How cold has effected the Octopuses and other species in FL.


Colossal Squid
Staff member
Jul 9, 2009
South Florida
We recently had a cold snap down here is Florida our temps were setting record lows daily. Through this cold snap I was wondering what our eight legged friends were doing to stay warm, well I got the call this morning and found out.

I spoke to a fellow captain who was crazy enough to go out on those really cold days. He reported back with all kinds of strange sightings and weird fish behaviors. Including fish swimming in circles, swimming upside down,and even jumping in the boat, on top of the fact that he spotted thousands of pounds of dead fish. He also reported seeing hundreds and thousands of dead octopuses on the beaches of the islands in Biscayne Bay. He said it appeared as though they were trying to crawl out of the water to get warm. He reported seeing many different sizes and species, but briareus is the only only we could identify.(He has seen Legs so he knew) I had not seen it myself yet as I have been staying warm or stone crabbing lately. I may take the boat out later and investigate......interesting as I am typing this the FWC (Florida Wildlife Commission) is announcing the closure of certain fisheries for the remainder of the year.....

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has issued executive orders to protect Florida's snook, bonefish and tarpon fisheries from further harm caused by the recent prolonged cold weather in the state, which has caused widespread saltwater fish kills. The FWC has received numerous reports from the public and is taking action to address the conservation needs of affected marine fisheries. The orders also will allow people to legally dispose of dead fish in the water and on the shore.

One of the executive orders temporarily extends closed fishing seasons for snook statewide until September. It also establishes temporary statewide closed seasons for bonefish and tarpon until April because of the prolonged natural cold weather event that caused significant, widespread mortality of saltwater fish in Florida. The other order temporarily suspends certain saltwater fishing regulations to allow people to collect and dispose of dead fish killed by the cold weather.


Staff member
Nov 20, 2002
Dallas Texas
This is very sad news, for all the sea creatures affected. Very sorry to hear about the octopuses - shouldn't they had headed for deeper water to find more warmth?

This would be a good oppurtunity to find out what species showed up. There must be many that we rarely see.

Thanks for giving us a first hand account.



Certified Ceph Head For Life
Staff member
Sep 4, 2006
Gainesville, GA
I asked one of the people with CRF (FL Keys) and they too are seeing lots of dead fish. I know Ken does not have heat in some of the housing space but they have added space heaters so the captured livestock for Sea Life Inc and Island Marine Life are surviving.

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