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Brandy Branch Reservoir: Assessing the Safety of Fish Consumption

A completed project of the TMDL Program to assess the extent of contamination in fish from Brandy Branch Reservoir
photo of Brandy Branch Reservoir
Brandy Branch Reservoir


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County: Harrison
Parameters: Selenium
River Basin: Sabine River
Segment: 0505E

Project Background and Goals

Brandy Branch Reservoir, which is also known as Hallsville or Pirkey Lake, is located southwest of Marshall in Harrison County. The reservoir is an impoundment of Brandy Branch Creek. The 1,242-acre reservoir was constructed in 1983 to serve as a cooling pond for a steam-electric power plant. The reservoir is a popular recreational area for boating and fishing.

In 1992, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS; then known as TDH) issued an advisory restricting the consumption of fish from the reservoir because selenium concentrations in the fish posed a risk to consumers. The goal of this project was to determine whether the consumption of fish from the reservoir still posed a threat to human health. The TCEQ worked with the DSHS to collect fish samples, conduct laboratory analyses, and characterize the risks to consumers from all contaminants found in fish-tissue samples.

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Project Status

After assessing all the data collected and characterizing the risks associated with all the contaminants found in fish tissue, the DSHS concluded that consumption of fish from Brandy Branch Reservoir no longer poses a threat to human health. The fish-consumption advisory was rescinded on October 14, 2004.

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For More Information

Please e-mail us at tmdl@tceq.state.tx.us, and reference the Brandy Branch Reservoir in the subject line. Or call us at 512-239-6682.

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