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Fish Mass Die-off Near Galveston, Texas

Posted by feww on August 14, 2012

Large fish kill off Galveston blamed on neurotoxic algal bloom

As many as a million dead Gulf menhaden that littered Galveston’s West End beaches on the weekend are believed to have been killed by an algal bloom known as Karenia brevis.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Dept (TPWD) said it had received reports of fish kills from Sea Rim State Park, Sargent Beach and Surfsidehas, and confirmed a bloom of Karenia brevis, also known as red tide, in Galveston Bay.


Karenia brevis. Photo:  FFWCC

Current Status

August 13, 2012 – afternoon

TPWD began receiving reports of fish kills on Friday, August 10. The reports were from Quintana Beach to the mouth of the Colorado River and included mostly Gulf menhaden with a few mentions of gafftopsail and hardhead catfish. Additional fish kills were reported over the weekend at Surfside Beach and Galveston; samples were collected from the Surfside jetty and San Luis Pass to look for Karenia brevis. Dead flounder and stingrays have been reported at Kemah and Bacliff; biologists originally thought that low oxygen levels were to blame, but additional investigations will be conducted to determine if K. brevis is the cause. In addition, fishermen reported coughing and dead fish 4 miles offshore of Galveston.

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