Friday, there were not many anglers on the water, as conditions were just not favorable for fishing or for comfort. Water temperatures around our area are in the low 50s and as we get into February, look for the readings to jump to the 60 degree range.
We continue to monitor the fish kill this winter and all indications are that while there were fish killed during the freezes, it was not a major event.
Lance Robinson of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department had this to say about the status of his group’s analysis of the kill:
“Staff are still conducting assessments, as dead fish take a little longer to float when the water is cold. However, current estimates indicate the cold weather fish mortality is relatively low (e.g. tens of thousands as opposed to hundreds or millions of dead fish).
“The majority of dead fish assessed thus far are non-game fish (e.g. mullet, hardheads and other forage species).
“The number of cold-stunned sea turtles this year has broken an all-time record since 1980 when the Sea Turtle Stranding and Salvage Network began collecting this data — over 3,400 thus far (over 200 from Galveston Bay).”
Robinson referred me to Alex Nunez in the TPWD Corpus Christi office for updated information about the Upper Texas Coast. Nunez said that in Galveston Bay there was only one report and that came from the Lake Como area where 50 red fish were counted among the other fish floating. Just a few speckled trout were observed.
This certainly is good news if the subsequent data does not come in showing additional fish as victims of the freeze. For now, it looks as if our game fish stocks survived fairly well.