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The Coastal Bend has overall been impacted by fish killed from last weeks freeze

Fish washed ashore from the February's big freeze
Posted at 7:35 AM, Feb 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-26 08:35:37-05

CORPUS CHRISTI — After last week's freeze, Corpus Christi residents have reported a massive amount of dead fish. This is not only a problem in the neighborhood but something that has impacted the local seafood restaurants.

"The smell in certain areas as the temperature rises becomes overwhelming," said Marvin Jones, PIOPA Board President.

The Padre Islanders Association is hard at work with crews scooping thousands of dead fish out of the canals.

"This is just beyond precedent, this is probably the largest fish kill in the canals in history," said Jones.

According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department initial reports show the extent of fish mortalities were found in six different bay systems including, Aransas Bay, Corpus Christi Bay, the Upper Laguna Madre and the Lower Laguna Madre.

While people have volunteered to gather up all the dead fish, local fishermen are not happy with their catch last week.

"We had no production, we had little or none," said owner of Morgan Street Seafood, Carlos Alegria. "I was finally able to find some fish, but it was not enough for the start of lent season and for the needs of the local restaurants."

Alegria says he has 10 boats bringing in fresh catch, he also makes it a mission driving up and down the coast to keep up with demand. As of right now fish are biting but they wont know how bad the fish population was affected until later.

"When the water warms up we'll have a better indicator on fish population based on how many fish we catch," said Alegria.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department says its working to find out the total number of fish that dies during the freeze.

They will have that information available soon.