Massive Fishkill in Stockton Port attributed to lack of dissolved oxygen
November 6, 2008 -- On Tuesday, one of CSPA's readers, Mitch Yturri, reported to CSPA that a massive fish kill had occurred in the City of Stockton's port and turning basin. Several news media people were notified because of his efforts, one of these, KCRA, Channel 3, Sacramento.
KCRA followed up with a story on the Thursday night 6:30 edition of the news where they reported that the suspected culprit in the die off was a lack of dissolved oxygen in the port area. The only fish affected were millions of Threadfin Shad. No other fish were seen in the rotting mass of carcasses when film crews arrived on Thursday.
KCRA interviewed City of Stockton personnel who reported a chronic problem with dissolved oxygen levels in that portion of the port. They suspect that the recent rains increased turbidity in the already oxygen poor water, causing the die off. DFG is investigating the die-off but has given no reason for the fish deaths as of this time.
The area is equipped with underwater aerators to prevent the problem in the hot summer months when water temperatures rise and oxygen levels fall. The system was turned on after the fish kill was discovered but too late to avert a minor disaster.