Two fishing spots in Galveston County will be closed through Wednesday morning because of cold weather, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department announced Monday.

The area of Galveston Bay from Moses Lake to the tide gate, and all of Offatts Bayou east of Marker 22 will be closed from 6 a.m. today until 10 p.m. Wednesday, the wildlife department said.

A hard freeze is expected in parts of Texas today. Such weather can kill game fish in shallow water, and make surviving fish sluggish and more prone to capture. The closure is meant to help preserve fish stocks, officials said.

“The high mortality that a freeze can cause may deplete fish stocks for years,” said Robin Riechers, director of the department’s Coastal Fisheries Division. “Protection of the surviving fish during the few days when they are especially vulnerable to capture would likely shorten the time period for overall recovery of coastal species, especially spotted sea trout.”

Hard freezes can have gigantic effects on fish populations. One hard freeze in 1989 killed an estimated 11 million fish near Brownsville, according to the wildlife department.

Temperatures for Galveston were forecast to reach a low of 31 degrees Monday evening, with colder temperatures inland and to the north. A hard freeze warning was not in effect for Galveston County on Monday afternoon.

John Wayne Ferguson: 409-683-5226; john.ferguson@galvnews.com or on Twitter @johnwferguson.

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