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Studies: Floyd, other major hurricanes of '99 caused significant changes in nation's largest lagoonal estuary

part of the sound, however, catches of some species tripled or more since the more mobile animals moved there from out of the estuaries in response to the fresh water influx.

Also, Dr. Edward Noga, a professor at N.C. State University's College of Veterinary Medicine, found that by late October, 1999 between 10 percent and 20 percent of pinfish, spot and croaker suffered lesions, sores or sloughing skin, and between 50 percent and 70 percent showed signs of systemic bacterial infections. A year earlier, the incidence of external sores in the Neuse River estuary was 0.18 percent in sport and 0.14 percent in croaker.

Overall, Pamlico Sound appears to be rebounding well from the major storms, Paerl said. "The real question is -- if we're going to have 20 or more years of more frequent hurricanes as our meteorologist friends predict -- how many times can the system bounce back in the face of high fishing pressure?" he said.


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Contact: David Williamson
David_Williamson@unc.edu
919-962-8596
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
6-May-2001


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