Saturday, August 11, 2012


A sad day in Bacliff Texas 77518. a massive flounder fish kill off the shoreline of Bacliff, Texas. I know that heat has a factor, but it's been hot before, and i have never in my life seen this many flounder killed at one time, in one kill. we know that the spillway dead zone is a factor too, you can see that history below, where i posted about another flounder fish kill in 2010. the Toxic Island Dump of the Bacliff Shoreline, on the Houston ship channel, is probably not helping either. you can see toxic Galveston Bay dump off Bacliff, Shoreline here ;

see some history on annual flounder fish kills here ;
Aug. 3, 2010, 10:37PM
Subject: deadzone reply tss

WE have a dead zone right here in Bacliff Texas, on Galveston Bay, caused by ZERO oxygen level towards the bottom, flowing out of the Reliant spillway park, due to treated sewer being dumped into the discharge canal. i was told by TPWD, from that pipe down to the mouth of the bay, via the discharge pipe, there is a blue green algae that has created the ZERO oxygen levels towards the bottom. the ZERO oxygen levels once the water discharges into the bay, runs both North and South up and down Bacliff, and San Leon shore line. Both FLOUNDER AND STINGRAYS have been seen floating belly up in large numbers. this has been going on for about 4 or 5 years, every year about this same time we saw it this year, and is generally seen around no tide movement days. BUT, we have had a significant reduction in the numbers of flounders in our area over this same time frame. i guess that's why we smell fece's in Galveston bay from time to time also. isn't progress wonderful. ...not///

check out the next addition of the SEABREEZE newspaper.

here is the article in the Seabreeze news about this ;


WHY THE FISH ARE DYING (Part two in a series by Steve Hoyland Sr. of the Seabreeze News) Galveston Bay Area
The voice of the beautiful bayside communities PH: 281.235.8885

Serving: San Leon, Bacliff, Bayview, Dickinson, Texas City, Kemah, League City, Seabrook & Clear Lake Shores

October 4, 2012
Why The Fish Are Dying

(Part two in a series by Steve Hoyland Sr. of the Seabreeze News)

In our last issue, we reported on the massive fish kill in the area along the shore just north of the Spillway in San Leon. While that issue was still being printed I took two experts from an independent laboratory out in my boat to take mud and oxygen samples at the inlet and outlet of the HL&P (Houston Lighting & Power Co.) canal which passes through our scenic little community. The results finally came back from the lab just three days ago, and they are startling. On the HL&P canal inlet side that ties into Dickinson Bayou the chemical oxygen demand (COD) was 368 (normal being 40 or less.) The dissolved oxygen was 0.3. This dissolved oxygen level is so low where Dickinson Bayou and the HL&P canal meet that it cannot sustain any aquatic life. The lab analyst stated, "With the combination of these numbers this water is the equivalent of sewer water."
Coincidentally, there are currently five sewage plants that dump into Dickinson Bayou and the HL&P canal. On top of that, Texas City is rumored to have plans to turn the twelve hundred acres of HL&P property into a housing project. They have proposed building a sewage treatment facility on Dickinson Bayou between the inlet canal and the bridge, where it would dump one million gallons of treated sewage into Dickinson Bayou every day. What are they thinking?
On the canal outlet at the Spillway, we found the chemical oxygen demand (COD) was 358. The dissolved oxygen level was 2.8. Once again, the water there will not sustain aquatic life. The only good news from the testing we paid for is that there were no heavy metals detected in the mud samples.

The HL&P canal was initially dredged in 1972. According to specifications contained in the permit, it was to be 18 feet deep all the way from Galveston Bay to Dickinson Bayou. The same permit contained provisions that Dickinson Bayou was to be dredged out all the way out to the Houston Ship Channel. This was never done, not even one time.

This is the specific wording used by the US Army Corps of Engineers in writing to HL&P, before they issued the initial permit which created the canal:

"The decision as to where a permit will be issued will be based on an evaluation of the impact of the proposed work on the public interest. Factors affecting the public interest include, but are not limited to, navigation, fish and wildlife, water quality, economics, conservation aesthetics, recreation, water supply, flood damage prevention, ecosystems, and in general the needs and welfare of the people."

The above was written by the district engineer of the Galveston District, Corp of Engineers.
On May 10, 1972, Mr. D. E. Simmons, Vice President of Environmental and Inter-Utility Affairs for Houston Lighting and Power stated in writing to the Corp of Engineers that

"continued maintenance is planned."
In response, the Corp of Engineers issued a Public Notice on November 9, 1972 announcing plans for the HL&P proposals which included the obligation for the utility company to perform continued maintenance dredging. It was understood and agreed upon that the utility would maintain the canal by periodically dredging it and the adjoining bayou, in order to prevent what has now happened. As stated earlier, no such dredging has ever been performed since that 1972 statement. Due to the fact that the dredging maintenance was never performed, the HL&P canal and Dickinson Bayou have both filled in on the ends. This has caused what is called a ''Hydraulic Effect". Hydraulic Effect on Dickinson Bayou means the bayou is twenty-five to thirty feet deep until it gets close to the bay where it shoals to just six or eight feet. That that the bayou cannot ever flow correctly and get properly flushed out. All of the sediment from runoff collects into the mud of the bayou (ie: fertilizer, pesticides, and the waste from the sewer plants.) If the mouth of this bayou and both sides of the HL&P canal were continually dredged as stipulated in the original permit, this hydraulic effect would not be in play. If the bayou was dredged as stipulated in the permit, the lab analyst said that Dickinson Bayou would healing itself immediately. He said, "Mother Nature will eat up all the black muck with natural bacteria once there is a normal oxygen level and good tidal flow. This applies to the canal as well.

Dickinson Bayou and the shoreline can be fixed. It can be a vibrant, aquatic productive estuary once again. Dolphins, alligators, and all manner of wildlife once lived there. The reason our bayou has died is because someone didn't do what they said they were going to do, what they were in fact obligated to do legally.

Who is responsible for this major screw-up? I believe it is a combination of HL&P not doing the dredging they agreed to do, and the Army Corps of Engineers not verifying that work was performed. It all has to do with money.
We have put all of the documentation on our web site. To see the flounder kill video and copies of the permits and the drawings of the proposed dredging that was never done please visit ;

You do not need to be a subscriber to see this information.

A special thanks to Terry Singeltary of Bacliff for all of his help and support. Also, thanks to Texas A&M Galveston Marine Biology Department for their input.
We are not finished with our investigation. Look for continued coverage in the next issue of the Seabreeze News.
We will be in contact with the Galveston Bay Foundation and their attorney, seeking their knowledge and expertise.

We hope to find some way to open up Dickinson Bayou and both sides of the HL&P canal in order to facilitate the healing and restoration of our bayou and shorelines, as was expressly promised in the contract.

I have never been a ''tree hugger", but we cannot stand by and allow our coastal waters to be destroyed in the name of the almighty dollar, especially when the solution to the main problem is so simple.
If you have any information to share or "comments please write us at the Seabreeze News or send an email to: Steve Hoyland Sr.
Spillway inlet outlet canal Permit 5972 Hwy 146 Bacliff Texas pdf file



see video of massive flounder kill with Seabreeze article September 6, 2012 ;
Thousands of Flounder Killed on San Leon Bacliff Shoreline (AGAIN)

additional sources for flounder kill video;

September 6, 2012

Thousands of Flounder Killed on San Leon Bacliff Shoreline (AGAIN)

There was a major flounder kill on August 12th, 2012. Flounder up to 4 pounds were floating down the shoreline of the San Leon/Bacliff area. “This is the 6th year in a row that this has happened” said angry Bacliff resident, Terry Singletary. He said, “I’ve reported it to the Texas Parks and Wildlife in 2010, 2011 and of course this year in 2012. It is not the red tide.” I agree with him. He also reported it to the Galveston Bay Foundation. Their representative told Singletary that they were very concerned and that they would look into it. As of press time, he has not heard back from them.

The only thing killed and floating this year again was thousands of flounder. The red tide kills a variety of fish. Mr. Singletary reported to the Seabreeze, along with resident Robert Redfield last year, and we reported on it. This year Singletary reported it to the Texas Parks and Wildlife in Dickinson and also to the T.P & W. laboratory on Todville Road. He has pictures and videos. He talked to the Dickinson office of Texas Parks and Wildlife on August 14th and on the same day he sent them pictures and a video. Three days later they returned his call. They tried to convince him, like they did in 2010, that it is a blue algae bloom. Singletary asked them if they saw the video. The biologist said they have not even looked at it. He called the laboratory on Todville and they did not even want him to send them the video. The lady said, “If we want to look at the video we will ask you for it at a later date.” Two weeks later they are still not interested.

The flounder kill appears to have started around the HL&P Spillway mouth dumping into Galveston Bay. This morning as this paper was being printed, I was in my boat with a representative from an independent lab catching mud samples from each end of the H.L.& P. canal. We do not know where the contamination is coming from but at least we are doing something about it unlike the Texas Parks and Wildlife who are once again sitting on their ass doing nothing.

As we reach press time, September the 5th, we are waiting on the results of these samples. We already know that the H.L.&P. canal was not dug to the specifications of the original permit. The canal was required to tie into Dickinson Bayou on one end and they were to dig the Bayou out wide and 18 feet deep all the way to the channel. This side called the “inlet” side of the canal was not properly dug according to the permit. Two miles up from the Dickinson Bayou bridge, the bayou runs 20 feet deep or more. On the “Bay” side of the Dickinson Bayou bridge it averages 8 feet in depth. As anybody should know, water does not run uphill. So, all containments would stay in the bayou unable to escape. A good question would be who was overseeing the digging of the H.L.&P. canal and why did no one catch this colossal mistake? Or was it a mistake at all?

As of this time we have not jumped to any conclusions and we are not saying that the canal is at fault for the flounder kills. We will have to wait until the sample results are returned.

Dickinson Bayou is almost completely dead. The state has posted signs at all boat ramps saying do not eat fish from this bayou or swim in the water. Does this sound like a healthy vibrant bayou to you? We have been fighting a new sewer plant proposed to dump an additional one million gallons per day of treated water into Dickinson Bayou. Do you think this bayou can take any more abuse and survive? What do you readers think of this? Your comments would be greatly appreciated.

We will be reporting on this next month as we know more.


stupid is, as stupid does, and sometimes, you just can't fix stupid...
please see article ;
August 6, 2010
Got Flounder? Not in San Leon.
During the month of July, flounder and stingray have been floating up dead all along the San Leon/Bacliff shoreline on the north side. Our freelance reporter, Terry Singeltary, ob- served dead flounder floating by in groups of twos and three's with an occasional five or six. These are big, mature flounder, from two to seven pounds. Along with these flounder, dead stingrays have been seen floating by. Mr. Bobby Redfield, who lives on Bayshore Drive, also observed the same thing and gave me a call. This went on for several days. We received eight more calls where someone people left messages regarding dead flounder floating around the spillway, but did not leave their names and numbers. Our reporter contacted Lance Robinson, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Biologist located at the Dickinson office and expressed his concern about the destruction of these fish. Mr. Robinson said that they were aware of this problem and knew the cause. It turns out that a water treatment plant in the Bacliff area has a discharge pipeline that dumps into the HL&P outlet canal and goes out by way of the spillway and follows the tide. Since there is no longer any pressured flow discharging from HL&P, the chemicals from this treated water build up, removing all of the oxygen from the bottom of the water along the shoreline. The fish that live on the bottom of the bay, like flounder and stingray, cannot survive. This has been going on for years and has not been addressed. With the three sewer plants dumping into Dickinson Bayou and the de- pletion of flounder it makes you wonder why anyone in their right mind would want to put another sewer plant dumping into our precious, fragile resources. Mr. Robinson said they were having a meeting on this very subject. The meeting was to take place one week ago from this newspaper printing. Our reporter has put a call in to Mr. Robinson three days prior to this publication and at this time has not been called back. Maybe the Texas Parks and Wildlife has to contact the CCA and ask them how they should handle it. As we know more, you will know more. Do you fisherman ever wonder why there may be a shortage of flounder? With all of the sewer plants up and down the Texas coast dumping water treatment chemicals into our bays, creeks, rivers, bayous, estuaries, it's no wonder that the flounder are disappearing. What are you going to do about it Texas Parks & Wildlife? Are you going to keep cutting back the limits with the fisherman until you stop fishing for flounder forever, or are you actually going to address the problem? It's time for you Texas fishermen to wake up and let your voices be heard.
with sad regards,

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