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Angler's Oil Report: The View from Gulf Shores

Posted on June 25 2010

matthews_gulf1.jpgLast night Zach Matthews, who writes for several fly fishing publications, sent us his report on what the Gulf oil spill looks like from the shores of his old stomping grounds.
Excerpt: “As our week on the beach progressed, conditions changed. A series of storms shifted the wind to the south, and the tar balls began coming in. The balls initially ranged in size from chocolate chips to Hershey’s kisses, which they resemble. I counted only thirty or so in an afternoon in front of our beach house. Most of the balls float, but not all; moreover, any debris washing up was uniformly coated in oil. A Coke bottle had clearly been bathed in the stuff. Ironically much of the debris appeared to have fallen from cleanup boats (such as a plastic bag—“Intruder” brand—from a set of safety glasses).
Two days after the storms, the tar balls ceased to be countable, and became more of a mat. Skimmer birds dipped their beaks in the morass, seeking fish which were already doomed. I saw nocturnal sand-crabs staggering about in daytime, unable to stand, flipping onto their backs at any movement. Clearly much of the wildlife is already suffering.”

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