FREEPORT, Texas – A couple walking along a Texas beach came across a sea of shock Friday morning after finding thousands of dead fish washed up along the shore.
“Was hoping to take advantage of the flat surf and catch a quick limit of speckled trout, but things didn’t go as planned, unfortunately!” said Darrell Schoppe, who shared a video of the fish on Facebook.
The fish came from the mouth of the Brazos River and were scattered for miles down the shoreline of Quintana Beach, near Freeport, Texas, according to Schoppe.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department investigated the eerie scene, and their findings indicated a “low dissolved oxygen event,” they told KSAT on Saturday.
In other words, the fish, believed to be Gulf menhaden, died due to a lack of oxygen in the water. According to TPWD, when this occurs, it’s usually due to a natural cause.
“Fish kills like this are common in the summer when temperatures increase,” TWPD officials said in a statement. “... Daily variations in dissolved oxygen concentration are attributed to photosynthesis and aerobic respiration.”
Before a low-oxygen event happens, TWPD officials said fish could be seen trying to get oxygen by “gulping at the surface of the water” in the early morning hours.
“Some fish may also be lying on the bottom or at the edge of the water,” TWPD said.
Anyone who witnesses a fish or wildlife kill or suspects a pollution event is urged to call 512-389-4848 to speak with your regional Kills and Spills Team biologist.