Texas Lake ‘Full of Dead Fish’ as Water Turns Blood-Red
A drought has left the OC Fisher Reservoir in San Angelo State Park in West Texas almost entirely dry. The water that is left is stagnant, full of dead fish — and a deep, opaque red.
The color has some apocalypse believers suggesting that OC Fisher is an early sign of the end of the world, but Texas Parks and Wildlife Inland Fisheries officials say the bloody look is the result of Chromatiaceae bacteria, which thrive in oxygen-deprived water.
‘It’s just heartbreaking,’ said Charles Cruz, a fish and wildlife technician with Texas Parks and Wildlife in San Angelo, Tex.
Texas is experiencing major drought this summer, with 75 percent of the state’s area in an ‘exceptional’ drought, the highest level, according to the National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC). The state had hoped for some relief from Tropical Storm Don last week, but the system fizzled and brought only an inch or two of rain to areas near the coast.
The drought has taken its toll on a number of reservoirs in West Texas, Cruz told LiveScience. OC Fisher has never been completely full, Cruz said, but it was stocked with catfish, bass, sunfish and other popular targets for fishermen.
‘We surveyed the lake, I believe it was last year, and we had a pretty good fish population out there,’ Cruz said. ‘It was pretty sickening going out there, watching lake levels just drop and drop and drop and seeing these nice trophy-sized bass just floating dead.'” Read more.