Texas Red Tide Update -TPWD Reports on Gulf of Mexico Red Tide Status

| October 19, 2011 | 0 Comments

Red Tide Update

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.

Dead Gulf menhaden at beach access 6, South Padre Island (TPWD photo)

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 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.

The links you would want to add to your bookmarks for information about the red tide are –
Current Texas Red Tide Status
All About Red Tide

I know the guys from Austin Fly Fishers have planned a fly fishing trip to the Padre Island National Seashore (PINS) for October 27-30, and as of this writing the group organized by Nils Pearson numbers about fifteen.

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Category: Fish Kill, Fishing Reports, Gulf Coast Report, Science and Environmental, Texas Fly Fishing Club

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