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'Algae bloom' is to blame for huge fish kill in the Nueces River

Dead fish
Posted at 6:00 PM, Jul 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-06 19:28:32-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas  — Algae bloom is being blamed for a huge fish kill in the Nueces River near Labonte Park.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Regional Response Coordinator Alex Nuñez said they first were notified about the dead fish on Friday.

According to Nuñez, who is part of the group's Kills and Spills Team, the algae produces oxygen in the river during the day. During the night, the algae's metabolism shifts and it consumes oxygen, and since there is not enough oxygen, it causes the fish to suffocate.

Nuñez said the dead fish are causing a stench, but the decaying fish won't be removed.

"We let nature take its course," he added.

Although there isn't a time frame on how long this may last, Texas Parks and Wildlife said that algae needs nutrients to bloom.

"There are a couple of sources that go into the water, including one of the city's wastewater plants that go into the river," he said. "Then, we received rains in the area that caused runoff into the river which then feed the bloom."

Another factor in play is the weather, there has been little-to-no wind, which prevents the mixing in the water column.

Digital Content Producer Naidy Escobar contributed to this story.