Red Tide Photos
Aerial view of discolored water off the coast of Texas, October 14, 2009
Aerial view of dea fish on the beach, October 14, 2009
Gulls feeding on dead fish at Packery Channel
TPWD biologists conduct surveys of dead fish, October 16, 2009
Biologist Alex Nunez surveys the Texas coast for red tide.
Red tide bloom at South Padre Island (photo by Chase Fountain, TPWD)
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Texas Department of State Health Services investigate reports of possible red tide along the coast and in the bays.
Three common signs of a red tide bloom are:
- discolored water
- dead fish
- breathing difficulty.
From the Centers
for Disease Control:
The human health effects associated with eating brevetoxin-tainted shellfish are well documented. However, scientists know little about how other types of environmental exposures to brevetoxin—such as breathing the air near red tides or swimming in red tides—may affect humans. Anecdotal evidence suggests that people who swim among brevetoxins or inhale brevetoxins dispersed in the air may experience irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, as well as coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. Additional evidence suggests that people with existing respiratory illness, such as asthma, may experience these symptoms more severely.
To report sightings of red tide during normal business hours, call your local TPWD office or 361-825-3244. Outside of normal business hours you may call TPWD’s 24-hour communications centers at 512-389-4848 (Austin) or 281-842-8100 (Houston.)
Although some travelers may be concerned with how the red tide may affect their vacation plans, there are miles of clean beaches to enjoy on the Texas coast. When making travel plans, heed the advice of the Texas Department of State Health Services : get the current facts and draw your own conclusions.
For more information about red tide and the latest updates, call the TPWD hotline at (800) 792-1112, select fishing, then select red tide.
Current information about shellfish closures can be obtained by contacting the Seafood Safety Division of the Texas Department of State Health Services at (800) 685-0361. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Texas Department of State Health Services investigate reports of possible red tide along the coast and in the bays.