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Event title

United States - 'Fish kill' washes dead wildlife ashore in Texas coastal communities

Event category

Ecological disaster - Ecological hazard

Event date (UTC)

2021-02-22 09:22:47

Last update (UTC)

2021-02-22 09:22:52

Latitude

27.977654

Longitude

-96.91972

Area range

Multiple counties wide event

Address

coast of Texas, Texas

A historic cold air outbreak brought more than just busted pipes through southeast Texas, it also brought a significant fish kill for parts of the area. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is asking residents to report areas that they see large fish kills in. They said because of the extremely low water temperatures, many fish have died and have a chance of resurfacing on the shoreline. Experts said that water temperatures that plummeted to 40 degrees in Galveston Bay could also result in lasting problems for fish, crabs, turtles, and other marine life. Fish mortalities were found in six bay systems including Matagorda Bay, San Antonio Bay, Aransas Bay, Corpus Christi Bay, Upper Laguna Madre, and Lower Laguna Madre, according to TPWD. ABC13 viewer Keith Rodgers sent in numerous photos of large speckled trout washed up along the beaches of Matagorda Bay. In South Padre Island, volunteers rescued 1,500 sea turtles from the frigid waters cold enough to stun and drown the turtles. Beyond the primary impacts of this disaster, the secondary and tertiary impacts could cause lasting damage to our marine ecosystem and, ultimately, to the economy of our coastal communities. In this case, a widespread fish kill would not only devastate our marine-life, but could also slow down fishing and crabbing, damaging the local tourism and restaurant industries for years. More research will need to be done to find the full extent of the fish kill. As of now, officials said less than 10 species have been impacted from the winter weather after a rapid assessment. If you have noticed any changes in the marine life in our coastal communities, please contact Texas Parks & Wildlife Department at (512) 389-4848.
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