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 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.
TPWD has collaborated with TCEQ and other entities to produce a red tide information card (pdf). The purpose of this card is to educate the public on red tides and answer some common questions. We are currently distributing hard copies of the card to coastal businesses, marinas, chambers of commerce and the like. If you would like to display the card at your place of business please contact 512-389-4725.