Tampa, Fla. (970 WFLA)- As freezing temperatures hit Florida, the state is monitoring the fish and wildlife population.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says cold weather can stun sea turtles, making them appear to be dead when they're still alive. Nearly 100 sea turtles have been rescued in northwest Florida and the agency is keeping an eye out for them in other areas including Mosquito Lagoon on the east coast.
The FWS reminds Florida boaters to watch for manatees that may gather in shallow waters to stay warm. Extended periods of unusually cold weather can kill fish outright by cold stress or make fish more susceptible to disease.
Warm-water species, including the popular game fish snook, are particularly vulnerable to cold temperatures. Affected fish may appear lethargic and may be seen at the surface where the water may be warmer from the sun.
The FWC monitors fish disease and mortality events around the state. Report dead and dying fish to the FWC Fish Kill Hotline at 800-636-0511.All other distressed wildlife may be reported to the FWC Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922).