Monday, September 12, 2011

Abalone die-off along the Sonoma coast due to red tide

Closure of Abalone Fishery Under Consideration

 The California Fish and Game Commission will consider emergency action on Thursday, Sept. 15 to possibly close the abalone fishery along the northern California coast. This action is being considered in the wake of confirmed reports of dead red abalone and other invertebrates on beaches and inside coves along the coast in Sonoma County.

The Department of Fish and Game (DFG) is currently attempting to assess the impact of the situation and will provide the Commission with information at this Thursday's meeting. Based on the DFG’s report, the Commission may take emergency action to close the abalone season along all or parts of the Sonoma coast.

There was an abalone die-off along the Sonoma coast beginning Aug. 27 as a result of a red tide-induced poisoning and/or lack of oxygen. According to DFG biologists, these abalone deaths coincided with a local red tide bloom and calm ocean conditions. Although the exact reasons for the abalone deaths are not known, invertebrate die-offs have occurred in the past along the northern California coast when similar weather and bloom conditions existed.

The number of dead and dying abalone is not known but DFG divers are assessing the damage this week via underwater transect surveys. Reports of dead abalone and a variety of invertebrates have come from Bodega Bay, Russian Gulch, Fort Ross, Timber Cove and Salt Point State Park. Other DFG biologists and game wardens have collected abalone, mussels and water samples since the beginning and are continuing to document reports from the public.

For more information, please refer to DFG’s Sept. 2 press release,

Abalone fishermen are advised to contact a physician immediately if they feel sick, and to report symptoms to the local county health department ( latest red tide updates from the California Department of Public Health are also posted online at


  1. Where is all the photographic evidence of this "massive" die off. The Picture shown(#2)in Diver magazine claims it was taken at Reef Campground. It's the same area in the photograph published by the Press Democrat on Sept 7 2011,claimed to have been taken at Fort Ross.
    I challenge anyone to compare the photo of the 2 men standing in the PD photo to the recent one taken by Diver Magazine and tell me that isn't the same spot. Rocks don't move. So was it Fort Ross or Reef Campground? Where are the pictures from Timber Cove, Stillwater Cove, Salt Point? EVERYBODY has a camera these days. Dive Magazine is even requesting any pictures people may have? You think these would have already been published and out on the net. Lot's of anecdotal evidence abounds on diving forums about dead abalone but alas, NO PICTURES. and it all happened Labor day weekend?
    Here is a video taken of the South side of REEF Campground on Saturday September 17
    If Dave Verno(owner of Timber Cove) were alive God rest his soul, I'm sure he would have a strong opinion on all this. I shouldn't have to tell you who he is if you have dove the Sonoma coast. Yes, the stench of this goes all the way to Sacramento.

  2. I saw the dead abs my self. I dove on 9-4-2011, and saw many dead ones under water as well, more in shallow water and less in deeper, 40 feet+, water.

  3. I went to diving on Sept. 4th and saw a lot of dead abs alone the way. I saw them in Reef Camp Ground, Ocean Cove, and Timber Cove. At the place I dove near Fisk Mill Cove there was not too many dead one on beach but in shallow area.
    I dove to about 40 feet deep area and did not see the dead ones. I got one 9.5" and two 8.5". live and healthy. But in the shallow area, about 10-15 feet water, there were a lot of dead one, some of them were still in the shell but the body was pure white in color. Gave you a terrible felling.


Nuclear Waste Water Fukusima From A Drone

G.W. Bush On Explosives At WTC

US Senator Joe Liberman, WTC 7 Did Not Occur