Last month’s winter freeze that lead to fish kills across the Rio Grande Valley and all along the entire Texas coast caused the death of 3.8 million fish.
This fish kill consisted of at least 61 species and 91% were non-recreational species like Silver Perch, Hardhead Catfish, Pinfish, Bay Anchovy and Striped Mullet.
The other nine percent of the dead fish included:
>> Spotted Seatrout (48%)
>> Black Drum (31%)
>> Sheepshead (8%)
>> Sand Seatrout (7%)
>> Red Drum (3%)
>> Gray Snapper (2%)
>> Red Snapper (<1%)
Both the Upper and Lower Laguna Madre bay systems were hit particularly hard by this event. The Lower Laguna Madre had the highest mortality of Spotted Seatrout with an estimated 104,000 fish killed. The Upper Laguna Madre had experienced Black Drum mortality at an estimated 82,600 fish and comprised 78% of the coastwide Black Drum killed.
Texas Parks and Wildlife said fish that can’t make it to a refuge in deeper, more temperature stable water during cold weather, die when water temperatures get to low.