Red tide has been confirmed along the Texas coast, and those in the fishing industry are keeping a sharp eye on the toxic algae, and already worrying about what they will do if it spreads.
The Texas Parks & Wildlife Department began receiving reports of numerous dead and dying fish being sighted on Friday, said marine biologist Meredith Byrd. Dead fish were reported from Quintana Beach to the mouth of the Colorado River. Red tide has not been confirmed as the cause of the fish kills, but Texas State Department of Health Services employees found levels of red tide algae in Galveston waters and ordered areas of Galveston Bay closed to mollusk and shellfish harvesting.
While this bloom appeared earlier than the algae did last year, Byrd said this is isn’t an unusual time for the algae to appear. TPWD is still working to gather information on the red tide bloom.
“This is all very new, so we’re still in the information-gathering phase,” Byrd said. “I have no predictions for how long this is going to last, or how the coast is going to be impacted.”