For more information regarding fishing, swimming and going to the beach during a red tide event check out our FAQ page.
October 2, 2015
TPWD staff conducted fish kill assessments along…
- Padre Island National Seashore, from northern Mansfield Pass Jetty north one mile;
- the southern shoreline of Corpus Christi Bay from North Beach to Oso Bay Bridge with a fish kill observed at North Beach, McGee Beach, Cole and Ropes Park; and
- Boca Chica beach
The fish kills assessed in the Lower Laguna Madre (from Brazos Santiago Pass, west to Bahia Grande and North to the Queen Isabella Causeway and also from Mansfield Pass west) were categorized as having a dense, diverse assemblage of species killed. Padre Island National Seashore staff also reported a small fish kill along the Bird Island Basin area near the Bird Island Basin camp ground but no assessment was conducted.
Water samples to assess red tide cell concentrations were conducted along the coast all week. The following is the latest data regarding the location and cell concentration of red tide from TPWD staff.
- Pelican Island near Galveston is maintaining background cell concentrations of red tide and has no reports of respiratory irritation.
- The UTMSI Pier in Port Aransas is maintaining low cell concentrations of red tide and has no reports of respiratory irritation.
- Padre Island National Seashore has low cell concentrations of red tide at the northern boundary to the 15 mile marker and high cell concentrations at the 45 mile marker to Mansfield Pass.
- The area between TAMU-CC and Ropes Park in Corpus Christi Bay continues to show streaking in the water and a dense red tide bloom was observed along the Corpus Christi Bayfront at McGee Beach and Cole Park.
- The Upper Laguna Madre around Bird Island Basin had low cell concentrations of red tide to high cell concentrations of red tide at mid-week. However, these cell concentrations then decreased back to low concentrations by the end of the week.
- South Padre Island along the beach has high cell concentrations of red tide.
- The Lower Laguna Madre, near the Convention Center, continues to maintain low cell concentrations.
- The Brazos Santiago Pass and the Lower Laguna Madre have high cell concentrations.
September 28, 2015
Reports over the weekend continued to identify red tide cells at background concentrations near Pelican Island (Galveston) and at low concentrations at the UTMSI Pier (Port Aransas). Water samples taken in South Padre Island show moderate to high cell concentrations of red tide with high concentrations along the beach in the City of South Padre Island. Reports of respiratory irritation declined on Saturday according to city officials. Low cell concentrations continue to be present near the Convention Center in South Padre. Water samples from the Brazos Santiago Pass and in the Lower Laguna Madre found moderate cell concentrations.
TPWD staff is assessing fish kills this week along the Padre Island National Seashore, in the South Padre Island area, along Boca Chica beach and in the Port Mansfield area.
September 25, 2015
Here are the latest updates:
- Background cell concentrations of red tide near Pelican Island
- No red tide cells in the Galveston Bay area, Copano Bay area, Aransas bay area and Bird Island Basin
- Low concentrations of red tide cells near the UTMSI Pier in Port Aransas
- Moderate cell concentrations near Port O’Connor with high cell concentrations near the mouth of the big jetties
- Corpus Christi Bay has concentrations ranging from background to high. High cell concentrations were observed in Redfish Bay, the La Quinta Channel and from the Texas A&M Corpus Christi campus to Ropes Park
- High cell concentrations near Pita Island Park
- Moderate cell concentrations along the beach in South Padre Island with high concentrations near Beach Access 6
- Low cell concentrations in the Lower Laguna Madre near the Convention Center
- Moderate concentrations in Brazos Santiago Pass
Staff from multiple agencies are currently assessing fish kills in the following areas:
- Intracoastal Waterway in the Upper Laguna Madre
- the area in the Upper Laguna Madre from North in Packery Flats -- West to Humble Channel and south along the Intracoastal Waterway
- Padre Isles Canals subdivision
- Port Mansfield area
- along Mustang Island from Packery Channel north to Newport Beach Access Rd and Mustang Island State Park south to Newport Beach Access Rd
- Padre Island from Packery Channel South to the Northern boundary of PINS
September 23, 2015
Reports of discolored water and/or red tide aerosols continue in the Gulf of Mexico from Galveston to Padre Island National Seashore (PINS) and South Padre Island. Reports of fish kills, discolored water and/or aerosols have been reported within some bay systems, including San Antonio Bay, Aransas Bay, Corpus Christi Bay, and upper and lower Laguna Madre.
- Galveston Bay near Pelican Island showing low cell concentrations of red tide with no reports of respiratory irritation.
- Water samples in the Freeport area found no evidence red tide cells.
- The UTMSI pier in Port Aransas is maintaining low concentrations of red tide.
- Padre Island National Seashore (PINS) showed an increase in cell densities from moderate concentrations (9/15/15) to high concentrations (9/21/15) with cell concentrations increased further south around the 20 mile marker. Cell concentrations ranging from background to very low were also observed on Bird Island Basin.
- Water samples in Corpus Christi Bay have ranged from background cell concentrations along the shoreline of the City of Corpus Christi to high cell concentrations along the city of Portland, near Indian Point Pier.
- South Padre Island has seen an increase from very low concentration (9/21/15) to moderate (9/22/15), with high concentrations observed at Beach Access Rd 6.
- Brazos Santiago Pass and the Lower Laguna Madre increased in cell concentration from background to low.
- TPWD resource Management crew reported a fish kill along the shoreline off beach access #5 on South Padre Island.
- The Lower Laguna Madre, near the Convention Center has seen an increase in cell concentration from background to low.
PINS also reported tree frog mortalities as well as spotted ground squirrel mortalities being observed. This has not been observed in other red tide events, historically. PINS will be sending frog and squirrel samples to the National Park Service veterinary lab in Fort Collins, Colorado for further analysis.
Fish Kill assessments are ongoing at…
- Mustang Island from Packery Channel approximately 0.5 miles north to Newport Beach Access Road
- Padre Island from Packery Channel south to the Northern boundary of PINS.
- Mustang Island State Park south to Newport Beach Access Road by Mustang Island State Park staff
- The Intracoastal Waterway
September 22, 2015
Reports of discolored water and/or red tide aerosols continue in the Gulf of Mexico ranging from Freeport to Padre Island National Seashore (PINS) and South Padre Island. Reports of fish kills, discolored water and aerosols have been reported within some bay systems, including San Antonio Bay, Aransas Bay, Corpus Christi Bay and the upper Laguna Madre.
- Port Aransas reported no respiratory irritation over the weekend.
- Mustang Island State Park south to the 20 mile marker in PINS reported respiratory irritation over the weekend along with a continuous, dense and diverse fish kill. The park also reported ground squirrel mortality and a Pygmy Sperm Whale that washed ashore. However, these deaths have not been confirmed as being caused by red tide.
- Fish kills were reported in the area in the Upper Laguna Madre from North in Packery Flats, west to Humble Channel and south along the Intracoastal Waterway. There are also reports of dead fish observed in Padre Isles Canals subdivision.
Fish kill assessments are occurring and will be expanded today and tomorrow to cover Mustang Island State Park south to Bob Hall Pier. The PINS staff is assessing the fish kills along PINS this week. TPWD staff and partners are collecting water samples along South Padre Island, Freeport and offshore in the Gulf of Mexico.
September 18, 2015
Reports of discolored water and/or red tide aerosols in the Gulf of Mexico range from Freeport to Padre Island National Seashore (PINS) and South Padre Island. Below is the latest information regarding the areas now being affected.
Water samples collected from September 17 to September 18 by the Texas Department of State Health Services confirmed moderate cell concentrations in Redfish Bay with a high cell concentration bloom of red tide near Ransom Point. Background cell concentrations of red tide were also indicated along the southwestern shoreline of Corpus Christi Bay. As the week has progressed, South Padre Island cell densities increased from background concentrations to very low concentrations but there are still no reports of respiratory irritations.
The latest locations of observed fish kills include:
- The Aransas Pass at the UTMSI pier in Port Aransas
- Between Con Brown Harbor and Cove Harbor with a dozen mullet reported killed.
- Packery Channel from Packery Basin west to Packery Channel County Park where the fish kill included menhaden, flounder and trout
- Humble Channel, north of JFK Causeway
- Quarantine shoreline along the Northwest side of the Lydia Ann Channel with an estimated extent of 1.5 miles with oyster toadfish and about 30 mullet being killed.
September 17, 2015
Red tide has been confirmed from Port Aransas south to the 10 mile marker at the Padre Island National Seashore. Water samples collected from September 14th to September 16th by TPWD and Padre Island National Seashore staff confirmed high cell concentrations of red tide at the Bob Hall Pier and the Packery Channel in Corpus Christi. Moderate cell concentrations were found at the Horace Caldwell Pier in Port Aransas; mile markers 0, 5, and 10 along the Padre Island National Seashore; and the Lydia Ann Channel near Port Aransas. Cell concentrations were low at the intersection of the La Quinta Channel and the Corpus Christi Channel. Only background cell concentrations (less than 1 to 10 red tide cells per milliliter and no reports of irritation) were found at South Padre Island and Cedar Pass.
This bloom of red tide has also caused fish kills to be observed by the TPWD staff in areas including:
- Mustang Island State Park with a dispersion of approximately 100 fish per 50 feet of gafftopsail catfish, mullet, spadefish and pinfish being killed
- The shoreline north and south of the Packery Channel with north of the pass showing a diverse assemblage of pigfish, mullet, spadefish, and hardhead catfish being killed; south of the pass consisting of mainly mullet being killed.
- The Bob Hall Pier was also affected with a patchy dispersion of mullet being killed.
Near Port O’Connor, fish kills of gulf menhaden were observed in the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway but only background concentrations of red tide were present in the water sample. TPWD also observed an increase from the initial reports of gulf menhaden fish kills along the southern shores of Packery Channel and the gulf shores of San Jose Island.
September 15, 2015
TPWD is working with other agencies to monitor a red tide event along the southern Texas coast. The bloom was confirmed Sunday, September 13, when University of Texas Marine Science Institute (UTMSI) personnel around the fish pass jetties on Mustang Island noted irritation of their eyes and nose when breathing. These symptoms are often associated with strong red tide aerosols. Water samples were collected and were found to have high numbers of the microscopic algae Karenia brevis, commonly called red tide.
Samples collected on September 14 by TPWD and Padre Island National Seashore (PINS) staff identified high cell concentrations at Horace Caldwell Pier (Port Aransas), Packery Channel (Corpus Christi), Bob Hall Pier (Corpus Christi), and the northern border of PINS. Mild irritation was also reported at these sites.
This bloom is suspected to have caused fish kills at a number of locations along the lower coast near the Corpus Christi area including the southern shores of Packery Channel and the gulf shores of Padre Island from the Packery Channel jetty south to Whitecap St. Beach Access. In addition, fish kills have been reported along the gulf shores of San Jose Island, north of the Aransas Pass Jetty.
January 27, 2015
No red tide is being reported anywhere along the Texas coast.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Texas Department of State Health Services investigate reports of possible red tide along the coast and in the bays.
Three common signs of a red tide bloom are:
- discolored water
- dead fish
- breathing difficulty.
From the Centers
for Disease Control:
The human health effects associated with eating brevetoxin-tainted shellfish are well documented. However, scientists know little about how other types of environmental exposures to brevetoxin—such as breathing the air near red tides or swimming in red tides—may affect humans. Anecdotal evidence suggests that people who swim among brevetoxins or inhale brevetoxins dispersed in the air may experience irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, as well as coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. Additional evidence suggests that people with existing respiratory illness, such as asthma, may experience these symptoms more severely.
To report sightings of red tide during normal business hours, call your local TPWD office or 361-825-3244. Outside of normal business hours you may call TPWD's 24-hour communications centers at 512-389-4848 (Austin) or 281-842-8100 (Houston.)
Although some travelers may be concerned with how the red tide may affect their vacation plans, there are miles of clean beaches to enjoy on the Texas coast. When making travel plans, heed the advice of the Texas Department of State Health Services : get the current facts and draw your own conclusions.
For more information about red tide and the latest updates, call the TPWD hotline at (800) 792-1112, select fishing, then select red tide.
Current information about shellfish closures can be obtained by contacting the Seafood Safety Division of the Texas Department of State Health Services at (800) 685-0361. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Texas Department of State Health Services investigate reports of possible red tide along the coast and in the bays.