TexasKayakFisherman.com est. 2000

Kayak fishing the Lone Star State...


Please visit our sponsor Slowride Guide Services
By goofiefoot
#2315492
I put together a video showing some of the fish kill, and my thoughts on things, here in Rockport.

Check it out here:
https://youtu.be/BGMg9bwXehs

I'm hoping we as fishermen can pull together and help out our fisheries, in whatever way is best. I'm looking forward to seeing how Texas Parks and Wildlife handles the situation to protect these waters.
#2315539
A Corpus resident posted that the city, with volunteers, picked up 30 tons of dead fish out of the canals in Flour Bluff yesterday! Sadly, that's just a tiny portion of the bad smell source. TexasJim
#2315557
It could be worse but it's not good. Bait will be scarce which usually means the fish will move to where there's bait. Good thing is bait rebounds faster than game fish. Also hoping the sea grass and mangroves will rebound. Smell is really bad in Rockport.
User avatar
By Ron Mc
#2315561
the real tragedy for these fish will be when we run out of Nueces (already for more than a decade), Guadalupe and (eastern) Colorado river discharge because of population growth and groundwater use, and turn our mangrove estuaries into this:

The mouth of the western Colorado river at the Sea of Cortez was once the largest mangrove estuary on earth. The same people from southern California who did this in our lifetime are now moving their equities to Texas. They have the right to do so, but we also had the need 20 years ago to begin desalination for public water supply. The first permit was approved by TCEQ after scientific advisory board review, but is also now held up in court by CCA and Sierra Club. (same thing Sierra Club did in California to block their desalination)
Image
Jim, I've been on this soapbox for 20 years.

And unlike the freeze-kill, this is something that is Within Our Control

If you guys want to Survey something and post it on the internet, drive by Labonte Park every day, take video of the dry weirs on the Nuecces river discharge, and remind the state that Corpus Christi's only source for municipal water supply is draining this river dry from Lake Corpus Christi, and that Corpus is contracted to continue this way until 2040; also, that since 2003, Nueces River discharge has been below the minimum required for health of the bay system established in EPA 1994.

We have increased fertilizer run-off combined with decreased river discharge. We have phosphorus fall fertilizers which are never needed in Texas, choking our rivers with hair algae. When the rivers stop delivering calcium to the bays, the mollusks and crustaceans will disappear. If you want to document something, document the brown tides that appear in Upper Lagune Madre every summer.
Last edited by Ron Mc on Tue Mar 02, 2021 7:31 am, edited 9 times in total.
#2315562
Yeah, Ron, the greenie-weenies whine about desal increasing the salinity of the oceans. They don't realize that man has been taking salt OUT of the oceans for thousands of years. If they ever traveled coast-lines of "developing" countries, they would see giant "salt pans", where salt water is let in and evaporates into salt cakes about a foot thick, which are harvested into table salt. I have seen piles of salt the size of the SuperDome, being packed for shipment. All this activity hasn't changed the oceans' salinity. I think the Californians should be banned from draining Lake Mead and the Colorado, until they use their considerable Pacific coastline to feed their water needs.
Texas also needs to get on the bandwagon, since our lakes and rivers are being over-used. The Israelis are the world-leading technologists in desal. They use vacuum to make seawater boil at 160 F. They have desal plants running all over the world, with no detrimental effects. In 1990, I built a foundation for a "small" plant in the Virgin Islands that made 1.3 million gallons of fresh water a day! Do you think the government "experts" would consult with the knowledge pool? Not! Politics.

TexasJim, stepping off soapbox
User avatar
By K5RCD
#2315602
I see no problem with desal plants as long as the highly saline tailings are discharged a few miles OFFSHORE. The current (strongly opposed ) desal plant proposal at the intersection of the ship channel and base of the jetties in Port Aransas is for the discharge to be INTO THE BAY, at that point. It's a no brainer that hyper salinization at the one point all the marine organisms use while migrating between the bays and ocean will be extremely damaging. I just can't believe the stupidity of that plan.

I'm all in for desal that is properly done so it doesn't alter salinity in our bays. It would actually be beneficial to our bays and estuaries, as freshwater influx from our rivers could be increased as it would be less necessary to divert fresh water from our rivers for municipal and industrial purposes.

The effect of discharge into the ocean, a few miles offshore, would be like a phart in a whirlwind.
User avatar
By Ron Mc
#2315603
That discharge is going into the 70' channel, which Sierra Club is opposing because of allied refurbishing of the old Fina tanker docks - this is why Sierra Club is duping CCA into supporting them. Oddly, there's no complaint about the proposed Quintana desal plant, which is farther up the channel from the pass.
Everything about Harbor Island makes sense for getting desal off the ground in Texas, especially the existing infrastructure, allowing the technology to pay for itself.
TCEQ Advisory Council has been working this project for 15 year now.
Harbor Island will be under an environmental microscope.
The environmental disaster would be trying to build infrastructure to any of our other barrier islands - that, plus the real estate value anywhere on Mustang makes most other sites financially impossible, except for possibly Indianola and Cavallo Pass, which San Antonio and Austin should be aiming for right now.
User avatar
By Gru1313
#2315641
I think it has been over a decade since I have posted on here, but I am glad to see some names I remember. I fished with Tombo at LHL /B&R and Port Bay a couple of times. I was the young guy with the orange frenzy lol. I have been kayak fishing the entire time, just not very active on social media. I primarily fish from Rockport to Aransas and sometimes Corpus. Now that I have settled down I can come back to being a little more active here and the fishing community in general.
Nonetheless, I went fishing in Estes and the surrounding mangroves around that area on Saturday. I did see many small dead fish, but not thick. I did come across 3 trout that were probably in the 18-22 inch range. No other game fish were spotted.. other than the 3 Red fish I caught :mrgreen: The reds were very active, aggressive, and in shallow water. We will see how this all plays out, but I will not be giving any knee jerk reactions. I am huge advocate for eating wild caught fish, I think it will save the future of fishing for a long time. However, that is not the intention of this post, just to re-introduce myself and a small report. Thanks again...Cheers to those who kept this running. :clap:
#2315672
Thanks all for the comments and local reports. I went out again this morning to capture the progress of the clean up.

See the video here:
https://youtu.be/adquciw6CQs

The Aransas County Navigation District has been working hard to clean things up. I've been watching for any reports from Texas Parks and Wildlife, but I'm sure their assessment will take some time.
#2315673
Tombo wrote:Going to LHL this morning, will report back soon. BTW, are yo a surfer?


Tom, yep, though I haven't been on my board in quite some time. We moved down to Rockport this past summer, so I'm at least a little closer to the waves. Most of the time, though, I've got my line in the water. Are you still down here in the area. Last we talked, you were in your house on Salt Lake.
#2315674
Gru1313 wrote:I think it has been over a decade since I have posted on here, but I am glad to see some names I remember. I fished with Tombo at LHL /B&R and Port Bay a couple of times. I was the young guy with the orange frenzy lol. I have been kayak fishing the entire time, just not very active on social media. I primarily fish from Rockport to Aransas and sometimes Corpus. Now that I have settled down I can come back to being a little more active here and the fishing community in general.
Nonetheless, I went fishing in Estes and the surrounding mangroves around that area on Saturday. I did see many small dead fish, but not thick. I did come across 3 trout that were probably in the 18-22 inch range. No other game fish were spotted.. other than the 3 Red fish I caught :mrgreen: The reds were very active, aggressive, and in shallow water. We will see how this all plays out, but I will not be giving any knee jerk reactions. I am huge advocate for eating wild caught fish, I think it will save the future of fishing for a long time. However, that is not the intention of this post, just to re-introduce myself and a small report. Thanks again...Cheers to those who kept this running. :clap:


Definitely appreciate the input! It's sad to see, but I am hopeful these waters will pull through. I've been watching the improvement in water clarity and fish varieties for many years now, so we're on a good track to produce healthy, and (hopefully) resilient populations.
User avatar
By Ron Mc
#2315677
There is nothing good about the freeze-kill, but it remains a natural event that has happened before - only without the internet.
While the numbers of dead fish can be approximated, and certainly gawked, the live ones are still swimming, eating and reproducing. The disaster will come when we eliminate their source of food and flood the estuaries with brown tides - this disaster has already been building for the past 18 years.
There is no reason to assume the fish populations will not recover - if there was, TPWD would have already banned fishing.
We caught and released 45 redfish - most all of them 18" - on Estes the day after the freeze ended, and trout in the mix, as well.
Image
User avatar
By TexasJim
#2315695
I didn't put this in Fishing Reports, as I was using my flats skiff, but I had a good day. I launched at PA Marina and tried the lighthouse creek off Lydia Ann Channel, and the next two inlets to the North. No birds, bait or fish signs at all. Went back and anchored just off the "Fina Docks" seawall in about 15 feet of water. Fished live shrimp just off the bottom. Got numerous sheepshead, mostly small, but two barely keepers. Got one 18" black drum. A guy anchored right behind me and I saw him catch a trout and a slot red. About 2 PM, the redfish bite was on! Between 2 and 3, I caught a 23", a 22" and a 21" red. The potlickers that anchored almost on top of me caught at least one large slot red. They left and more potlickers anchored on top of me and caught some slot reds. I quit at 3 PM, so I could get in the ferry line before the rush. Too late!

The spot I fished would be untenable in a kayak, very lumpy, but the fish were there in numbers. It was good to see that many reds, and sheeps survived the freeze. A kayaker could launch at the end of Harbor Island Road, paddle to the docks, and fish the rocks on the north side of the seawall, between the barges. Last time I was there, I caught keeper sheepsheads and a 19" flounder. TexasJim
User avatar
By impulse
#2315874
Ron Mc wrote:That discharge is going into the 70' channel, which Sierra Club is opposing because of allied refurbishing of the old Fina tanker docks - this is why Sierra Club is duping CCA into supporting them. Oddly, there's no complaint about the proposed Quintana desal plant, which is farther up the channel from the pass.
Everything about Harbor Island makes sense for getting desal off the ground in Texas, especially the existing infrastructure, allowing the technology to pay for itself.
TCEQ Advisory Council has been working this project for 15 year now.
Harbor Island will be under an environmental microscope.
The environmental disaster would be trying to build infrastructure to any of our other barrier islands - that, plus the real estate value anywhere on Mustang makes most other sites financially impossible, except for possibly Indianola and Cavallo Pass, which San Antonio and Austin should be aiming for right now.


Is desalination the way to go, or is land/water use reform?

Just using cotton in Nueces county as an example... The water footprint to raise a pound of cotton is 1,320 gallons, and that pound of cotton sells for about $0.75. Nueces county raised 269,000 bales of cotton in 2019, with 480 pounds per bale. That means they used 269,000 x 480 x 1,320 = 170 billion gallons of water.

That's just cotton, and just Nueces county. Cotton doesn't come close to the most egregious examples of agricultural excess, like growing asparagus in the California desert. Then, there's all the fertilizer runoff and other problems associated.

To add insult to injury, most of that cotton is shipped off to China. So, effectively, we're shipping our Texas water to China for $0.75 for 1,320 gallons. With a few pennies of that $0.75 being profit- the rest being costs of goods sold. While at the same time, struggling to find the water to develop communities on the Texas coast.

Seems like a better use of that water would be supporting development of local communities instead of a commodity to be exported for a few $$$, mostly into the pockets of corporate farmers.
By Tombo
#2315878
goofiefoot wrote:
Tombo wrote:Going to LHL this morning, will report back soon. BTW, are yo a surfer?


Tom, yep, though I haven't been on my board in quite some time. We moved down to Rockport this past summer, so I'm at least a little closer to the waves. Most of the time, though, I've got my line in the water. Are you still down here in the area. Last we talked, you were in your house on Salt Lake.


Moved from Salt Lake home to another home off the water, same neighborhood.
#2315879
karstopo wrote:https://tpwd.texas.gov/newsmedia/releases/?req=20210310c

Latest from TP&W. Looks like we got a big kill, but not quite on the scale of the 1980s freezes.


I'm still not convinced this fish kill wasn't as bad or worse than either of the 2 in the 80's. There's just so many more people fishing now compared to the 80's. I remember in the mid even late 90's in Aransas Pass after first of September when dove season started there may have been a half full parking lot at Conn Brown Harbor on a Saturday and by December rarely was there anyone fishing. Now it's hard to find a parking spot in January there. Fishing pressure now cannot be overlooked. TPWD is still recommending catch and release.
User avatar
By Ron Mc
#2315880
how on planet earth in the Unites States of America are you going to legislate land and water use reform? Tell cotton farmers they can't raise cotton and you have no other jobs for them because industry has no water.
Sounds like the Sierra Club wanting to starve the people to save the shrimp, and the only way they know how - court injunction.

We have a solution to an immediate environmental problem on the table - that has been tabled by the action of a conservation organization.

The good news, this is Texas and right will win out - it will just cost more time and employ more attorneys.

As far as the posted opinions on the fish kill - you wanna impress me Stevie, post a fishing report - searching the Fishing Reports page doesn't turn up a single OP by some very opinionated contributors who would tax the rest of us.
Lets see, so far on late contributions to this thread, TCEQ is wrong about our environment, doing their best to meet EPA 1994, and TPWD is wrong about their measured fish kill and published assessment.

Of course I've been saying for years they built the wall on the wrong border.

Yak Boi, we both agree that full-limit big-dead-s[…]

Where are you working, Saltykat? It sounds like an[…]

Fishing this summer

Nothing too exciting. I was fishing with my nephe[…]

Ye4s You will need a group u1 battery. Walmart or […]