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Update: Fish Kill on San Bernard
Posted on Sep 10th, 2011

This is a map of some of the stations where readings were collected. September 8, 2011 –– Water column profile readings taken at stations 1-15 (FM 521 bridge upstream to saltwater barrier).
“…Texas Parks and Wildlife received the first notification from area residents near River Bend Road on Aug. 15. concerning dead shad in the San Bernard River. A staff member from the office here visited with one of the residents on the 16th.We knew there were dissolved oxygen and high salinity concerns after the receiving these reports. Dickinson Coastal Fisheries staff have responded to significant low dissolved oxygen kills throughout this summer in tributaries to the Galveston Bay complex. The dry weather is contributing to warm water temperatures, reduced flows, areas of low dissolved oxygen, higher salinities, and algae blooms.
Dissolved oxygen and salinity readings have been collected up to the saltwater barrier (located above Hwy 35) that show very low to anoxic dissolved oxygen conditions above FM 522 where the salinities are 16-19 ppt and dissolved oxygen concentrations are 0.4-1 mg/l in the segment of the river that would normally contain freshwater. The kill of freshwater fish consists primarily of smallmouth buffalo and blue catfish. The saltwater barrier that stretches across the width of the river is preventing fish from moving upstream. The low oxygen levels are causing a kill of some marine fish primarily gulf menhaden. Salinities are up to 27 ppt to 29 ppt near FM 521 in the middle reach of the river. "
Winston Denton, Regional Biologist
Ecosystem Resources Program
Coastal Fisheries Division
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
1502 FM 517 E., Dickinson, TX 77539
281-534-0138, winston.denton@tpwd.state.tx.us
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