Red tide returns
Red tide levels have jumped again in Port Aransas waters, but the fish kill here is much smaller than in areas further south, scientists said this week.
Samples taken in the Aransas Pass showed only trace amounts of the microscopic algae last week, but they went up to 100 to 200 cells per milliliter of water on Monday, Oct. 24, according to Meridith Byrd, a marine biologist with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
A product of the red tide, one of the larger fish kills in the area has been at Mustang Island State Park, Byrd said. Not nearly so many dead fish have been found on shore in Port Aransas, said Tony Amos, a research fellow with the University of Texas Marine Science Institute.
The red tide bloom has been taking place for days throughout the Texas coast south of Galveston.
On and off, the algae bloom has produced an “aerosol” effect in Port Aransas, sending a peppery smell through the air that caused people to cough and sneeze some.
Red tide doesn’t make it unsafe, per se, to swim in the water, but if there’s a fish kill, bacteria from the dead fish can make it unhealthy for swimming
Red tide doesn’t make it unhealthy to eat fish caught in local waters, according to scientists. However, people shouldn’t let their dogs eat dead fish that wash up on the beach, because it could make them sick.
The red tide toxin resides in fish guts, not in their muscle, the part that is filleted.