Man-made OC reef not generating enough fish

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SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. (AP) — Biologists say a San Clemente habitat built to compensate for a drop-off in fish population because of the San Onofre nuclear plant’s warm water emissions isn’t generating enough fish.

The Orange County Register reports that scientists told a Dana Point forum Monday night the 176-acre reef is growing kelp, but only half the fish it should.

The Coastal Commission ordered Southern California Edison to build the reef to help compensate for a drop-off in sea-life because of the San Onofre nuclear plant. Built 30 years ago, the plant’s saltwater cooling system expels warm water, depleting kelp offshore.

The plant has been idle since January 2012 because of damaged tubes in its reactors.

Scientists said it’s too soon to advise whether to ask Edison to build a larger reef.

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