Brown algae?

...Or maybe it wasn't algae.

I don't know what it was exactly. I fished a western facing beach near Seattle last night. I was there Sunday night and there was tons of action in the evening. Lots of hits and near hookups on a popper (I think I didn't get any solid hookups because it's an old fly and the hook needed sharpening, but I had left my hook hone in the car).

Anyway, went out there last night hoping for the same, but got to the beach to find the water clouded up with some brownish red stuff that I am thinking was some kind of algae bloom. This was along the entired expanse of the beach that I could see (at least 1/2 to 1 mile). Can anyone explain what this stuff was?

I fished for a while, but only half-heartedly. Threw more sticks for the dog than flies.

Seemed like it might be kind of pointless to fish in that water, since it would have meant almost no visibility for the fish (and I'm guess the fish would have just avoided it anyway).

I could be wrong though. Maybe it's something the fish like and I should have changed up my tactics. Hopefully someone can chime in who knows a bit about what was going on.


Jim Wallace

Smells like low tide.
I see similar reddish brown blooms in the lower rivers and estuaries out here this time of year, and will see them occur all thru the summer. It must be some kind of algae. I've seen schools of anchovies swimming thru them and in them, too. I wonder if it is the same species of algea that is known as "red tide."

Bob Triggs

Stop Killing Wild Steelhead!
This is pretty much a normal summertime pattern of growth that comes and goes during the summer time sunny months here. The cysts that precipitate out of some algal blooms are responsible for the Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning problems we have in our shellfish. And there are some planktons and algae that produce biotoxins, neurotoxins, and contact with thses substances can cause irritation, or in some instances they can actually damage your health. Rinse all of your stuff off with fresh water really well after fishing. Some planktons and algae can stain fly lines, backing, leaders, waders and clothing etc. Sometimes a mild, warm soapy solution, scrubbed gently on your equipment, can help eliminate this issue. Sometimes the stains run too deep. You should rinse the dog after saltwater swimming too. There are many toxins in our saltwater areas that can, at times, cause health problems in us, and in our pets. The biological issues of fecal coliform and bacterial contamination, usually from septics, but also from agricultural runoff, field drains etc., is of great concern. Especially after rain storms. Storm water run off issues are on the forefront of the threats to our water quality. The Wa Dept of Ecology has some good information on their Beach Program pages, including links to beach closures and public health warnings.

Latest posts