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Questions or Comments: tmdl@tceq.texas.gov

Brandy Branch Reservoir

This is a completed project of the TMDL Program to assess the extent of contamination in fish tissue in Brandy Branch Reservoir.
photo of brandy branch reservoir
Brandy Branch Reservoir
map of the Brandy Branch Reservoir watershed

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

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Project Description and Goal

In 1992, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) issued an advisory restricting the consumption of fish from Brandy Branch Reservoir because selenium concentrations in fish tissue posed a risk to consumers. Selenium is a naturally occurring element that is widely but unevenly distributed in the earth’s crust. It is also an essential dietary element that prevents damage to tissues by oxygen. However, when consumed in amounts higher than the recommended daily allowance (RDA), selenium is toxic to humans and animals.

In response to this condition, the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Program initiated a project to determine whether the consumption of fish from the reservoir still posed a threat to human health. TCEQ worked with DSHS to collect fish samples, conduct laboratory analyses, and prepare a characterization of the possible risks to consumers from all contaminants found in fish tissue samples.

After assessing all the data collected and characterizing the risks associated with all the contaminants found in fish tissue, DSHS concluded that consumption of fish from Brandy Branch Reservoir does not pose a threat to human health. The fish consumption advisory was rescinded on October 14, 2004.

The impairment “selenium in fish tissue” was removed from the state’s 303(d) list of impaired waters in 2004. The schedule of special monitoring and analysis of Brandy Branch Reservoir fish is concluded.

Learn more about water quality standards, monitoring, and TMDLs by reading Preserving and Improving Water Quality, available on our website and in print.

Watershed Description

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 in the Sabine River Basin. 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.

Status and Results

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

TCEQ communicated the progress of this project through the Sabine River Basin Steering Committee created by the Texas Clean Rivers Program. The project was a collaborative effort involving TCEQ, DSHS, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD), and the Sabine River Authority (SRA).

Contact the TMDL Program

Please email tmdl@tceq.texas.gov, and mention Brandy Branch Reservoir in the subject line. Or call us at 512-239-6682.

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