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Coastal Advocacy Adventures Podcast – Episode 19: The Status of Galveston Trout with Captain Steve Hillman

Four years of drought followed by three years of flooding and two major hurricanes have undoubtedly changed fishing in Galveston Bay over the past decade. Trout juvenile recruitment numbers in the upper coast have been fairly consistent over the years but what effects do these historic natural events have on adult trout populations? Captain Steve Hillman joins the podcast to talk about habitat loss in Galveston Bay, speckled trout management, and a variety of other topics.

A Flood of New Oyster Regulations

Memorial Day Flood of 2015, Tax Day Flood of 2016 and late-May Floods of 2016. Two consecutive years of historic flooding were major setbacks for public oyster reefs and the oyster fishery in Texas. In fact, in June of 2016 Galveston County declared a state of disaster for the oyster industry. That was all before Hurricane Harvey, the largest flooding event in United States history. Sadly, much of Harvey’s rainfall was also within the Galveston Bay watershed.

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Protection Needed for Public Oyster Reefs

The following is an article originally submitted in the July Edition of Texas Saltwater Fishing Magazine and updated for this blog.

On a crisp morning this past April, Jason McCartney, an avid kayak angler from Houston, was in pursuit of some speckled trout and redfish in the productive estuary near The Village of Tiki Island, adjacent to Interstate 45. The tide was extremely low, so while waiting for the water to move in, Jason decided to sit back, be present in the moment, and enjoy a peace of mind that can only be found while relaxing on the water.
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Oysters – a valuable resource

The Eastern Oyster (Crassostrea virginica) is our most valuable coastal resource, providing critical habitat for fish and invertebrate species, shoreline stabilization, water quality enhancements and numerous other ecological functions. The compounding effects of increased fishing pressure in smaller areas, hurricanes, tropical storms, droughts, flood events and unscrupulous actions by some within the commercial oyster industry have resulted in unprecedented destruction and loss of our public oyster reefs. Texas Parks and Wildlife recognizes the value of oysters in our marine ecosystems and has proposed several changes to the statewide oyster proclamation. Here are just a few reasons why oysters are so valuable to our marine ecosystems. Feel free to click on the literature cited to further review the supportive documentation. Continue Reading

Call to Action: Texas Public Oyster Reefs Need Your Help

Texas public oyster reefs need your help. Since 2008 the public oyster reefs in Texas have been continuously overfished by the commercial oyster industry. We now have a unique opportunity to make significant changes and assist Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) in managing the commercial harvest of our public reefs to protect and conserve this important resource. TPWD has made several proposals regarding the future management of the oyster fishery, and it needs CCA’s support. Continue Reading

Bipartisan Group of Senators Introduce the Modern Fish Act

Recreational Fishermen Laud Wicker, Nelson and Colleagues

Washington, D.C. – July 10, 2017 – Today, the recreational fishing and boating community praised the Senate introduction of the Modern Fish Act by Senators Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), John Kennedy (R-La.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.). The “Modernizing Recreational Fisheries Management Act of 2017” (Modern Fish Act) would improve public access to America’s federal waters, promote conservation of our natural marine resources and spur economic growth. A companion bill, H.R. 2023, was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on April 6, by Congressmen Garret Graves (R-La.), Gene Green (D-Texas), Daniel Webster (R-Fla.) and Rob Wittman (R-Va.).
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Trump Administration Delivers for Saltwater Recreational Anglers

Rebecca Louviere, CSP Communications Director

Originally posted on www.sportfishingpolicy.com

Washington, D.C. – June 28, 2017 – Today, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced the 2017 Regional Fishery Management Council (RFMC) appointments and has shown that recreational fishing and boating are important to the Trump Administration. The appointments of Steve Heins of New York to the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council; Chester Brewer of Florida to the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council; and Phil Dyskow of Florida, Dr. Bob Shipp of Alabama, and Dr. Greg Stunz of Texas to the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council are a solid affirmation that the Administration is taking federal fisheries management and conservation in the right direction.

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A break in the management storm for red snapper

The announcement today of action to extend the Gulf of Mexico recreational red snapper season is a welcome boon to anglers who have been painted into a corner by a federal fisheries management system that does not understand us, and would often just rather ignore us.

On the plus side, anglers are right to be encouraged by the willingness of this Administration and the Department of Commerce to improve recreational access to a historically robust Gulf of Mexico red snapper fishery. This alone is a tremendous achievement. Continue Reading