WEST PALM BEACH, FL--Last month's cold spell killed thousands of fish.
"We've really had some unprecedented cold weather. And cold weather can be good for some fish and it can be bad for some fish," said Tom Twyford, Executive Director of the West Palm Beach Fishing Club.
So bad for some fish, that Florida Fish and Wildlife had to put them on the 'prohibited from possession' list.
"You can't keep any snook until at least September first. Snook, Bonefish, and Tarpon," said Mike Thomas, Store Manager of Tuppen's Marine and Tackle.
South Florida residents might not realize how bad the problem is and it's all due to geography.
"We're insulated by (a) northward current, the Gulf Stream, where it comes no closer to the continental U.S. than off the shores of Palm Beach County. So, our fish were pretty much spared in most cases," said Twyford.
The water is also deeper off the coast. To the north and south the fish in shallow waters weren't so lucky.
"They get stuck and it becomes a watery tomb," said Twyford.
But believe it or not the cold weather wasn't bad news for all fish; in fact, some types of fish actually thrived in our chilly temperatures.
"That cold weather pushes sailfish to our area and pushes them on their migratory route to the south, and sail fishing has been tremendous. Off the hook if you will," said Twyford.
But what happens to fish in other places affects South Florida as well.
"We're gonna have to see what's gonna happen because if it hurt a lot of the big fish and the breeders and everything, you know it may be years before it comes back to the way it was," said Thomas.
So those who love the sport of fishing are ready to do what is needed.
"If additional restrictions are required then we'll take those steps," said Twyford.
Copyright 2010 The E.W. Scripps Co. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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