WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — The triple-digit heat and lack of rainfall are affecting citizens of Texoma, with declining lake levels leading to water restrictions being imposed in Wichita Falls and other surrounding cities.
However, the hot Texoma summer isn’t just affecting people. It’s also having an impact on area wildlife.
Residents and visitors have noticed over the past few days a large number of fish floating on the surface and washing up on the shores of Lake Wichita along with a foul stench.
As lakes dry up and no fresh water flows in for weeks, the oxygen levels decline and eventually there is not enough to support the number of fish in some lakes, such as Lake Wichita.
This appears to be the case regarding the current rise in the number of dead fish appearing in the water, as has been the case in summers past, with more and more dead fish floating on the surface and washing ashore, and also making an unpleasant odor.
The conditions can also encourage algae blooms, which also deplete oxygen.
A game warden said the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has not made an onsite inspection of the situation at Lake Wichita just yet, but said the most likely cause of the recent fish kill is oxygen depletion.
A biologist with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Inland Fisheries Division said they will take samples tomorrow morning to measure the oxygen level.
Officials said while the bad odor may be increasing as more fish die, it poses no threat to humans or other animals.
This is a developing story. Stick with Texoma’s Homepage for updates as more information becomes available.