A large number of readers have been inquiring about any fish kills associated with the freezes and low water temperatures in the bays.

In most cases, I respond by saying it is too early to get an indication of what took place.

On Friday morning, I visited with Capt. Jim West, who is as knowledgeable about the Galveston Bay Complex as anyone. West feels, like I do, that it will be no sooner than this weekend before any signs of a significant fish kill would appear.

Up until now, a harsh north wind has been blowing, keeping the bays chopped up and impairing visibility in the waters. This weekend lighter winds are in the forecast, and with the resulting calmer waters, any signs of a fish kill should start appearing.

In 1989, it was at least a week following the freeze that the full extent of the disaster began to appear.

There is little doubt that some of the shallower bays around Galveston such as Christmas Bay, Carancahua Lake and Drum Bay will likely show signs of dead fish.

Unconfirmed reports from East Matagorda Bay indicate a large number of trout and other fish washing up on the shorelines. Other reports indicate the lower Texas coast was hit hard. No particulars, however, have been received.

The water temperatures around the Galveston Bay Complex were hovering in the low to mid-40s Friday, which can be and often are lethal to trout. Anglers should take a reprieve from fishing for several days, as trout and other fish likely are stacked up in certain areas and remain sluggish and stunned.

As information comes in, we will pass it on.

Capt. Joe Kent is a columnist for The Daily News. Report your catch to reel.report@galvnews.com or call 409-683-5273.

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