The rain and rising reservoirs are good news for more than just drinking water, salinity levels in local bays are falling.
A researcher at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi says the releases from Lake Corpus Christi and other bays along the coastal bend means good news for both recreational and commercial shrimpers and fishermen.
The drought raises salinity levels when not enough fresh water is flowing down local rivers into bays and estuaries. And the lack of fresh water in the past couple of years has caused salinity levels to spike.
Too high and that can kill off much of the sea life that's already in the bays. As of September 17, 2013, the salinity level in Nueces Bay was at 41 parts per thousand. As of Wednesday, that level has dropped to 32 parts per thousand.
The level at which fish and shrimp reproduce and thrive is at 28 parts per thousand or less and Texas A&M researchers say that's already happened in parts of the Nueces Delta and Nueces Bay.
Larry Lloyd, research with Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, says,"Fresh water is the difference between fish and shrimp maybe hatching their eggs and spawning larvae and not. So fresh water can make the difference of if we have lots of fish and shrimp available for recreational and commercial fishermen and or we have little to none."
The salinity levels will continue to drop but at a much slower pace for as long as the water releases into the Nueces River continues.
Lloyd says that there should be enough time for several new generations of fish and shrimp to hatch and spawn. Releases are expected to continue from Lake Corpus Christi for the next week or two.
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