PANOLA COUNTY, Texas (KETK) – Texas Parks & Wildlife is investigating after hundreds of dead fish were found in and around Lake Murvaul.

People who live nearby say they’ve picked up hundreds of dead fish on the shoreline. One of the lake’s board members believes the issue started at the end of March.

Since then, Texas Parks & Wildlife have been looking into the issue, trying to figure out what is causing fish to die in such alarming numbers.

“What you are seeing… specifically those growths on the backside of the catfish, it’s likely a fungal infection that is related to a bacterial infection that is causing the immune system not to respond,” Bregan Brown with TPWD said. “So they are unable to fight either infections. Typically that’s what ends up killing the fish.”

Officials are telling neighbors to not fish or swim in the water until more is known.

“Some algae is pretty harmless even if it does grow rapidly, there are species of cyanobacteria that produce species called cyanotoxins that can be harmful to people and wildlife and pets,” Brown said.

Cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, are single-celled organisms that live in all types of water. According to Texas Parks & Wildlife, one characteristic of these cyanobacteria is their ability to form blooms so thick it appears that blue-green paint covers the surface of the water.

In some cases, this algae can produce toxins that are poisonous to fish and wildlife.

Texas Parks & Wildlife said that they expect to get lab results by Wednesday, but they should have a clearer picture of the situation soon.