The shocking discovery of thousands of dead fish washing up on a Texas beach south of Houston has local officials and fishermen expressing concern. The cause of the mysterious fish death is not known at this time.
Freeport, Texas, is home to beaches normally filled with weekend vacationers and fisherman. The discovery of thousands of dead fish washing up on the beach for no apparent reason, that may change for the near future.
The dead fish were found from the mouth of the Brazos River to several hundred yards up the beach, according to Click2Houston NBC. One need only follow their nose to find the devastating scene.
“As I made my way down there I could tell there was an abundant smell as well,” Freeport City Manager Gilbert Arispe told reporter Keith Garvin. “The sheer amount when I got there, it was shocking.”
While no confirmation of the cause of the fish kill has been determined, local fishermen and city officials suspect red tide algae. Red tide is a naturally produced algae that robs the water of oxygen needed for animal life in the water. It also adds toxins to the water, Garvin reported.
Officials are quick to assure the public that the beaches and water are safe for humans, but the city has requested people to stay away for the time being.
Fishermen also expressed concern as game fish have also been spotted on the beaches. Garvin reported sightings of flounder and trout on the beaches.
“Lots of dead fish, hardly any bait in the water,” Cameron Duhon of Freeport told Garvin. “The fish are few and far between. The fishing ain’t no good right now.”
Duhon predicted it could take months, or even up to two years to rebuild fishing to the levels of just a few weeks ago. “Because all the game fish washing in,” Duhon explained, “the population’s going to have to build back up right here.”
Another fisherman, Tyler Byrne told Garvin “If it keeps up it’s going to get worse and worse, start killing everything.”
Officials from Texas Parks and Wildlife are expected to arrive on the scene Thursday to begin an investigation as to the actual cause of the fish kill. Garvin reported that red tide has been confirmed at other locations further down the Texas coast, including the Corpus Christi area and South Padre Island.
On Monday, Texas Parks and Wildlife reported their investigation of other fish kills. One suck fish kill occurred on the beaches of Portland, Texas. Ingleside Cove also reported dead fish washing up on beaches. The agency’s website lists other reports of red tide along Texas beaches. More information about red tide and potential human health impacts can be found on the agency’s FAQ page.
Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas and is a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.