Jamaica Beach, Texas – Thousands of dead fish have washed ashore on Galveston, Texas area beaches. Rotting fish have been found by the thousands from the Colorado River to Galveston Island. Parks and Wildlife biologists believe low oxygen levels may be to blame for the sudden influx of thousands of dead fish on Texas beaches, KHOU News reports.
Texas beach visitors were startled by both the sight of the dead fish and the smell of the rotting sea creatures. Biologists are testing the saline, oxygen and pH levels in the wateways along the Texas Coast.
“When something’s affecting one fish then usually a lot of them are being affected at the same time because it’s such a big group swimming in schools together,” Texas Parks and Wildlife representative Steven Mitchell told KVUE News.
Biologists will not be sure if low oxygen levels are to blame for the thousands of dead fish dotting the beach landscape until water up to 10 miles from the shore can be tested as well. The deep water oxygen level testing is expected to take several days to complete, KVUE notes. The Texas State Health Department temporarily closed Galveston Bay to shellfish harvesting today due to the possibility of a red tide which could have played a role in the massive amount of dead fish which surfaced on area beaches, Click to Houston reports.
Although state wildlife biologists have noted the dead fish on Texas beaches do not pose a public health hazard, many vacationers and locals alike are reportedly shunning the normally beautiful area of South Texas until the dead fish are removed. The thousands of dead fish which washed up on Jamaica Beach and other Galveston area beaches include shad fish and Gulf Menhaden.