The oil spill continues to be the focus of the fishing news and unfortunately when events like this occur, the rumor mill runs wild.

Monday, I surveyed the Galveston Ship Channel and parts of the Galveston Yacht Basin and observed a sheen of oil around the channel, especially in front of Pier 19 where several of the party boats are docked.

The waterway in front of 3G Bait Camp showed no sign of oil; however, the whole area is closed to boating traffic.

That means that boats docked at the yacht basin are prevented from leaving their slips until the Galveston Ship Channel reopens.

Lower Galveston Bay between the causeway and Pelican Island does not appear to have been badly affected and the Intracoastal Waterway remains open.

Rumors have been flying that fishing has been closed anywhere from all of Galveston Bay to parts in the vicinity of the oil spill.

As of Monday afternoon, there were no posted closings to fishing. The only closure at that time was to boating traffic.

There remain a lot of unanswered questions regarding the immediate and long-term effects of the oil spill. As information and facts are received, I will promptly pass them on.

If the oil that was released from the accident were light crude, the clean-up would have been faster and easier.

In this case, it was a heavy grade of oil called bunker fuel, which is almost like a sludge and drops to the bottom when cooled.

For that reason we may be dealing with the after effects for a much longer period. Shrimpers likely will be the first group of fishermen to be adversely affected, as areas in the vicinity of the spill and along the route taken by the flow likely will not be suitable for dragging nets.

Once information about the effects on marine life is received, that, too, will be passed on.

If you have a fishing trip scheduled with a party boat or fishing guide operating out of Galveston this week, you should check with them on the status of your trip.

Capt. Joe Kent is a columnist for The Daily News. To get your catch in the Reel Report, call 409-683-5273 or email

(5) comments

Gary Miller

Bunker C is the nastiest "bottoms" of crude oil.
Luckly, like all other natural products it is bio degradable.
Mother nature will do the final cleanup.

George Croix

Actually, deasphaltined oil, hydrotreated resid, or even some vacuum tower bottoms (common term resid) beats out Bunker C in that regard.
You are right that Ma Nature wins in the end.
The clock is already Ixtoc-ing...

Steve Fouga

I have a question for those knowledgeable of this type of spill.

Speaking strictly from the fisherman's point of view (as opposed to that of a more comprehensive environmentalist), what are the likely effects of this spill over the next few months?

I'm surmising the following, because I have no expertise in this area: Few finfish will be harmed. Bottom-dwelling crustaceans will likely be affected in the near term, but only in the areas where the spill settles. In places where the spill settles and is not remediated, it will likely be silted over soon and have little effect. Beaches and shallows will be remediated quickly where economical, and the effects will be almost unnoticeable within weeks. Jetties and groins could inconvenience rockwalkers for years, the crude being too difficult to clean up properly. Still, not so much a hazard to sea life as a mess on shoes and feet. Boat fisherman will probably notice no impact at all within a few weeks.

Someone please tell me, is this logic close to correct?

David Doe

Lets hope with the tides and the wind it's all in our favor.
We don't need anymore bad news.

George Croix

Yes, you are.
I might add that the event will produce much more heat than light, also...

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