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El Niño Likely to Bring Unfamiliar Fish to West Coast

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El Niño Likely to Bring Unfamiliar Fish to West Coast

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Service (NOAA) predicts that El Niño will likely begin by August, and although experts opinions’ differ on how strong the weather event will be, many say that warm water temperatures will bring unfamiliar fish species to the West Coast. Anglers in California can expect fish normally found off the coast of Mexico such as yellowfin tuna and dorado, and even other exotic species such as striped marlin and hammerhead sharks.

“In non-El Niño years, upwelling of deep, cold ocean water brings up nutrients that lie near the bottom. Fish living in the upper waters feed plankton that are dependent on these nutrients,” stated the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. “Kelp forests also depend on cool, nutrient-rich water for survival and growth. An El Niño reduces the upwelling of cold water off the coast of the Americas. When this happens, fish either die or migrate into areas where they’ll find more to eat.”

The last massive El Niño occured in 1997-1998 when a mass of albacore greeted California anglers. Although the signs for a “monster El Niño” seem to be fading, some scientists still predict a strange and productive season for anglers.

“People are like, ‘Who needs Mexico?’” Donna Kalez, general manager of Dana Wharf Sportfishing, told GrindTv.com. “You should see our public launch ramp. It’s the longest line we’ve seen in 10 years.”

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