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Little water movement in King Harbor basins where massive fish die-off occurred

March 8, 2011 | 12:09 pm

The two basins where most of the dead fish estimated in the millions in Redondo Beach's King Harbor are concentrated get little water movement, which may explain why the fish were deprived of oxygen, a harbor official said.

“Too many fish came through the back basin at the back of the harbor, which gets the least amount" of water movement, said Larry Derr, who heads bait operations. “Water has to be replaced or it gets stagnant.

"It’s hard to imagine this large a body of water can be deprived of oxygen but it happens," he continued. "Certain areas you can see solid silver to the bottom. At some point, they will float up to the surface and it’s not going to be pleasant.”

Derr said the big winners amid the stench of dead fish are sea lions and seagulls.

“They are sitting there fat and happy,” Derr said. “They don’t know what to do with themselves; there are thousands of them.”

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