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White bass dying on Brazos #13926383 03/17/21 06:45 PM
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Lonestar Angling Offline OP
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I had heard from a friend that there was a die-off happening on the Brazos so I went down to see for myself. Sure enough, there were fish dead everywhere. Mostly large shad but some small to mid-size white bass, sunfish, baby drum etc.

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

There were a few fish biting but nowhere near the activity you would normally see out here. Got 3 sandies on my white JIGLYF jig before the wind got too crazy to continue fishing.

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

What would y'all credit this die-off to? The rapid temperature changes that have occured due to cold rain and wild winds? Algae bloom? Also, are the fish that are being caught still okay to eat? A friend had requested I keep a stringer of fish for him but of course I didn't want to give him any without knowing they were safe. I didn't notice any difference in how they fought for their size, so I'm assuming they're unaffected by whatever caused this.

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Re: White bass dying on Brazos [Re: Lonestar Angling] #13926440 03/17/21 07:26 PM
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What part of Brazos?

Re: White bass dying on Brazos [Re: Lonestar Angling] #13926443 03/17/21 07:30 PM
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Could be an algae bloom from the huge warm up.

Re: White bass dying on Brazos [Re: TRH (formerly xpress00)] #13926471 03/17/21 07:50 PM
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TRH, it was just south of Graham. Fishin'aholic2, somebody I know suggested that it could be golden algae. Apparently it has been a problem at the same spot in the past. Gar were going crazy all over the top water which is very unusual there. I also saw a buffalo that had to be 10lb+ in some shallow water that seemed to be unaffected by a whatever is killing the other fish.

Re: White bass dying on Brazos [Re: Lonestar Angling] #13926654 03/17/21 10:33 PM
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This is just hearsay but I have been told that a golden algae bloom is confirmed in the area with areas up river allegedly having a lot more dead fish than I saw. Thought I would update y'all with what I heard.

Re: White bass dying on Brazos [Re: Lonestar Angling] #13926720 03/17/21 11:27 PM
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Informative thread. thumb


[Linked Image][Linked Image]

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Re: White bass dying on Brazos [Re: Lonestar Angling] #13926769 03/18/21 12:06 AM
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Nice sandies Lonestar Angling clap
Hate to see the fish die-off


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Re: White bass dying on Brazos [Re: Lonestar Angling] #13927550 03/18/21 04:22 PM
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Good size on those, that is strange those fish are dying off. My guess is algae bloom is suffocating them.


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Re: White bass dying on Brazos [Re: Slick Rick โ€˜06] #13927804 03/18/21 07:05 PM
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I suspect golden algae (Prymnesium parvum). The location (downstream of reservoir with history of P. parvum problems), time of year (this is when P. parvum has consistently had the largest, most toxic blooms), and non-specific die-off (several species, plus notes on gar surfacing in odd ways) highly suggest P. parvum toxins. Note that P. parvum toxins do not suffocate fish; dissolved oxygen has nothing to do with the die-off, esp this time of year when water is cool and saturation of dissolved oxygen is high. Other types of blooms, esp. filementous algae in rivers, can cause nighttime crashes in dissolved oxygen during the warm summer months, but I'm unaware of any cases of P. parvum killing fish because of low dissolved oxygen. It's a toxin and it's very toxic to fish!

Re: White bass dying on Brazos [Re: Lonestar Angling] #13927807 03/18/21 07:07 PM
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Thank you banker, gar and Rick! I hate to seem em die off too, it was looking like a great spawn. Makes me wish I had kept some more before it happened, between having a fish fry and giving 2.5lb of fillets away I'm thinking I'll need another spot that produces numbers soon. I'll update this thread next time I make it out there, possibly this evening.

Re: White bass dying on Brazos [Re: Lonestar Angling] #13927813 03/18/21 07:15 PM
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Lepisosteus, golden algae is allegedly confirmed at the location. Do you know if P. parvum is toxic to humans? If I'm returning to the location and shouldn't harvest any fish I'll leave the stringer and cooler behind for my walk downstream grin In the coming weeks is it likely that this spot will be barren, or should certain fish stick around the area if they're more resistant?

Re: White bass dying on Brazos [Re: Lonestar Angling] #13927830 03/18/21 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Lonestar Angling
Lepisosteus, golden algae is allegedly confirmed at the location. Do you know if P. parvum is toxic to humans? If I'm returning to the location and shouldn't harvest any fish I'll leave the stringer and cooler behind for my walk downstream grin In the coming weeks is it likely that this spot will be barren, or should certain fish stick around the area if they're more resistant?


P. parvum is not known to have any significant toxic effects to humans. However, it is still being studied heavily and there's a lot we don't know. It is strongly recommended never to consume fish that are in an area affected by a P. parvum bloom, and certainly none that are dying from its toxins. The algae can bloom and not produce toxins so blooms can occur without fish kills. Blooms can clear up quickly, but I'd check with your local authorities to confirm whether that area is safe to fish (if you're intended on eating them) in the coming weeks. It's probably safe to catch-and-release if there enough fish worth pursuing. A lot of the fish will move away from the bloom if they can, so if the water level is sufficient to allow movement among pools, they may move back up or down depending upon the conditions.

Re: White bass dying on Brazos [Re: Lonestar Angling] #13928041 03/18/21 10:51 PM
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Update: more fish have washed up on the shores and the bite was non-existent today, I'm guessing the fish did just what you said and moved up/downstream.

[Linked Image]

Re: White bass dying on Brazos [Re: Lonestar Angling] #13928207 03/19/21 01:53 AM
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Not sure how my post above got listed as yesterday night, since I took and posted the photo this evening?

Re: White bass dying on Brazos [Re: Lonestar Angling] #13928936 03/19/21 05:44 PM
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If you've ever Googled "Haff disease" you would have second thoughts about eating fish in an algae bloom.


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