Labor Day on Monday was the official end of summer in my books. The truth of the matter is, this summer season flew by fast.
Now we head into that dreaded transition period where we continually watch the tropics, awaiting that first taste of cooler weather. It can’t come soon enough for me anyway.
So for this day, I have one offshore report to relay, along with information about a couple of projects destined for Galveston Bay. Both projects will directly affect the anglers, commercial fishermen and even pleasure boaters who frequent the bay.
The first one is the coastal barrier system, known as the Ike Dike. The final version of the plan will be released Friday. This will be the plan that will be submitted to Congress for approval and funding.
The public will have a 30-day window to read the report. There will be no public comment hearings held. It will be available online at coastalstudy.texas.gov. I more than likely will be long gone before this project ever comes to completion. It will change the face of our coastal communities in the future.
The second big project will begin next year. It is called the Houston Ship Channel expansion project 11. It calls for widening the channel from 530 feet to 700 feet, along with a dredged depth upstream to 46 1/2 feet. I witnessed a change in the fishery the last time the channel went through a project this large. I have no doubt that change will happen again. The results will not be favorable.
The dredging of the channel causes turbidity during the process. It stirs the bottom up and releases toxins that have settled on the bay floor. It also takes more oyster shells, which filter the water. On top of that, silt from the dredge settles on top of oysters. While good for the economy, this is bad for the habitat, which is vital to marine life.
Now for something positive, a fishing report. Aaron Williams, a University of Texas Medical Branch student, jumped in his 25-foot Pursuit on Saturday and ventured offshore of Galveston. Stopping 35 miles out and in 70 feet of water, Williams and company caught limits of kings while trolling Rapala lures. Next, after finding floating sargassum weed, large schools of chicken dolphin were awaiting their small spoons and plugs. They caught them until their arms wore out. It sounds like a great day offshore.
I pray God blessed all of you during this long holiday. The best fishing of the year is yet to come.