In the wake of a coastal freeze, CCA Texas contributes $152,000 to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to speed coastal recovery
Through an electronic vote, CCA Texas’ Board of Directors recently approved $152,000 to aid the Sea Center Texas Hatchery in Lake Jackson, Texas and the CCA Marine Development Center (CCA MDC) in Flour Bluff, Texas to ramp up their production of juvenile speckled trout and redfish. With these funds, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) biologists at Sea Center Texas will be able to purchase and install liner replacements for three rearing ponds, allowing them to immediately increase fingerling production as some of the ponds were entirely out of commission and the remainder required frequent repair. Additionally, CCA Texas funding will allow replacement of four vital heat exchangers for the speckled trout brood tank systems at the CCA MDC to ensure proper temperature control and allow staff to increase the spawning period and maximize egg production of speckled trout broodstock.
“It was a moment for immediate action to ensure a speedy recovery of all Texas bays and estuaries that were negatively impacted by the coastal freeze,” said Mark Ray, Chairman of CCA Texas. “I am proud that CCA Texas was able to step up quickly in this time of need for our critically important hatchery system, and we will continue to work with TPWD leadership as this effort continues.”
According to TPWD, a severe winter storm in February 2021 led to fish kills along the Texas Coast, with speckled trout being identified as a significant portion of recreationally important species impacted. With the full scope of this fish kill still undetermined, CCA Texas is putting funding into action to ensure a thorough recovery in all impacted areas.
“To help Texas’ speckled trout populations recover from the impacts of the fish kill, it is imperative that hatchery production of fingerlings is maximized,” said Robby Byers, executive director of CCA Texas. “Funding these projects will definitely help in the near term, but will also continue to produce long after the freeze damage has recovered.”
TPWD operates two fish hatcheries – Sea Center Texas in Lake Jackson and the CCA MDC in Flour Bluff. Each year, with the help from grow out ponds at the Perry R. Bass Marine Research Facility in Palacios, these facilities release approximately 15 million redfish and 10 million speckled trout fingerlings into Texas bay systems.
“Speckled trout and redfish fingerling production is a delicate effort that requires knowledge, precision and the correct equipment,” said Shane Bonnot, CCA Texas Advocacy Director. “We are fortunate to have gifted biologists and operators at Texas’ hatcheries and research facilities, and I am excited that CCA Texas is helping fund and increase those efforts again.”
If you want to contribute to CCA’s ongoing efforts toward hatchery support and habitat restoration, please click here to donate today.