LAKE PALESTINE, Texas (KETK) - State officials are investigating after hundreds or possibly even thousands of dead fish were found in Lake Palestine.
According to a Texas Parks and Wildlife Department spokesperson, there are no boating restrictions on the lake yet.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is aware of a fish kill impacting primarily white bass on Lake Palestine. TPWD officials believe the kill is a naturally-occurring disease within the white bass population brought on by post spawn stress. We will continue to monitor this event.
"In this situation its a single species kill," said Greg Conley with the TPWD. "It's basically a disease issue of the population."
Conley said the fish were likely killed by weakened immune systems.
"They probably just came back into the lake recently from spawning up stream and up river," he said. "When a fish is stressed their immune system is low and they catch secondary infections."
The dead fish can be seen floating on the lake, but some are beginning to wash up on shore. The event is obviously causing alarm for people in the area.
They say the lake now has a fishy smell and buzzards are out, eating the dead fish.
"We went out on the barge and we started noticing it," said Daniel Frederick, who lives on the lake. "Just thousands of them. They were floating everywhere. I've never seen something like this in my entire life. I'll see a fish kill every now and then, but nothing like I saw yesterday."
Frederick has lived on the shore of Lake Palestine nearly five years. He was so concerned that he and his girlfriend phoned the game warden.
"They didn't know, but they said don't get in the water," Frederick said. "I guess they're going to figure things out."
KETK will bring you more on this story as it becomes available.