KRGV | September 07, 2016
ZAPATA – TxDOT is making changes at a construction site after a fish kill at Falcon Lake.
The city of Zapata is a popular fishing site. James Bendele with Falcon Lake Tackle said people from all over the country come to Zapata to fish.
â€œWe have a reputation as being a great bass fishing lake,â€ he said.
Recently, hundreds of fish in the area turned up dead.
There is a bridge in the south end of Zapata that leads those visitors to a fishing area. TxDOT is building a new bridge.
To move the heavy equipment, they had to build a temporary dam, a berm. They said it was put to separate Falcon Lake and Arroyo Veleno.
Workers put in a pipe to keep the lake and the arroyo connected, but the pipe didnâ€™t work. Afterwards, two natural events occurred that lowered the oxygen levels in the lake and supposedly killed the fish.
â€œFor the meantime, I think most of the fish that are behind that thing are dead. I donâ€™t think that thereâ€™s a bunch of game fish left over there,â€ said Bendele.
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department are asking TxDOT to do more. Related Article: TxDOT works to improve rural roadwaysÂ
Kills and Spills Team Regional Biologist with Texas Parks and Wildlife Alex Nunez said they donâ€™t think the berm caused the oxygen level to do down. But when it did, he said the dam isolated the affected fish.
â€œThereâ€™s some concerns that the culvert itself, that the berm was restricting water movement,â€ he said.
He said the department wants to see a bigger connection, so both fish and water can move around and make things better.
â€œIf it was me and I killed a bunch of those fish, the state would be after me to pay restitution for it,â€ said Bendele. Read more…