Fisherman encounters alleged oil-based chemical in Houston Ship Channel near ITC facility

What was supposed to be a serene fishing outing quickly turned into cause for concern for a Baytown angler, who says he encountered a chemical substance in the water near the Intercontinental Terminals Company off the Houston Ship Channel.

"We pulled up on a few remote locations and noticed a real thin sheet of some kind of chemical that's oil-based, floating down the channel," said Jeramie Waddell.

The professional fisherman has spent countless hours trolling the waters off the Houston Ship Channel, but instead of posting a picture of his catch on Friday, he posted a picture of his reel with a brand new line, both saturated in a chemical substance.

"It's a clear based chemical, not sure exactly what it is, but I'm sure it's oil based because of how slick it is," said Waddell.

The substance, he said, was not noticeable on the water and had no color or odor to it, but they did discover it immediately after casting their first line.

Their fishing trip took them north of the Highway 146 Fred Hartman Bridge and up to the San Jacinto Battleship site.

"It really wasn't a big concern the first two spots, but then when we got over by the Battleship is when it got a little thicker. That's where it got pretty bad," said Waddell.

Waddell said the closer they moved towards the ITC facility near the Battleship site, the messier their excursion became.

"The longer that our lines and rods were in the water, they were getting caked up in it," he told ABC13 Eyewitness News.

It's unclear if this chemical substance is related to the ITC fire or the dike breach at the Deer Park facility, which sits on the Houston Ship Channel.

The company did not make themselves available to the press Friday and are holding their next media briefing Saturday morning.

Waddell says they eventually left that area to fish south of the Fred Hartman Bridge in the Galveston Bay, where they did not notice the chemical.

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