The "red tide" has returned.  State officials say this naturally occurring toxic algal bloom is responsible for all the dead fish that washed up on Texas beaches over the weekend.

 

The Galveston Daily News reports hundreds of thousands of dead fish littered Galveston’s beaches.  Dead fish were also reported on the Bolivar Peninsula, at Surfside near Freeport, and as far south as Matagorda Bay.

The red tide is an algae that soaks up so much oxygen that fish die from lack of oxygen and wash ashore. Oysters also die from lack of oxygen, which is why the Texas Department of State Health Services has closed closed Galveston Bay to oyster harvesting for the time being.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department biologists are trying to determine the extent of the red tide and its concentration, but they can't say if more kills will occur, or how long the current bloom will last. TPWD will continue testing the waters, and plans to distribute red tide fact cards to the Galveston Parks Board to help educate beach-goers about it.