Dead fish wash up in Seabrook


by Alice Barr / KHOU 11 News

Posted on May 26, 2014 at 7:06 PM

HOUSTON -- The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is investigating why thousands of tiny dead fish washed up near Seabrook and Kemah over the weekend.

It looks pretty bad and smells even worse. A spokesman from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Winston Denten, said they think the kill is because of low oxygen levels in the water, and that that is a combination of basically three things.

The little bait fish washing up dead tend to travel in very large schools, so they can collectively use up a lot more oxygen.

Second when the water gets hotter and when there is little rain, oxygen levels tend to get lower.

Finally there are microscopic algae out in the water that sometimes eat up oxygen as well.

Denten said it’s actually fairly common, and while it doesn’t look good, the problem can usually take care of itself within a matter of a few days between the winds and tides washing the fish away.

But in the meantime, this being Memorial Day weekend, it’s causing problems for people who wanted to come out and enjoy the day.

“The smells, well I guess it’s kinda like a bait shop, all over,” said one man who planned to fish.

His wife added, “We wondered if maybe the electricity went out at the bait shop, because it smelled so bad.”

“It’s interrupting the day, we’re about to leave in a little bit … because of the smell,” said Ascension Rodriguez, another would-be fisherman.

Gayle Cook, City Manager of Seabrook, said the city plans to reevaluate Tuesday morning to see whether they need to come in and clear out the fish in some of the more dense areas.

Denten said it is unlikely that the kill will continue, or get worse, because when this starts to happen, usually the rest of the fish move on somewhere else.