Dead Fish Washing Up Along Texas Coast Near Corpus Christi

Fish washing ashore along Texas beaches near Corpus Christi on Tuesday.
(Matt Briscoe) 

Corpus Christi, Texas--Hundreds, if not thousands of fish have washed up along the Texas coast near Corpus Christi. The problem was first noted on Tuesday evening when a caller to Matt Briscoe News stated that he had been fishing and noticed fish washing up on the beach causing him some concern. Wednesday, officials from Texas Parks and Wildlife began investigating the fish kill and what might be the root cause of it.

"Everyone is quick to call it 'red tide' and it very well could be, but what the public needs to know is that there could be several causes and the truth is that Parks and Wildlife might not know the exact cause for a few days" Jeff Reynolds, a former biologist said on Wednesday.

Reynolds said that these kind of fish kills are fairly commonplace along the coast and happen almost every single summer.

"The sight, the smell and the thought that dead fish are washing up really gets caught in folks minds and we need to be cautious about prematurely labeling the root cause" says Reynolds.

Officials with Texas Parks and Wildlife Coastal Fisheries Division have been on scene Wednesday assessing the situation.

Reports from Port Aransas to Padre Island National Seashore have been noted and officials are taking great care to investigate the cause.

"It looks like a lot of menhaden and smaller bait fish that are washing ashore" says Reynolds. "These fish are indeed smaller and generally more susceptible to things such as toxic algae blooms and man made toxins. The truth is, we just do not know conclusively until biologists have a chance to review the information."

A spokesperson with Texas Parks and Wildlife said that officials will be releasing more information over the coming hours and days but did confirm that there were low level concentrations of red tide in the water.

Results of TPWD testing will be made available online by the Coastal Fisheries Division.

Red tide produces a toxin that affects the central nervous system of fish, killing them and causing them to wash up on area shores.