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Archived Status Reports

2011-2012

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March 8, 2012

Effective on Friday, March 9, 2012, the approved area of Lavaca Bay, St. Charles Bay, Corpus Christi Bay, the Lower Laguna Madre and South Bay will open to the harvesting of shellfish. Matagorda Bay is the only bay that remains closed.

March 6, 2012

At this time, there are no reports of red tide anywhere along the Texas coast. For the latest information on the status of oyster harvest areas, call DSHS at 1-800-685-0361. For information on red tide, visit the DSHS Seafood and Aquatic Life Group website.

February 16, 2012

More bays are opening to shellfish harvesting. Effective Friday, February 17, 2012, the Texas Department of State Health Services will open the conditionally approved area of San Antonio Bay, South Approved Area of San Antonio Bay, and the approved area of Mesquite Bay to the harvesting of shellfish. The other open areas are the approved area of Copano Bay; Espiritu Santo Bay; conditionally approved areas 1, 2 and 3 of Lavaca Bay; approved areas 1 and 2 of East Matagorda Bay; as well as conditionally approved area 1 and the North, Central, Smith Point and East approved areas of Galveston Bay.

February 9, 2012

More good news for oystermen, as of Friday, February 10, the Texas Department of State Health Services will reopen the North Approved Area of San Antonio Bay to shellfish harvesting.

February 8, 2012

DSHS will open Conditionally Approved Area 1 as well as the North, Central, Smith Point and East Approved Areas of Galveston Bay beginning Thursday, February 9. Espiritu Santo and Conditionally Approved Areas 1, 2 and 3 of Lavaca Bay remain open to shellfish harvesting as well.

February 1, 2012

Conditionally approved areas 1, 2 and 3 of Lavaca Bay will open to shellfish harvesting on Thursday, February 2, joining Espiritu Santo Bay as the only areas open at this time.

January 26, 2012

A very small portion of Texas waters will open to shellfish harvesting tomorrow. At 12:01 am on Friday, January 27, 2012 Espiritu Santo and the conditionally approved area of San Antonio Bay will open to commercial oyster harvest. However, due to the recent rains in the Austin area, the conditional area of San Antonio Bay might not remain open for long. DSHS will continue to monitor the red tide and will open areas to harvesting when it is safe to do so. For the latest information on the opening and closing of oyster harvest areas, call DSHS at 1-800-685-0361.

January 24, 2012

Cell counts continue to drop all along the coast; samples collected recently from East Matagorda, San Antonio and Espiritu Santo bays were all free of red tide. Oyster season still remains closed in all Texas waters while more tests are conducted. If any bays are able to open to shellfish harvesting, we will post that information as soon as possible.

January 20, 2012

Oyster season remains closed, and the Texas Department of State Health Services continues to monitor the bays for red tide. Cell counts have dropped but levels remain above the threshold needed to reopen the bays to shellfish harvesting. No fish kills or aerosols have been reported from anywhere along the coast this week. Dead fish from previous fish kills may still be visible in some bays.

January 10, 2012

Matagorda Bay: Large, dead mullet were washing ashore yesterday at the TPWD Perry R. Bass Marine Fisheries Research Center near Palacios.

Aransas/Copano Bay: DSHS staff found high concentrations of Karenia brevis in a sample collected last week from Long Reef at the ICWW. Low to moderate concentrations were found at the Copano Bay causeway, Lap Reef, Fulton Harbor, Rockport Harbor, Key Allegro, ICWW markers 7 and 49, Mud Island, the Port Aransas jetties and the Port Aransas marina.

Corpus Christi Bay: DSHS found low cell concentrations last week at Shamrock Cove and the Corpus Christi Marina L-head.

January 6, 2012

Copano Bay: On Wednesday, fishermen discovered aerosols, discolored water and dead mullet near the Copano Creek discharge area (Turtle Pen.)

Nueces Bay: Dead mullet were reported in the northern portion of the bay near Portland this week.

January 3, 2012

TPWD has not received any reports of fish kill or discolored water from anywhere along the coast this week. Data indicate that the red tide is persisting but at lower concentrations.

December 30, 2011

Galveston Bay: DSHS collected samples this week and found K. brevis present at all the sampling locations except 5 Mile Cut in upper Galveston Bay. No dead fish were reported from the bay.

San Antonio Bay: An angler posted on the TPWD HAB Facebook page that he saw no dead fish in San Antonio Bay on Tuesday and was able to catch trout and redfish along Matagorda Island after not having any luck in San Antonio Bay.

Rockport: A resident reports that the water in the Bayhouse Condos canal is no longer discolored.

December 28, 2011

Matagorda Bay: TPWD Coastal Fisheries crews report visible bloom in the bay this week.

Aransas/Copano Bay: TPWD was notified of dead mullet at the end of a canal between Canvasback Lane and Lakeshore Drive in Rockport. DSHS found red tide in all their samples taken on Tuesday, including Copano Bay at the causeway, Copano Bay at Lap Reef, Aransas Bay offshore of Fulton, Aransas Bay at Long Reef, Aransas Bay at ICWW marker 49, and along the back side of San Jose Island. The highest cell concentrations were found near Key Allegro and inside Fulton Harbor.

Mustang Island State Park: Conditions are nice at the park, with no aerosols or discolored water this week.

Padre Island National Seashore: The Visitors’ Center reports no aerosols or discolored water on the beaches.

December 21, 2011

Matagorda/Carancahua Bay: On Tuesday, TPWD crews saw lots of visible bloom and dead fish in Carancahua Bay, including mullet, legal sized trout, and one redfish. They also saw heavily discolored water and working birds in the eastern arm of Matagorda Bay but didn’t see dead fish.

Rockport: Rockport Harbor is still experiencing a red tide-related fish kill. On Monday, TPWD received word of a fish kill off Water Street in front of the Laguna Reef Hotel; mullet were the dominant species seen.

Port Aransas/Mustang Island: Cell counts were low this morning at UTMSI. The water samples contained 50% K. brevis cells and 50% K. mikimotoi cells. No aerosols or dead fish have occurred this week along Port Aransas or Mustang Island beaches, but the area is seeing unusually high numbers of Portuguese man-o-war washing ashore.

Corpus Christi: On Tuesday, TPWD crews working in Nueces Bay found discolored water and approximately 100 mullet that were 2-3 days old.

South Padre Island: K. brevis continues to be found at varying concentrations around the island and Port Isabel.

December 19, 2011

Matagorda/Lavaca Bays: DSHS found low to moderate concentrations of K. brevis around Port O’Connor last Wednesday. Visible bloom and dead fish were seen near the boat ramp at Bayfront Peninsula Harbor on Lavaca Bay.

South Padre Island: Dead fish remain on the beaches north of town. The densities are fairly low north of beach access 6 until approximately mile 15. From there you begin to see higher numbers of fish (predominantly striped mullet) all the way to the south Mansfield jetty. Moderate aerosols were reported along this stretch of beach yesterday.

December 14, 2011

Matagorda Bay/Lavaca Bay: Dead mullet and jellyfish have washed ashore near Virginia Street in Port Lavaca and at Magnolia Beach.

Aransas Bay: TPWD responded to a reported fish kill in Aransas Pass yesterday and found recently dead mullet at Harbor East and Harbor West. Old dead mullet were also found in 2 locations in Little Bay: at the Bayhouse Condos and near Laurel Street. Patches of dead mullet were found along Fulton Beach Road as well.

Port Aransas/Mustang Island: Water samples collected at the UTMSI pier contain low concentrations of cells, mostly Karenia mikimotoi and a few K. brevis. Conditions are nice today at Mustang Island State Park, no aerosols or dead fish.

Padre Island: Hundreds of dead fish have been reported today all along the shoreline of Packery Channel near the JFK Causeway bridge. Very mild aerosols are being reported at Padre Island National Seashore today. A fish kill was reported yesterday beginning around the 35 mile mark.  

Corpus Christi Bay:  Discolored water and feeding birds were seen yesterday near the TAMU-CC campus.

South Padre Island: TPWD received a report today of a fish kill beginning approximately 7 miles north of beach access 6 and continuing north for an undetermined distance. Fresh dead mullet and hardheads as well as old dead ladyfish, menhaden and toadfish have been observed, and aerosols become worse as you head north. TPWD will follow up on the report. City crews collected water samples today and found moderate to high concentrations at Good Hope beach access and the Polaris Street boat ramp.

December 9, 2011

San Jose Island: Aerosols were bothersome yesterday and old dead mullet ranging in size from small to large were washing ashore. Mullet were also washed up at the high tide line. One large alligator gar measuring 5 feet in length was found dead on the beach.

Aransas Bay: DSHS collected samples on Thursday and found that cell concentrations had dropped significantly. The highest concentrations were in the ICWW at marker 49 and at Cove Harbor.

Port Aransas: Moderate concentrations of K. brevis and K. mikimotoi continue to come through the pass today, but no aerosols or dead fish have been observed.

Packery Channel: Aerosols were noted near the jetties today.

South Padre Island: Cell concentrations remain low around the island. Large mullet are reportedly dying near the east end of the causeway.

December 7, 2011

Galveston Bay: Visible bloom was reported recently from the Texas City dike area, however, no dead fish were seen.

Aransas Bay: A caller reported dead fish along the Aransas Bay shoreline Key Allegro yesterday. TPWD investigated and found old mullet that had been dead for a few days. No fresh dead fish were seen.

Port Aransas: K. brevis cells are still being found at the UTMSI pier. Abundance rises and falls depending on the tides. No new fish kills have been reported.

December 5, 2011

Mustang Island State Park: Conditions at the park are nice today, as the north winds are blowing any aerosols offshore.

Padre Island National Seashore: Dead mullet were washing ashore last week, but no new fish kills have been reported today. Park staff plan to make a trip down the island this week to assess red tide conditions.

South Padre Island: Sampling by the Red Tide Rangers yielded low concentrations at Long Island Village, the west end of the causeway, Isla Blanca Boat Ramp, Brazos-Santiago Pass, and Beach Accesses 5 and 6. Moderate concentrations have been found at the east end of the causeway as well as at the UT Pan American Coastal Studies Lab. A caller reported large numbers of mullet washing ashore dead along the bay side of the island near Red Snapper Drive.

December 2, 2011

Aransas Bay: TPWD Coastal Fisheries staff investigated two areas of red tide on Thursday. At Key Allegro near the Little Bay jetties they found a large number of feeding seagulls and a large area of discolored water. On the south side of Mud Island they found a smaller patch of red tide near the shoreline and hundreds of fresh dead striped mullet along with a small number of red drum. Gulls and pelicans were feeding on the dead fish. Feeding birds and patches of red tide were found in Rockport yesterday between the Bay Education Center on the north and the entrance to Rockport Harbor on the south. Aerosols were noted as well.

Padre Island National Seashore: Another fish kill has occurred along Padre Island National Seashore down to the 17-mile mark. The fish kill is comprised of mostly mullet and is heaviest north of the 15-mile mark.

November 29, 2011

Matagorda and San Antonio Bays: Patches of red tide and old dead fish continue to be reported from these bays.

Rockport/Port Aransas: Cell concentrations coming through the pass at Port Aransas remain in the low to moderate range. Fresh dead catfish and one large redfish were seen yesterday in the pass. DSHS sampled the Aransas Bay area last Friday and report old dead mullet throughout the bay. The red tide seemed less visible throughout most of the bay with the exceptions of Half Moon Reef and Fulton Harbor, where cell concentrations were high. Cell concentrations were moderate at Rockport Harbor and low at Cove Harbor, Long Reef, Fulton, Lap Reef, the Copano Bay Causeway and ICWW marker 49.

Padre Island: Beachgoers reported fresh dead fish and heavy aerosols over the weekend at Padre Island National Seashore and Bob Hall Pier.

South Padre Island: The Red Tide Rangers at the University of Texas Coastal Studies Lab on South Padre Island reported moderate cell counts Monday at Isla Blanca Park on South Padre Island, the Laguna Madre, and in Brazos Santiago Pass. They found an extremely low count at Boca Chica Beach. No aerosols were reported.

November 23, 2011

The next red tide update will be posted Monday, Nov 28. The red tide is still affecting much of the Texas coast from Galveston Bay to South Padre Island. Cell counts were low yesterday along the back side of San Jose Island. Low to moderate cell concentrations continue to be found around the Port Aransas and South Padre Island areas. A beachgoer reported high aerosols on Tuesday from approximately Bob Hall Pier to Malaquite Beach. The north winds have diminished aerosols in Port Aransas today.

November 22, 2011

TPWD has received reports of people recreationally harvesting oysters. As a reminder, all Texas bays are closed to the harvesting of molluscan shellfish by the Texas Department of State Health Services due to the ongoing red tide. The red tide brevetoxin presents a risk of Neurotoxic Shellfish Poisoning (NSP) in people who consume filter-feeding shellfish such as oysters, clams, whelks and mussels. For the current status of shellfish harvesting areas, call the TDSHS at 1-800-685-0361.

Galveston area: Patches of red tide were found last week in East Bay and near the Texas City dike.

Aransas Bay: No new fish kills have been reported recently, but old dead fish continue to be found floating in Lydia Ann Channel and other locations within the bay.

South Padre Island/Lower Laguna Madre: TPWD staff have seen small numbers of dead mullet floating in the lower Laguna Madre between Port Mansfield and Port Isabel. Dead fish have also been reported this week around Beach Access 5 and at Boca Chica.

November 21, 2011

Espiritu Santo Bay: A fisherman posted on the TPWD HAB Facebook page that he was on the bay on Sunday and did not see much red tide. His party caught fish all along the First Chain of Islands.

Port Aransas: Cell counts were low this morning at the UTMSI pier. No aerosols have been reported from the area.

South Padre Island: The Red Tide Rangers found low concentrations of K. brevis today at Long Island Village, both ends of the causeway, the Isla Blanca boat ramp and the UT-Pan American Coastal Studies Lab. Cell concentrations were moderate at Brazos-Santiago Pass. Only slight aerosols were noted around the island.

November 18, 2011

Galveston Bay: Samples collected on Thursday by DSHS from Houston Ship Channel marker 85 (south of Morgan’s Point) and marker 65 (adjacent to Clear Lake channel) had low concentrations of K. brevis.

Matagorda Bay: TPWD received notification of red tide-related fish kills inLynn’s Bayou (Port Lavaca) and Turtle Bay.

San Antonio Bay vicinity: A user posted a report on the TPWD HAB Facebook page of dead fish at Swan Point, Hynes Bay, Welder Flats and eastern Shoalwater Bay. He was able to land some fish at the western end of Shoalwater Bay and Steamboat Pass.

Offshore of Port Aransas and Mustang Island: On Wednesday, TPWD staff collected trawl samples in the nearshore gulf (out to 9 nautical miles) from the Port Aransas jetties south to the Fish Pass. No patches of discolored water, aerosols, floating fish or birds feeding were observed.

Aransas Bay: Dead mullet have been found in numerous locations around the bay this week.

Corpus Christi Bay: TPWD was notified of a fish kill this week in Nueces Bay at Portland’s Seabreeze RV Park. Approximately 500 fish (mostly mullet) were reported dead along the bay and rocks.

South Padre Island: Samples collected from the South Padre Island area this week have contained low to moderate cell concentrations. Aerosols are slight to moderate today at beach accesses 5 and 6, the UTPA Coastal Studies Lab and the Isla Blanca boat ramp. Cell counts were high at the east end of the Causeway.

November 15, 2011

San Antonio Bay: TPWD Coastal Fisheries staff found visibly discolored water and noticeable aerosols in Hynes Bay and upper San Antonio Bay on Monday. Seagulls and pelicans were feeding on dead and dying fish.

Aransas Bay: DSHS collected water samples from around the bay and report that large areas of the bay have visible signs of red tide, including dead fish scattered throughout the bay. High cell concentrations were found at Half Moon Reef, Long Reef, San Jose Island, in the middle of the bay. Relatively low concentrations were found at Cove Harbor, ICWW marker 49, the Copano Bay Causeway and in Copano Bay at Lap Reef. Heavy blooms are occurring in Rockport and Fulton Harbors. On Wednesday, TPWD will assess a fish kill occurring from Long Reef north to Spalding Reef.

Mustang Island State Park reports intermittent aerosols yesterday with the changing winds. No new fish kills are occurring along the park's boundaries.

South Padre Island: The Red Tide Rangers at the University of Texas Coastal Studies Lab report moderate cell counts and aerosols today at Isla Blanca Park.

November 11, 2011 overflight observations

Due to time constraints, the flight was only able to cover the middle coast.

Gulf of Mexico: Patches of red tide observed from Pass Cavallo south to the northern border of Padre Island National Seashore. The largest patches were along Matagorda Island, tapering off further south. A suspected fish kill was observed offshore of Mustang Island around Mustang Towers.

Heavy streaking was observed throughout Matagorda Bay, Tres Palacios Bay, Carancahua Bay, Keller Bay, Cox Bay, and Lavaca Bay. Espiritu Santo, Hynes and San Antonio bays all had heavy streaking, with a number of probable fish kills noted in San Antonio Bay. Discolored water was also observed in Guadalupe Bay.

Discolored water and light streaking was observed in the open waters of Aransas Bay between Lamar Peninsula, Fulton, and Deadman Island and the northern section of Copano Bay. Heavy streaking was observed in the southern area of Aransas Bay between the cove, Mud Island and Lydia Ann Channel. Potential fish kills were observed around the Aransas Bay complex as well.

Flight restrictions prevented flying into Nueces Bay. Redfish Bay had areas of moderate streaking. Discolored water was observed along the southern portion of Corpus Christi Bay from Corpus Christi Inner Harbor to Shamrock Island. Streaking was heaviest between Ward Island, Shamrock Island and the bay side of Mustang Island State Park. Potential fish kills were observed around the Corpus Christi Bay complex.

November 10, 2011

Aerosols remain very low along the coast due to the north winds but may return tomorrow as the winds shift to the southeast. The red tide overflight has been rescheduled for tomorrow. TPWD collected water samples from the upper Houston Ship Channel near Baytown but found no evidence of red tide.

November 9, 2011

The cold front is once again diminishing the red tide aerosols and temporarily improving conditions along the coast.

Mustang Island State Park: Aerosols and discolored water have disappeared with the north winds. Small numbers of dead fish are still washing in along the beaches.

Matagorda Bay/San Antonio Bay: TPWD staff continue to see dead and dying fish all around the bays, particularly near Ayres Bay and the Guadalupe Delta.

Aransas Bay/Copano Bay: DSHS noted visible streaks of discolored water yesterday in Lydia Ann Channel and birds feeding all through the middle of Aransas Bay. Cell counts were highest in the middle of Aransas Bay, with moderate concentrations of K. brevis at Cove Harbor and the Copano Bay causeway. Low concentrations were found at Long Reef, ICWW marker 7, the mouth of St. Charles Bay, Lap Reef, and Fulton.

South Padre Island: Cell concentrations remain relatively low and aerosols are mild to nonexistent around the island.

November 8, 2011

Galveston Bay: DSHS sampling found low to moderate concentrations of K. brevis at Houston Ship Channel markers 16 (Bolivar Roads), 25 (Texas City Dike), 35, 47 and 55, oyster leases 301 and 414, the east end of the seawall, the south jetty and the Galveston Yacht Basin.

Matagorda Bay: A caller reports dead mullet and ladyfish and feeding seagulls in Turtle Bay near Jensen Point. DSHS found heavy bloom in Lavaca Bay, Carancahua Bay, and Matagorda Bay all the way to Palacios Harbor. Visibly discolored water was seen from the TPWD Perry R. Bass Marine Fisheries Research Center to Port O’Connor. Cell concentrations were high at Palacios Channel marker #44, the Perry R. Bass intake and in Matagorda Bay offshore of the Carancahua Bay mouth.

Aransas Bay: Red tide is causing fish kills around the Rockport area, including Water Street (south of downtown), the Copano Causeway bridge, the harbor, the Bayhouse canal subdivision on Canoe Lake and Rockport Beach. Discolored water has also been reported around the bay.

Port Aransas: The incoming tide brought lower concentrations of K. brevis coming through the pass, but aerosols persist.

Padre Island National Seashore: PINS staff sampled at the 0 and 18.5 mile markers, finding relatively low cell counts and no new dead fish. Light aerosols were detected at the 18.5 mile mark.

South Padre Island: TPWD biologists report no new dead fish on the beaches from town up to the East Cut, but light aerosols are present the entire way. Out in the surf they could see discolored water and foam as well as feeding birds. Cell counts were high at Pompano Avenue in Port Isabel and moderate at the San Martin boat ramp, Brazos-Santiago Pass, Isla Blanca boat ramp, Sea Ranch Marina, both ends of the causeway, the UTPA Coastal Studies Lab, and beach access roads 5 and 6.

November 7, 2011

TPWD has tentatively scheduled an overflight for Thursday, weather permitting. The flight will cover Matagorda/Lavaca Bay to the Rio Grande.

Galveston area: No new fish kill reports have come in for the Galveston area. TPWD Coastal Fisheries were in the Gulf of Mexico offshore of Galveston last week and did not see any visibly discolored water.

Mustang Island: Visitors report light aerosols and dead fish washing ashore along Mustang Island.

South Padre Island area: Large numbers of striped mullet are washing up on the town’s beaches this morning and red tide can be seen in the surf. An additional fish kill has occurred in the west end of the Brownsville Ship Channel. Coastal Fisheries staff were in the Gulf offshore of South Padre Island on Saturday but did not see any visibly discolored water. Red tide is present in the Long Island area of Port Isabel, causing aerosols and dead mullet to wash in over the weekend.

November 4, 2011

TPWD biologists are in the field today assessing the red tide. Additional updates will be posted as more data comes in.

Port Aransas: Low to moderate cell concentrations are coming through the pass with the incoming tide. Mild aerosols but no dead fish.

South Padre Island: Croaker and ladyfish (skipjack) are washing up along the town beaches. Aerosols are mild and red foam can be seen beyond the first trench. Cell counts were low today at Parrot Eyes and the east end of the causeway, moderate at Sea Ranch, and high at beach access 5, the west end of the causeway, Isla Blanca boat ramp, Brazos-Santiago Pass and the UT Pan-American Coastal Studies lab.

Carancahua Bay: TPWD assessed the fish kill and found mostly mullet at Port Alto but no aerosols or discolored water.

Corpus Christi Bay: Discolored water persists along the Corpus Christi bayfront from approximately Cole Park to Robert Drive. No aerosols have been detected along the bayfront, but a caller reported small numbers of dead fish washing ashore at Robert/Ocean Drive.

November 3, 2011

The north winds brought on by the cold front are likely diminishing aerosols all along the coast today. TPWD will investigate a reported red tide-related fish kill in Carancahua Bay near Port Alto. Staff of Padre Island National Seashore continue to find coyotes that are sick or dead, possibly from ingesting fish killed by the brevetoxin. Aerosols are light to nonexistent along South Padre Island despite moderate cell concentrations.

November 2, 2011

Galveston Bay: The red tide persists in Galveston Bay. DSHS found low concentrations of K. brevis this week at oyster leases 301 and 414, West Bay, Galveston Yacht Basin, and the east end of the seawall. Moderate concentrations were found at Houston Ship Channel markers 16 (Bolivar Roads), 25 (Texas City Dike), 35, 47 and 55, along the south jetty, at the west end of Sportsmans Road and at the San Luis Pass bridge. The highest concentrations were found at the Christmas Bay boat ramp.

Matagorda Peninsula: Aerosols have been noticeable at Matagorda Bay Nature Park recently. TPWD investigated a fish kill today that is affecting most of the peninsula; spot and gulf menhaden showed up in the highest numbers.

Port Lavaca/Port O’Connor areas: DSHS found moderate cell concentrations yesterday at Saluria Bayou, Pass Cavallo, and the Port O’Connor big and little jetties. A dense bloom is occurring in the Port Lavaca harbor.

Mustang Island: Aerosols are noticeable along Mustang Island south of Port Aransas, according to a beachgoer’s post on the TPWD Harmful Algal Bloom Facebook page.

Aransas Bay: There was a report yesterday of discolored water and mild aerosols near the Rockport Beach fishing pier. No stressed or dying fish were seen.

Nueces and Corpus Christi Bays: The TAMU Center for Coastal Studies saw patches of red tide in Nueces Bay yesterday. Dead fish continue to be present in Corpus Christi Bay near Ingleside and near the intersection of Doddridge and Ocean Drive. Most of the Corpus Christi bayfront is free of dead fish, though there are still areas of discolored water in the bay, particularly near the Coopers Alley L-Head and near the American Bank Center.

South Padre Island: Mild aerosols have been reported around the convention center and at beach access 6. Cell counts remain in the moderate to high range around South Padre Island and Port Isabel.

November 1, 2011

Port Aransas: Low to moderate cell concentrations continue to come through the pass. UT staff report light aerosols today. Dead menhaden were being washed out of the pass with the outgoing tide yesterday, but no dead fish have been seen today.

Mustang Island State Park - Aerosols are present again as onshore winds have returned. Winds and the associated aerosols are lighter in the morning, increasing through the day. No new dead fish are washing in.

Corpus Christi Bay: Staff of the Corpus Christi Marina reported an area of discolored water yesterday adjacent to the Corpus Christi Yacht Club on the Coopers Alley L-head.

South Padre Island: Mild to moderate aerosols can be felt around the island and Boca Chica today as cell concentrations continue to rise. Moderate concentrations were found at the causeway, Pompano Avenue in Port Isabel, Sea Ranch Marina, the Isla Blanca boat ramp, Brazos-Santiago Pass, and the San Martin boat ramp. High concentrations are occurring along the gulf beaches at the UT Pan American Coastal Studies Lab, beach accesses 5 and 6 and Boca Chica at Hwy 4.

October 31, 2011

To date, the red tide has killed 4.2 million fish since September. While significant, this number is a far cry from the 22 million fish killed during the 1986 red tide.

The red tide has caused recent fish kills in the Victoria Barge Canal near the State Highway 35 bridge; the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge in a boat channel near the ICWW on the east side of the refuge; Goose Island State park between the island and the boat ramp; in Corpus Christi Bay at La Quinta Channel and Joe Fulton Canal.

Corpus Christi Bay: Corpus Christi Bay also has discolored water from Indian Point to the Lexington, near Oleander Point in Cole Park, and near Swantner Park (at the intersection of Ocean Drive and Airline.)

Mustang Island State Park: Park staff report nice conditions on the beaches with minimal aerosols and no new dead fish washing ashore.

Padre Island National Seashore: Cell concentrations and aerosols have diminished considerably, and there are no new dead fish washing ashore.  However, they did observe a coyote exhibiting possible brevetoxin symptoms at the 17 mile marker, as well as a second coyote that was found dead at the 7 mile mark on Sunday.

South Padre Island: After a few days of falling K. brevis levels, cell concentrations have once again begun to rise, though aerosols remain mild. High concentrations were found along the town’s beaches, while moderate concentrations were found at the UT Pan American Coastal Studies Lab, Isla Blanca Boat Ramp, Brazos-Santiago Pass and the causeway.

October 28, 2011 afternoon:

TPWD conducted an overflight of the upper and middle coast today to get an aerial perspective of the red tide. Offshore blooms could be seen near Galveston Island State Park (stretching for over 1 mile), San Luis Pass, Freeport, and Pass Cavallo (stretching for over 2 miles). Visible blooms were also seen in the lower reaches of Galveston Bay at Swan Lake and the Texas City Dike as well as in Brazoria County/Chocolate Bay near the ICWW and Alligator Head Island. Patches of bloom were seen along the north shore of East Matagorda Bay. Matagorda Bay had visible bloom along much of the north shoreline, including Keller Bay east to Palacios and Oyster Lake east to the Matagorda Island Wildlife Management Area and Crab Lake. In Lavaca Bay, bloom could be seen in Cox Bay and in the ship channel near Alcoa, along with patches in Keller Bay. The west shoreline of San Antonio Bay as well as the Seadrift area had visible red tide.

October 28, 2011

Matagorda Peninsula: A fisherman posted to TPWD’s Harmful Algal Bloom Facebook page that he fished Matagorda Peninsula recently, reeling in shark, flounder, black drum, and redfish; he felt no red tide effects.

Port Aransas: TAMU’s Imaging Flow CytoBot detected lower cell concentrations of K. brevis coming through the pass last night.

South Padre Island: The north winds have diminished the red tide aerosols, making the island a comfortable place to be today. Cell counts were low at Isla Blanca Park on the south end of town.

October 27, 2011

Tonight’s cold front will bring north winds that might improve conditions along much of the upper and middle Texas coast, blowing the red tide away from the beaches. The winds might cause the bloom to congregate along the south shorelines of the bays. It is unclear if beaches along the lower Texas coast will see the benefits of the north wind, or if the winds will merely push the bloom southward along the beaches. Once the front passes and the winds shift again to the southeast, bloom conditions may return to the upper and middle coast.

Port Aransas: Aerosols are still affecting the area and moderate cell concentrations continue to be found at the UTMSI pier.

South Padre Island: Very light aerosols and low cell concentrations are making for very nice conditions on South Padre Island today.

October 26, 2011

Galveston Bay: DSHS staff found low concentrations of K. brevis at Houston Ship Channel markers 16 (Bolivar Roads), 25 (Texas City Dike), 35, 47, and 55, oyster leases 301 and 414, the Galveston Yacht Basin, San Luis Pass Bridge, and the Christmas Bay boat ramp. Moderate concentrations were found at the end of the south jetty, and no red tide was present at the west end of Sportsman’s Road or in West Bay.

Port O’Connor/Seadrift area: High cell concentrations have been found by DSHS in Matagorda Bay at the Port O’Connor little jetties and Saluria Bayou. In Espiritu Santo Bay, high concentrations and visible bloom were found at South Pass, while Josephine Reef had dead fish and lower K. brevis levels. In San Antonio Bay, no red tide was found at the second chain of islands, but high concentrations and visibly discolored water were seen at various locations in the bay including Panther Point Reef and Victoria Barge Canal marker 47.

Aransas Bay/Corpus Christi Bay: DSHS staff found moderate concentrations of K. brevis in a sample collected from the St. Charles Bay boat launch. They report visible bloom inside Corpus Christi Bay and especially concentrated near Ingleside. High cell concentrations were found near Portland, the Indian Point pier, and inside the Corpus Christi city marina. Lower concentrations were found in La Quinta Channel, Shamrock Cove, Island Mooring and Point of Mustang. Oso Bay had the lowest concentrations of K. brevis.

Port Aransas/Mustang Island: Cell counts and aerosols remain elevated at the UTMSI pier and marina. Aerosols are also affecting Mustang Island State Park beaches but are much less noticeable at the RV campground. No fresh dead fish are washing ashore.

South Padre Island: Cell counts continue to decrease both on the gulf beaches and in the bay. Aerosols have diminished.

October 25, 2011

Galveston Bay: TPWD has received reports of discolored water and feeding birds at the mouth of Chocolate Bay and the ICWW. A reported fish kill in Campbell’s Bayou is also attributed to the red tide. Low cell concentrations have been found at Swan Lake. Still no aerosols or dead fish have been reported from Galveston Island.

Matagorda/Tres Palacios Bays: TPWD Matagorda Bay staff saw patches of red tide extending from the mouth of Turtle Bay to Palacios. Very high concentrations of red tide were in the water sample. A fish kill consisting of mainly gulf toadfish, flounder and mullet is occurring at the TPWD Perry R. Bass Marine Fisheries Research Center in Palacios. High concentrations of K. brevis were found in samples from the jetty and the facility’s intake. DSHS reports lots of discolored water in the west end of Matagorda Bay and found high cell concentrations in Tres Palacios Bay, the ICWW near Oyster Lake, Corp Reef, and Matagorda harbor. Low concentrations were found at several locations within East Matagorda Bay.

Rockport/Fulton: DSHS staff found moderate cell concentrations in Fulton Harbor, low concentrations at the mouth of Rockport Harbor, and no red tide in Copano Bay. TPWD staff monitored the area around Goose Island and along Blackjack Peninsula to the ICWW this morning and found no discolored water or dead fish.

Port Aransas/Mustang Island: Aerosols are still affecting Port Aransas and moderate cell concentrations continue to come in through the pass. At Mustang Island State Park, aerosols were light to moderate this morning but were expected to increase during the day as the winds got stronger. Remnants of yesterday’s fish kill remain on the beach, decreasing toward the southern end of the park.

South Padre Island: Cell counts have decreased around the island today. Slight aerosols were occurring on the beaches north of town, but no new fish kills have been reported. Local fishing guides report great fishing success in the Lower Laguna Madre north of Port Isabel, catching their limits of trout and redfish.

October 24, 2011

Matagorda/Lavaca Bays: Dead mullet were found at the Perry R. Bass research facility on Friday. On Sunday, TPWD staff found dead spot, flounder, redfish, and spotted seatroutnear Sand Point and along the eastern portion of Lavaca Bay. Discolored water and feeding seagulls were seen between Keller Bay and Cox Bay. Seagulls were also feeding on dying fish in Cox Bay near Weesatche Cove and buzzards were seen feeding on dead fish along the banks. Dead and dying gizzard shad were found in Keller Bay.

Espiritu Santo/San Antonio Bays: On Friday, TPWD game wardens observed stressed red drum and dead sand trout in the ICWW on the western portion of San Antonio Bay. On Saturday, TPWD staff noted older dead gulf menhaden, sheepshead and shrimp eels at the Shoalwater Flats Association boat ramp near Charlie’s Bait Camp. Others at the ramp reported breathing discomfort in the area on Friday. 

San Jose Island: Aerosols were affecting the beach on Friday; there were no dead fish and the water was clear.

Rockport/Port Aransas: TPWD received notification of a fish kill at Goose Island State Park this morning; biologists are investigating today. Heavy aerosols were felt over the weekend in Port Aransas and can still be felt this morning. Moderate cell concentrations are coming through the pass.

Mustang Island State Park: After 2 days of heavy aerosols, the state park has seen light aerosols this morning due to light winds. However, as winds pick up, we expect aerosols to increase accordingly. Discolored water and dead fish are once again being seen; the heaviest concentration of dead fish (mostly gulf menhaden and striped mullet) is near the Fish Pass jetty.

Padre Island: On Saturday, aerosols were heavy along the island at least down to marker 252; people were enjoying the beaches despite their coughing. Discolored water was seen but there were no dead fish on the beaches. There was a fallout of birds, particularly meadowlarks, mourning dove, sparrows and possibly pyrrhuloxia, likely related to the fall migration rather than red tide.

Corpus Christi Bay: Dead fish and discolored water have been reported near the Kiewit fabrication plant in Ingleside by the Bay.

South Padre Island: Aerosols have been noticeable over the weekend and today. Moderate cell concentrations have been found at the UT Pan-American Coastal Studies Lab, Brazos-Santiago Pass, Sea Ranch Marina, and the east and west ends of the causeway.  High concentrations have been found at the Isla Blanca boat ramp and in the Pompano Avenue area of Port Isabel.

October 21, 2011

Aransas Bay/Port Aransas: The red tide seems to be affecting the bays rather than the gulf beaches in this area. Low to moderate cell counts continue to be found at the UTMSI pier and marina, Lydia Ann Channel at the lighthouse, Mud Island, and in the ICWW at markers 7 and 49 as well as at the Mesquite Bay Channel. No aerosols or dead fish have been reported.

Corpus Christi Bay, Mustang Island, Padre Island: TPWD Coastal Fisheries staff observed patches of red tide bloom in Corpus Christi Bay yesterday at the Naval Air Station east to the Fish Pass on Mustang Island, and north to near Shamrock Island. Crews did not experience any aerosol irritation or see any dead fish. Mustang Island State Park staff report great fishing and beautiful conditions on the beach today with no aerosols or other red tide impacts occurring. The Corpus Christi Bay and Estuary program did an aerial bird survey this week from Matagorda Island to Padre Island and found no offshore patches of bloom until they got down to the 20 mile marker area of Padre Island National Seashore.

South Padre Island: TPWD Kills and Spills biologists found high concentrations of cells inside the Port Mansfield jetties yesterday and lower concentrations along the beach. The fish kill along the island is dominated by Atlantic bumper, ladyfish, and Spanish mackerel. Biologists are surveying the South Padre Island area again today and report a mullet kill occurring in the Brownsville Ship Channel from Brazos-Santiago Pass to San Martin Lake as well as in the Port Isabel Harbor area. Dead fish have also been reported in Bahia Grande. Texas Ag Extension found moderate cell concentrations and light aerosols at South Padre Island Beach Access 5, Clayton’s Beach Bar, the San Martin boat ramp and Boca Chica Beach at Highway 4.

October 20, 2011

TPWD estimates that the red tide has killed 3 million fish along the Texas coast to date. Species that are showing up in the highest numbers include Gulf menhaden, striped mullet, ladyfish (skipjack), spot, pinfish, kingfish (Gulf whiting), and Atlantic bumper.

Port Lavaca/Port O’Connor: The Texas Dept of State Health Services has found varying concentrations of Karenia brevis in their sampling this week. No cells were found around Port Lavaca at Lighthouse Beach pier or the city harbor. Low concentrations were found at Powderhorn Lake and the Port O’Connor little jetties, while moderate concentrations were found at Indian Point pier as well as south of Indian Point near the gas tank. Dolphin Point marina had high cell concentrations.

Port Aransas: The north winds have lessened aerosols in Port Aransas this week. Only one location, the Port Aransas marina, has had high cell concentrations. Low to moderate concentrations continue to be found at the UTMSI pier and in the UTMSI marina. The winds are forecasted to shift again to the Southeast, which might change conditions for the area.

Packery Channel: TPWD Kills and Spills biologists assessed the Packery Channel area fish kill yesterday and found no aerosols. The fish kill is mostly comprised of pinfish, hardheads and striped mullet; snook, flounder, redfish, sheepshead and spotted seatrout were found in lower numbers.

South Padre Island: TPWD Kills and Spills biologists surveyed the entire length of South Padre Island yesterday and experienced aerosols throughout the trip. Samples were collected from the East Cut, the beach south of the jetty, and 14 miles south of the jetty. Analysis pending. TAEX and UT Pan American staff found high concentrations of K. brevis at beach access 5 and 6 (light to moderate aerosols), the UT Pan-American Coastal Studies Lab, Isla Blanca boat ramp and the north side of Brazos-Santiago Pass. Moderate cell concentrations were found at Sea Ranch marina, the Laguna Madre Yacht Club, Pompano Avenue in Port Isabel, and on both ends of the Queen Isabella Causeway.

October 18, 2011

East Matagorda Bay: TPWD Coastal Fisheries staff found discolored water, dead fish and aerosols in East Matagorda Bay last night as they were performing their routine sampling. Water sample analysis is pending.

Rockport: The TPWD Coastal Fisheries office has not received any reports of discolored water nor seen any red tide-related impacts in their sampling trips.

Port Aransas/Mustang Island State Park: Low cell concentrations continue to be found at the UTMSI pier and marina. Very high concentrations were found at the Port Aransas marina by DSHS staff. Aerosols have diminished today at the state park thanks to the north wind. High tides have pushed the dead fish up to the base of the dunes.  

Packery Channel/Padre Island National Seashore: Biologists are going to assess the Packery Channel area fish kill this week. PINS staff traveled down the island yesterday and report high surf and heavy aerosols. Fresh dead fish were washing ashore including sole, gulf toadfish, tripletail, tonguefish, gulf flounder, pompano, butter perch, moray eel, pompano, hardheads, Spanish mackerel, redfish, jack crevalle and Atlantic bumper.

South Padre Island: High cell concentrations are once again being found in the area, including the San Martin Boat Ramp, Starlight Circle, the Queen Isabella causeway, Sea Ranch Marina, Children’s Beach, and the Brazos-Santiago Pass south jetty. Counts varied on the beach at the UT-Pan American Coastal Studies lab, decreasing later in the day.

October 17, 2011

Calhoun County: TPWD Law Enforcement observed over the weekend that Espiritu Santo Bay had a very marked set of red tide patches measuring 100 feet across and 1/4 mile long stretching in bands across the bay. Numerous dead fish were sighted along the ICWW near Charlie's Bait Camp, including some legal-sized redfish. The game warden noted that larger fish are comprising more of the fish kill.

Port Aransas/Mustang Island: Conditions have improved along Mustang Island. No fresh dead fish are washing in and aerosols have diminished greatly. K. brevis cells are still being found at the UTMSI pier at Port Aransas. Mustang Island State Park has removed the dead fish along a stretch of their beaches in the pedestrian day area and along the first half-mile of beach camping. A fisherman called to report that he had fished all around Aransas Bay over the weekend and saw no evidence of red tide from the southern tip of Mud Island near the old shrimp boat wreck up to Paul’s Mott reef along the north side of San Jose Island, none at Treasure Island, and none in South Bay. He did report aerosols but no discolored water at the Port Aransas jetties.

Padre Island National Seashore: Moderate to heavy aerosols were reported this morning. Decomposing fish remain on the beaches from last week’s fish kill. 

South Padre Island: After a few weeks’ reprieve from any red tide effects, concentrations of K. brevis rose sharply over the weekend. The highest concentrations were found from the beaches north of town, though moderate concentrations were found along the town beaches as well.
Fresh dead fish and aerosols began to be reported all along the island over the weekend, increasing in intensity toward the northern end. The fish kill includes mullet, menhaden, silversides, ladyfish, stargazers, hardheads, gafftops, scaled sardines, spotted seatrout, fat snook, spade fish, shrimp eels, needle fish, black drum, Atlantic bumper, and pig fish. One large tarpon measuring 6 feet in length washed ashore as well. Aerosols were also reported from Boca Chica.

October 14, 2011

DSHS reports visible bloom in Lavaca and Matagorda bays and they are still finding K. brevis in their Galveston Bay samples. Cells continue to be found in the intake waters for Sea Center Texas in Lake Jackson.

The Bastrop Bayou bloom and fish kill is suspected to be caused by the red tide, though water samples were inconclusive.

Biologists are assessing the Mustang and Padre Island fish kills today; results are pending. Aerosols in Port Aransas were lessened this morning due to the north wind. Moderate to high concentrations of K. brevis continue to be found in the Port Aransas area.

October 13, 2011

The Department of State Health Services monitored the Galveston area this week and found moderate concentrations at Bolivar Roads, but no cells at the San Luis Pass bridge, north Deer Island, the Galveston Causeway, the Galveston Yacht Basin, the south jetty, the east end of the seawall, or at Houston Ship Channel markers 25 (Texas City Dike), 35, 47 or 55.

This morning TPWD received a report of discolored water, aerosols and a fish kill in Bastrop Bayou. Kills and Spills biologists have been notified.

DSHS also reports visible bloom in Matagorda and Espirtu Santo Bays. High cell concentrations were found at the Port O’Connor little jetties, Saluria Bayou and the Dolphin Point Marina.

Aerosols are still noticeable at Mustang Island State Park despite the rain and north wind. Fresh dead fish washed in overnight, including ladyfish, snapper, hardhead catfish, striped mullet, pinfish, spot and croaker.

Aerosols are noticeable in the TAMU-Corpus Christi area and along Padre Island National Seashore. A fish kill consisting of mostly skipjack (ladyfish) and mullet is occurring along Padre Island National Seashore south of the 25 mile marker. Additionally, there are large numbers of red snapper between the 34 and 37 mile markers.

October 12, 2011

Matagorda: On Monday, TPWD received a report of dead fish in the canals of the Bay Harbor subdivision. Water samples from the subdivision contained moderate concentrations of K. brevis, while high concentrations were found at Matagorda Harbor. No cells were found in two samples from East Matagorda Bay.

Port O’Connor/Seadrift: An angler notified TPWD of stressed fish off Dewberry Island this morning.  TPWD sampling crews worked the Matagorda Island area from 2 miles west of the old air force base to Light House Cove near Pass Cavallo. They saw no signs of red tide but report numerous healthy redfish and black drum. Dead mullet have been confirmed at Welder Flats Coastal Preserve. High concentrations of K. brevis were found in a water sample from Turnstake Island.

San Jose Island: Aerosols were heavy on the south end of San Jose Island yesterday, becoming less noticeable going north. The gulf beach was nearly free of dead fish, except for one stretch north of the first fence line where numerous dead mullet had washed ashore. Water sample analysis is pending.

Mustang Island/Port Aransas: No fresh dead fish have washed ashore at Mustang Island State Park. Aerosols were barely noticeable as of this morning and calm surf throughout the day has resulted in reduced aerosols. The water on the beach roads has dried up and the beaches have been reopened to camping. Moderate cell concentrations have been found at the UTMSI pier, UTMSI boat basin, La Quinta Channel, Island Mooring and Point of Mustang.

Padre Island: Moderate cell concentrations continue to be found at the Packery Channel boat launch.

South Padre Island: Water samples collected today from the Isla Blanca boat ramp, the north side of Brazos-Santiago Pass and the UT-Pan American Coastal Studies Lab all contained low concentrations of K. brevis. No fish kills or aerosols have been reported from the area.

October 11, 2011

Beach conditions update from Mustang Island State park: No evidence of new fish washing in. Aerosols light to non-existent. Wind is light and out of the north again which is calming seas and aerosols. Hopefully the seas continue to calm as we have astronomical high tides through Friday. Expect wind to slowly shift back to the east during the day which may make aerosols more prevalent. Beach access roads are open but visitors will have to drive through salt water to access the beach. We expect to close them again this afternoon as high tide approaches at approx 4:30 p.m. Beach camping is still on hold at this time until we can assess how high the tide will be this afternoon. This may continue over the next few days where we open beach access in the morning and close it for the evening. If the seas continue to calm it may be less of an issue and we can fully open the beach.

October 10, 2011

Aerosols have now been reported from the Corpus Christi and Port Aransas areas: the entire length of Padre Island National Seashore, Packery Channel, Newport Pass, Mustang Island State Park and Port Aransas. Water samples collected from the UT pier and marina both contained high concentrations of Karenia brevis. Biologists are investigating reports of lethargic fish in the Packery Channel area.

The South Padre Island area continues to have low concentrations of cells around the causeway, the San Martin boat ramp and the end of the Brownsville Ship Channel.

October 7, 2011

The Texas Department of State Health Services monitored the Galveston area for red tide yesterday. Very low concentrations were found at the south end of the causeway (West Bay) and inside the Galveston Yacht Basin. No cells were found at the Texas City Dike, the east end of the seawall, the 61st Street pier, the west end of Sportsman’s Road or at San Luis Pass. DSHS will collect samples again on Monday.

DSHS also collected samples from the Matagorda Bay and East Matagorda Bay areas yesterday and found high concentrations at the Colorado River jetty and in Matagorda Harbor. Moderate cell concentrations were found in the Caney Creek area and no cells at Palacios Harbor, Oyster Lake, Shell Island or the Mad Island Cut.

Dead menhaden are washing ashore today at Indianola, the Port O’Connor front beach and Boggy Bayou. Moderate cell concentrations were found at the Port O’Connor fishing pier, the TPWD Coastal Fisheries field station, and at the Indianola Fishing Marina. No cells were found at Magnolia Beach.

Dead fish are also washing up along the Padre Island National Seashore, from the Mansfield jetty to Big Shell. Biologists will conduct a fish kill assessment along PINS on Monday to determine the number and species of fish affected. Moderate concentrations of red tide cells were found at the north jetty, the 50 mile marker and the 39 mile marker. Low concentrations were found at the 28 mile marker. DSHS found no cells in their samples from Malaquite Beach, the Packery Channel boat launch or the UTMSI pier.

Two new fish kills have been reported from the lower coast. Dead mullet are reportedly washing up along the eastern shoreline of the lower Laguna Madre north of the Mansfield jetty. A second kill is occurring in the Laguna Vista area near Old Texaco Channel. Final results are still pending from TPWD’s investigation of the South Padre Island fish kill that included mostly ladyfish and mullet. Water samples showed low cell concentrations at the south Mansfield jetty and on the gulf beach 1 mile south of the jetty. No cells were found 2 miles south of the jetty.

October 6, 2011 afternoon

The red tide bloom is causing fish kills along the middle and lower Texas coast. Hundreds of dead gulf menhaden have washed ashore at the Port O’Connor front beach, mostly north of the fishing pier. On Friday, biologists will investigate a report of dead menhaden washing up between Boggy Bayou and Indianola Beach.

Padre Island National Seashore staff confirmed a fish kill occurring along the southern end of the park and the north Mansfield jetty. All species and sizes are affected, and the crews felt aerosol effects at least as far north as the 30 mile marker. Two dead green sea turtles were collected and will be handed over to the Sea Turtle Stranding and Salvage Network. They also collected water samples from the lower Laguna Madre at Yarborough Pass and Bird Island Basin; TPWD will analyze the samples tomorrow.

TPWD investigated the fish kill along South Padre Island that stretches for 4 miles south of the Mansfield jetty. The event is comprised of mostly striped mullet and ladyfish and little to no aerosols were felt by staff. Water samples were collected inside the Mansfield pass south jetty and from the gulf beach 2 miles south of the jetty.

October 6, 2011

Biologists are investigating two fish kills today: the first near the Mansfield jetties stretching south for approximately 2 miles along the gulf beach, and the second at the Port O'Connor front beach. DSHS confirmed moderate concentrations of K. brevis around the Port O'Connor area, including the little jetties and big jetties as well as the Dolphin Point Marina. Low concentrations have also been found at South Pass.

October 5, 2011

Upper Coast – DSHS has closed oyster leases in Conditionally Approved Area 1 of Galveston Bay, Central and East Approved Areas of Galveston Bay, and the Smith Point Approved Area of Galveston Bay due to the presence of Karenia brevis. Moderate cell concentrations were found at the Galveston Yacht Basin and low concentrations at the east end of the seawall, West Bay and inside San Luis Pass. Red tide was not present at Houston Ship Channel marker 25, the 61st Street Pier or Sportsman's Road.

Low concentrations of K. brevis have been found in the ICWW at the San Bernard boat ramp. No cells were found in Cedar Lakes or in East Matagorda Bay. Additional samples were taken from this area and analysis is ongoing.

Corpus Christi – Moderate concentrations of K. brevis have been found at Big Shell by staff of the Padre Island National Seashore. They also collected a sample from the surf at the north Mansfield jetty but no K. brevis was found. Another sampling trip is planned for later this week. DSHS staff collected samples and found no red tide at Island Mooring, Lydia Ann Channel at the Lighthouse,the UTMSI pier, the Gulf of Mexico just north of the jetties, Point of Mustang and La Quinta Channel.

South Padre Island - Disoriented birds have been found around the South Padre Island area. The birds have had difficulty flying and were exhibiting other neurological symptoms. City crews collected one dead bird, which was transported to Corpus Christi for toxin analysis. Results are pending. Water samples collected in the area show very low cell concentrations at the end of the Brownsville Ship Channel, Brazos-Santiago Pass, the Isla Blanca Park boat ramp, and the UT-Pan American Coastal Studies Lab. Moderate concentrations have been found at the west end of the Queen Isabella Causeway. No cells were found at the shrimp basin or the mouth of the Bahia Grande pilot channel. No new dead fish have been reported from the area this week.

October 3, 2011

A fisherman reported distressed menhaden in the Brownsville Ship Channel over the weekend, but when he visited the site a few hours later the menhaden had moved on and there were no dead fish on shore. On Monday, TPWD staff traveled from the San Martin boat ramp off Hwy 48 to the far west end of the Brownsville Ship Channel and then down to the Bahia Grande cut. No fresh dead fish were found and no aerosols were present. Birds were working a few different areas in the ship channel but no stressed fish were visible near the surface. Low cell counts were found in the ship channel.

TPWD is collecting samples from East Matagorda Bay and the ICWW this week.

September 30, 2011

Karenia brevis cells have now been documented at Galveston (low concentrations) and Sargent Beach (moderate concentrations). Galveston Beach Patrol lifeguards are experiencing respiratory irritation. No new reports of fish kills have come from the San Luis Pass area. The bloom is also impacting the Surfside and Freeport areas as well, and Sea Center Texas continues to find high concentrations of K. brevis in their intake waters on the Dow Barge Canal. Dead fish have been found in the ICWW at the San Bernard River.

Further south, no red tide was found yesterday along the beaches between the Port Mansfield jetty and South Padre Island. The San Martin boat ramp had fairly low cell concentrations. Low cell concentrations were found at Childrens Beach, Brazos-Santiago Pass and the UT-Pan American Coastal Studies Lab.

September 29, 2011

TPWD and DSHS have found no Karenia brevis in the Galveston or Port O’Connor areas. TPWD is collecting samples from Matagorda Bay today. Low concentrations of K. brevis and K. mikimotoi (a similar species) are being found in Corpus Christi Bay and inside the pass at Port Aransas. TPWD and Sea Grant are traveling up the beach from South Padre Island to the Mansfield Pass to collect water samples today. The Bahia Grande fish kill continues, with fresh dead blennies reported along the rocks in the southwest corner.

September 26, 2011

There was not much change in the red tide over the weekend. The bloom remains roughly from San Luis Pass to the Brazos River, with one report of stressed fish at the mouth of the San Bernard River and the ICWW. A second bloom is occurring inside the Brownsville Ship Channel but did not cause any new fish kills over the weekend. The middle Texas coast remains free of red tide at this time.

DSHS staff are monitoring the Galveston area today, while TPWD biologists are collecting water samples from the Corpus Christi, Palacios and Port O'Connor areas. Water samples were collected from the South Padre Island Childrens Beach, the north Brazos-Santiago Pass jetty, the UT-Pan American Coastal Studies Lab, and the west end of the Queen Isabella causeway; some samples had very low cell concentrations and other samples were free of red tide. Old dead fish and high concentrations of red tide were found on Sunday at the southwest and of the Brownsville Ship Channel and the San Martin boat ramp.

September 22, 2011

Red tide has been confirmed from San Luis Pass to the Brazos River (along the gulf side), where dead mullet and hardhead catfish have washed ashore and beachgoers are experiencing respiratory irritation due to the aerosols. High concentrations of Karenia brevis cells have been found in samples collected from Surfside beach, the ICWW near the Brazos River locks and the old Brazos River/Dow barge canal.

The Texas Department of State Health Services collected water samples from the Port Aransas jetties, Lydia Ann Channel at the Lighthouse, Packery Channel boat ramp, and the ICWW at Dead Man’s Hole Channel. No K. brevis was found in any of the samples. TAMU's Imaging Flow CytoBot found very low concentrations of K. brevis in its samples.

Further south, Kills and Spills staff investigated the ongoing fish kill in San Martin Lake, which is mostly comprised of striped mullet, spotted seatrout, gulf toadfish and sheepshead. The Bahia Grande fish kill is comprised of mostly striped mullet. No K. brevis was found in samples collected from the Arroyo Colorado or the South Padre Island Convention Center; low concentrations were found in the Lower Laguna Madre, South Bay, the Brownsville Ship Channel at the Y, the UT-Pan American Coastal Studies Lab, the Isla Blanca park boat ramp, and the Brazos-Santiago Pass north jetty. Moderate cell concentrations were found in the Brownsville Ship Channel near the Shrimp Basin.

Water samples collected this week from the Gulf of Mexico offshore of Matagorda Bay, Aransas Bay and South Padre Island yielded no K. brevis.

September 20, 2011

UT-Pan American staff collected 2 samples yesterday from the north Brazos-Santiago Pass jetty and Boca Chica (3.6 miles north of Highway 4. Both samples yielded low concentrations of Karenia brevis. TPWD biologists traveled to Boca Chica yesterday to monitor the fish kill and found no fresh dead fish, only the old dead menhaden reported last Friday.

TPWD biologists were in the lower Laguna Madre and South Bay today; the only dead fish observed were near the Coast Guard station. They collected 3 samples (mouth of the Arroyo Colorado, the South Padre Island convention center, south Bay) and will analyze them tomorrow. Light aerosols were present at times during the day. Water samples from the gulf were collected by TPWD Coastal Fisheries management staff and will be analyzed tomorrow.

September 19, 2011

Dead fish began washing ashore over the weekend along Boca Chica beach (from Highway 4 to the Rio Grande) and the southern end of South Padre Island. Biologists are assessing these fish kills today and plan to investigate the fish kill in South Bay tomorrow. TPWD fisheries management staff are in the Port Mansfield area today and will be out in the Gulf tomorrow; they will look for signs of red tide in these areas.

Water samples collected over the weekend contained low concentrations of Karenia brevis along the southern end of South Padre Island beach, at Brazos-Santiago Pass, and in the lower Laguna Madre on the west side of the Queen Isabella Memorial Causeway. Moderate concentrations of cells were found in the Brownsville Ship Channel, while high concentrations and dead fish were found in San Martin Lake.

September 16, 2011

Afternoon: Cameron County officials are investigating a fish kill comprised mostly of gulf menhaden along Boca Chica beach. The kill extends from the jetties at least to Highway 4, and the full extent of the kill is currently being determined.

Morning: Additional fish kills have been reported at Gas Well Flats in the lower Laguna Madre and in South Bay. At this time there have been no reports of discolored water or dead fish on any South Padre Island area beaches; however, that may change depending on currents and winds.

September 15, 2011

TPWD has received a few reports of stressed and/or dead fish in the Brownsville Ship Channel area. On Wednesday, biologists investigated the reports and found dead fish, discolored water and aerosols characteristic of a Karenia brevis bloom in the ship channel and San Martin Lake. The fish kill was comprised of red drum, southern flounder, striped mullet, croaker, and spotted seatrout. The biologists will return on Thursday to further assess the fish kill. A water sample confirmed high concentrations of K. brevis as well as Prorocentrum micans, a nontoxic species, at lower concentrations. At this time there have been no reports of beaches being impacted, however, that may change depending on currents and winds.

 


Additional Information:

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Texas Department of State Health Services investigate reports of possible red tide along the coast and in the bays.

Three common signs of a red tide bloom are:

  • discolored water
  • dead fish
  • breathing difficulty.

From the Centers for Disease Control:
The human health effects associated with eating brevetoxin-tainted shellfish are well documented. However, scientists know little about how other types of environmental exposures to brevetoxin—such as breathing the air near red tides or swimming in red tides—may affect humans. Anecdotal evidence suggests that people who swim among brevetoxins or inhale brevetoxins dispersed in the air may experience irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, as well as coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. Additional evidence suggests that people with existing respiratory illness, such as asthma, may experience these symptoms more severely.

To report sightings of red tide during normal business hours, call your local TPWD office or Meridith Byrd at 361-983-1215. Outside of normal business hours you may call TPWD's 24-hour communications centers at 512-389-4848 (Austin) or 281-842-8100 (Houston.)

Although some travelers may be concerned with how the red tide may affect their vacation plans, there are miles of clean beaches to enjoy on the Texas coast. When making travel plans, heed the advice of the Texas Department of State Health Services : get the current facts and draw your own conclusions.

For more information about red tide and the latest updates, call the TPWD hotline at (800) 792-1112, select fishing, then select red tide.

Current information about shellfish closures can be obtained by contacting the Seafood Safety Division of the Texas Department of State Health Services at (800) 685-0361. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Texas Department of State Health Services investigate reports of possible red tide along the coast and in the bays.

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