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Fish can handle cold temperatures up to a certain point, but this winter is proving to be too much for many of them.

Virginia cold snap kills thousands of fish

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    Tuesday, February 18, 2014, 6:20 PM -

    Fishing is a passion for many in Virginia Beach down in the U.S., but recent cold temperatures are proving to be too much for fish to handle.

    Fish can take cold temperatures up to a certain point, but after that, they become lethargic and many die.

    It's called a cold stun kill.

    Susanna Musick with the Virginia Institute of Marine Science collects data on the speckled trout.

    "From the limited data we have in terms of numbers, it just seems to be on a larger scale this year," she says.


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    Many fish species swim to warmer waters when the weather gets this cold, but not all.

    Some stay in the Chesapeake Bay and hang out for the random warm days.

    While die-offs are a naturally-occurring event,  it can be heartbreaking to people who love fishing for speckled trout and puppy drum.

    Some fish have managed to survive the cold, which is a welcome sight for the fishing community.

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