covered area in that lagoon, about 20 km from the city.

The only hypothesis operated by the experts is that these fish may have died as a result of drop in oxygen levels in their natural habitat due to prevailing weather conditions in the area.

Residents of the area expressed their concern about the mortality rate of various species of fish, such as moncolos, rays, dorados, tarpon and pomfret. Opinions coincide in most cases: This is a very serious event for the region, considering what the cost of removing the dead fish would be, the environmental damage it would cause, and the shutdown of normal summer activities in the lagoon. Is.which, in normal times, was visited by 2,500 to 3,000 residents of the area on weekends.

To illustrate what happens, in normal times, the lagoon has a coastline of about 15 metres. Today the water is about 150 meters from the shore.

Fish Died On The Shore Of The Lagoon
fish died on the shore of the lagoon

,The only problem is bad weather, due to the high temperature the water evaporates and heats up. In recent days we have had temperatures above 40 degrees and the water practicallyboil. There are no live fish left in the lagoon and it will take a long time to recover the resource,” said Daniel Jimenez, manager of the Laguna del Plata campsite.

When asked about the status of the campsite, the manager explained that “it will be closed until further notice, especially since they have already explained to me that nothing can be done with the fish, as any kind of Machinery cannot enter and withdraw through the mud.” it”.

Area Officials Estimate That More Than 15,000 Specimens Of Various River Species Died.
Area officials estimate that more than 15,000 specimens of various river species died.

Finally, the campsite manager said that “This is the first time I’ve seen anything like this because of a drought. It’s going to cause a big retracement. It’s a huge loss; fish aren’t going to grow overnight, especially if they don’t have water.” “she added.

Similar problems were also reported south of Santa Fe. In the Villa Cañas region, 270 kilometers south of the provincial capital, in the General López Department, evaporation due to high temperatures and lack of rain also resulted in high mortality of fish in the La Sorayda lagoon, which also bathes Elortondo and the cities . Hughes.

This situation is considered unprecedented in the past three decades, where the Pejeri variety – one of the most appreciated in the region – has disappeared.

La Sorada is an inland lake, but according to experts, “today there is no more than 30 centimeters of water, so all the oxygen there is consumed and the fish die.”

Conocé Trust Project
Nation World News Desk
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