Saturday was a gorgeous day around Galveston and a great one to be outdoors. Unfortunately, anglers found very low water levels to deal with and the bright sunshine, along with the residual high pressure following the passage of the cold front, made fishing tough.
The Galveston Bay Complex continues to be plagued by fresh water runoffs from the recent heavy rains along the rivers and streams that flow into the bays.
While we are not normally dealing with flood waters this time of year, Saturday was typical of what I call the January post-frontal-system doldrums. Cold fronts are more numerous this time of year and continuously empty out the bays playing havoc with fish movements.
January is noted as a great month to go oystering, as the water levels are low enough to easily wade out to the reefs and clusters and pick up live oysters.
I recall a January day years ago when a friend and I were duck hunting in Bastrop Bay and the water was about as low as it was Saturday. Our decoys were sitting on mud and shell and after about an hour of watching birds flying at a distance, we gave up and gathered oysters around the blind. The fresh oysters saved the day for us although we did not harvest that many due to lack of a chisel and a hammer to break them loose from the clusters.
If you are thinking about harvesting oysters, it should be noted that Christmas Bay is closed to oystering. Also it should be noted that a fairly recent regulation was issued that prohibits taking oysters from areas “along all shorelines, with state health department approved or conditionally approved areas for shellfish harvest, extending 300 feet from the water’s edge or exposed oysters inside of the 300-foot area”.