Our Water: recent fish kill due to low oxygen in Concho River


Catfish stocking proceeds following further water tests

SAN ANGELO, Texas – A recent fish kill in the Concho River, a common annual occurrence, may have caused some area residents and fishermen concern.​ The recent rain event caused the Concho River to be stirred up, blending deeper low oxygen water with upper level oxygenated water.​

Other ideas, such as an algae bloom, may have come to mind.​ “The low dissolved oxygen levels, was kind of triggered by that heavy rain event we had last week on Monday,” explained District Fisheries Biologist Lynn Wright. “[It] kind of stirred the river up and cause caused the dissolved oxygen levels to go down enough that we lost some fish in the river. In West Texas whenever fish die a lot of people like the jump that idea that it was, it might have been golden algae because we do have golden algae issues that cause fish kills in West Texas.​ However, what happened on the Concho River was purely a natural process, […] so it wasn’t golden algae and it wasn’t related to pollution.”​

With the most recent rain being lighter, Texas Parks and Wildlife fisheries staff still thought it best to test the waters ahead of an already rescheduled fish stock.​ “That caused me concern that we might see a repeat of what happened.,” said Wright. “I did go down to the river […] to get levels and though they did drop a little bit, they didn’t drop as bad as it did last week and so we’re still going to be able to stock the river with catfish.”​

Wright says that following the recent fish kill, natural reproduction should make up for losses.​

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