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Texas Beachgoers Encounter Thousands of Dead Fishes Along the Shoreline Instead of Sunset Views

Isabella Deza

This summer didn’t kick off to a great start for Texas beachgoers – imagine going to the beach to see the sunset and instead stumbling upon the view of thousands of dead fishes amongst the shoreline. This happened to residents and visitors in multiple beaches in southeast Texas. The reason why the dead fish appeared was because of low levels of dissolved oxygen in the water, which made it difficult for the fish to breathe.

According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, this phenomenon – known as a “fish kill” – is common as temperatures rise in the summer. Most of the dead fishes that washed ashore in Quintana Beach County Park were small creatures called Menhaden (also known as pogie). These fish travel in large schools in nearshore waters in the northern Gulf of Mexico, and they are described as small and oval-shaped.

A Facebook post from the park showed how many fishes that washed up on shore were “shredded skeletons,” meaning their flesh was eaten or left to decompose in the water. With the shoreline being covered in rotting carcasses, the department of the park had to warn the public to stay clear of the local beaches due to risk of exposure to bacteria and sharp fins. 

According to experts with NOAA’s National Ocean, climate change-induced rising water temperatures can intensify low oxygen levels in susceptible areas across the United States, increasing the likelihood of hypoxia and, in severe cases, triggering fish kills as oxygen levels critically decline. This specific incident hasn’t been connected to climate change, however, researchers have said fish kills may become more prevalent as temperatures warm and oxygen levels in lakes across the United States and Europe drop, both of which could result from climate change.


Guardian News and Media. (2023, June 13). Visitors warned away from Texas Beach after thousands of dead fish wash up. The Guardian.;

2. Kim, J. (2023, June 12). Why thousands of fish washed up on these Texas Beaches. NPR.;

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4. Magazine, S. (2023, June 14). Why thousands of dead fish washed ashore in Texas.;

5. Weise, E. (2023, June 20). Rotting seaweed, dead fish, no sand: Climate change threatens to ruin us beaches. USA Today.


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