Tag Archives: Zebra Mussels

Relaxing Day at the Beach?

Port Stanley

Mmmmmmmmmmmmm…..

Summer. Beach Weather.

Waves crashing on the shore.  Children laughing as they make sand castles.  The smell of french fries from the nearby restaurant.

I. LOVE. THE. BEACH.

Until a relaxing beach day turns into a worrisome animal-saving excursion, and a lesson about threats to the Great Lakes water system.

Upon arriving at the beach on Saturday, Sandra and I were disgusted to find multiple dead fish, and dead seagulls on the shore of the beach.  Gross. Double Gross.  Since Sandra works in the field of fresh water lakes, and what not, and was ok with still swimming the water, I was too.

That’s when we noticed a seagull hanging out on the beach just where the tide washes into the shore.  People walked by, he didn’t move.  A young girl (who should have known better!!!!!!!) threw a stick at him, he didn’t move. :S Well ok, he was moving, but not flying away, or getting up or anything.

So what did Sandra and I do? Move down the beach?  Find a more peaceful place to tan?  Nope.  Because that’s not the kind of people we are.  We first of all, stood and stared at the bird, and debated picking it up so he wouldn’t drown.  We debated calling the humane society.  We ended up talking to the lifeguards to see what they said.  Long story short, apparently this is very common.  Dead fish and seagulls wash up on the shore daily.  Gross.

According to Sandra, (without making this a science lecture :P) these fish and mussels, are coming in on ships from other waters, and invading our great lakes.  The birds and fish eat them.  Then, they get Botulism.  Then, they grow weak, and die.  Then, they wash up on shore.  Then, the lifeguards have to clean them up.  For reals. I bet they didn’t know that would be in their job description huh?!

Anywho, the lifeguard said someone would deal with it within the hour.

Before that hour however, it seemed as though the seagull was going to be washed into the water, so we had formulated a plan to move the bird a bit away from the water, until Sandra’s husband informed Sandra (via phone call) that seagulls have been known to bite off fingers, and we didn’t really feel like catching Botulism ourselves.

So to jump to the end of this somewhat long story, the seagull was able to move out of the water, a lifeguard came and picked it up properly, and put it in the forest beside the beach (which we did NOT agree with), and most likely ended up dying there.  The fish were thrown in the garbage (ewww), and we tried to enjoy the rest of our afternoon.

Sooooo, who’s up for a swim in Lake Erie?

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