St. Johns River Fish Kills

Based on preliminary results, including the findings from water testing performed by scientists at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, a primary hypothesis for the fish kill is that the kills were caused by low level toxins in the St. Johns River. In the few fish specimens tested so far, researchers observed significant effects in the internal organs, with damage to the heart, liver, pancreas, kidney, and brain. In addition, the red blood cells in the fish appeared to be destroyed by a type of toxin known as a hemolysin. This toxin can be produced by algae, bacteria, or chemicals in the water, or by pathogens (e.g. bacteria that cause disease) that infect fish. Note: This resource has been updated for the 2013 report.

Publisher - Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC)

Subjects - Fish Kill

Citation: FWC. 2013. St. Johns River Fish Kills. Tallahassee (FL): Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (FWRI).