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Old 11-07-2019, 11:26 PM   #1
The future is unwritten
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 67,929
Nov 7th, 2019 : Frozen Fishcicles

I remember seeing this picture back in 2015 or '16 but only guessed how it happened.
The US Fish & Wildlife Service dug it up and recently posted it in a “Caption Call” contest online.

On February 28, 2015 I was out birding when I came across an unusual sight. Along the shoreline of the lake at the refuge were vertical, 3'-4' sheets of greenish ice with dead fish trapped inside. It appeared that the fish were jumping and it looked like a freeze frame sort of photo. I looked at it in awe and took a few photos. I had gone back again on March 28, 2016 to take a few more photos, but by that time it was crumbling apart.

Several folks have asked about this photo's backstory. Here is how the photographer, Kelly Preheim, a regular visitor to Lake Andes National Wildlife Refuge, explains it: "The lake levels were low due to drought. The fish kill was due to depleted oxygen. When thick ice (particularly if it gets covered with snow) forms on a lake's surface, it blocks out the sun, and the algae/plants don’t photosynthesize and produce oxygen, thus depleting oxygen levels. If the aquatic plants and algae subsequently die and decompose, this also uses oxygen, further depleting levels, so the fish essentially suffocate from lack of oxygen. The fish died and floated to the surface. When the weather turned even colder, the ice expanded pushing it toward the shore where it buckled and went vertical. or it may have been driven there by very strong winds. The thousands of frozen fish on the lake attracted hundreds of Bald Eagles, various gulls and American Crows as they fed on the dead fish. It was quite a sight and it smelled very fishy out there for quite awhile."

The NY Times wrote...

Correction: Jan. 31, 2017
An earlier version of this article referred imprecisely to oxygen created through the process of photosynthesis. While carbon dioxide and water are turned into carbohydrates and oxygen, the oxygen comes from two water molecules; it is not the case that plants convert carbon dioxide into oxygen.
Fishcicles happen in Norway too.


Brandolini’s Law – Energy to refute bullshit is an order of magnitude bigger than to produce it.
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