Trout Kill! Details On Coastal Kill Emerging

Fish Kills Reported-(Updated)
February 15, 2021
NOAA Documents COVID Fishing Impact
February 17, 2021

The worst blow to Texas coastal fisheries in modern history happened when major freezes hit the coast in the 1980s. Many coastal anglers are concerned we are getting a repeat right now.

Listen to this special edition of Higher Calling Gulf Coast for new details on the freeze killing trout, snook and more.

“The high mortality that a freeze can cause may deplete fish stocks for years,” said Robin Riechers, director of TPWD’s Coastal Fisheries Division. “Protection of the surviving fish during the few days when they are especially vulnerable to capture would likely shorten the time period for overall recovery of coastal species, especially spotted sea trout.”

Texas has about two million acres of bays and estuaries susceptible to freeze. There were three major freezes during the 1980s, including one in 1989 when the temperature at Brownsville dropped to 16 degrees and an estimated 11 million fish were killed in the freeze event. The last time there was a closure due to freezing temperatures was in January 2018. That freeze did not kill significant numbers of fish.

Capt. Dean Thomas shared this photo of a big trout and reported, “…so many trout washing up between Aransas Pass and Port Aransas.”

We have also heard of massive amounts of mullet, spot, croaker and sand trout in the nearby Rockport area as well as the tarpon and snook we reported yesterday in Port Mansfield.

Get all the latest details on the podcast and check tomorrow’s TF&G e-newsletter for more updates. We will be covering all aspects of this event.




  1. Peter Jacob says:

    Any updates on cold shocked turtles in Texas Bays and if TPWD have programs to help treat these stunned reptiles?

    • Beth Hawkins says:

      Yes the ARK has over 100 stunned turtles in rehab already and working hard to save as many as possible.