Thousands of fish found dead on the arroyo

RIO HONDO — It got a little fishy on the Arroyo Colorado earlier this week.

On Monday, thousands of fish were found floating dead in the water.

“You could smell them even before you could see them,” said Al Ziegelgruber, 77, a Rio Hondo resident. “They were rotting fast.”

By yesterday afternoon, the thousands of fish that had covered the water in the Rio Hondo area had all but disappeared.

Rio Hondo Public Safety Director William Biloquory said the Texas Commission on Environment Quality was in town and tested the water.

Workers doing construction work around the Rio Hondo bridge worked around the dead fish floating down the river.

Even crabs were seen to have come all the way up to the shoreline to get out of the water.

Witnesses said the fish covered the river from upstream going downstream toward Arroyo City.

Ziegelgruber lives on the river more than three miles downstream from the Rio Hondo bridge and has been fishing on the arroyo for many years.

He said he saw flounder, catfish and shad floating dead in the water.

By yesterday, less than 10 dead fish remained around the Rio Hondo bridge.

Ziegelgruber said nobody cleaned it up. It was Mother Nature who took them on down the river.