COCOA BEACH, Florida — Thousands of dead fish have washed ashore on Brevard County beaches.
The fish were first seen at daybreak on Wednesday in Cape Canaveral and Cocoa Beach, but have spread further along Brevard County and continue to wash ashore on Thursday.
The fish appear to be American Shad which are typically found offshore except during late winter spawning run into east coast rivers, especially the St. Johns River. A Herring species, Shad typically die after spawning in warm Florida waters, but survive after spawning in colder waters in northern states.
Although onlookers have suspected a bout of red tide as the cause of the fish kill, no other fish species except Shad have washed ashore.
FOLLOW BREVARD TIMES
Cocoa Beach Surf & Fishing Report for December 17
As of 7 a.m. on Thursday, December 17, 2015, light winds are creating calm surf conditions across the east coast of Central Florida.
Jelly Fish: Jelly fish, including Portuguese Man-o-War, are present in the ocean from Jetty Park to Cape Canaveral and Cocoa Beach, Florida.
Seaweed: A small amount of blackening seaweed is present on the beach.
Sharks: Shark sightings have decreased during the past two weeks due to rain and rough surf. However, the abundance of dead fish in the water could attract more sharks today.
Winds: From the south at 4 mph.
Near-shore Current: A near shore current is slowly moving south.
Breaking Waves: 1-3 ft., glassy, and breaking close to shore.
Rip Current Threat: Low
UV Index: 5 (Medium)
Current Temps: Water 74 F Air 73 F
20 Mile Cape Canaveral Buoy: 2.6 ft. swell every 4 seconds.
COCOA BEACH TIDES:
05:35 AM Low
11:57 AM High
06:39 AM Low
12:53 PM High
07:45 AM Low
01:53 PM High
08:50 AM Low
02:55 PM High
09:52 AM Low
03:56 PM High
Clear water, negligible seaweed, a weekend cold snap, and the poor timing of the morning tides will create average conditions for surf fishing this week. Thursday will have the best weather conditions for fishing that Brevard County. Winds will pickup and fishing conditions will deteriorate on Friday and Saturday.
Jacks, Blue Fish and (Snook which season ended December 15) can be caught with live finger mullet on a free line (no weight used) while surf fishing. Croaker, Whiting, Sheepshead, Flounder, and Black Drum can be caught using shrimp on a weighted line near the piers and jetties.
2-4 ft. and semi-glassy on Thursday. 3-4 ft. and choppy on Friday and Saturday. 2-4 ft. and semi-choppy on Sunday.
Volusia-Brevard County Line to Sebastian Inlet 0-20 Nautical Miles
Today…South winds 10 to 15 knots. Seas 2 to 3 feet with a dominant period 7 seconds. A moderate chop on the intracoastal waters. Slight chance of showers.
Tonight…South winds 15 to 20 knots. Seas 3 to 4 feet with a dominant period 6 seconds. Choppy on the intracoastal waters. Slight chance of showers.
Friday…West winds 15 to 20 knots becoming northwest in the afternoon. Seas 3 to 4 feet with a dominant period 5 seconds. Choppy on the intracoastal waters. Chance of showers and slight chance of thunderstorms.
Friday night…North winds 20 to 25 knots. Seas 5 to 7 feet. Rough on the intracoastal waters. Slight chance of showers in the evening.
Saturday…Northeast winds 15 to 20 knots. Seas 5 to 7 feet. Choppy on the intracoastal waters.
Saturday night…Northeast winds 15 to 20 knots. Seas 4 to 6 feet.
Sunday…East winds 15 to 20 knots. Seas 4 to 6 feet.
Sunday night…East winds 10 to 15 knots. Seas 4 to 6 feet.
Monday…Southeast winds 10 to 15 knots. Seas 4 to 6 feet. Slight chance of showers.
Atlantic Coastal Waters from Flagler Beach to Jupiter Inlet out 60 Nautical Miles
Synopsis…A high pressure ridge axis over South Florida will shift eastward today ahead of a strong cold front that will move across Central Florida on Friday. A surge of north-to-northeast winds behind the front will cause winds and seas to build, creating hazardous conditions for small craft late Friday through Saturday. Winds veer onshore and gradually weaken early next week.
Gulf stream hazards…None.
The approximate location of the west wall of the Gulf Stream based on the real time ocean forecast system from Wednesday, December 9th:
44 nautical miles east of Ponce Inlet.
31 nautical miles east of Port Canaveral.
26 nautical miles east of Sebastian Inlet.
15 nautical miles east of Fort Pierce Inlet.
10 nautical miles east of Saint Lucie Inlet.