The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has issued a temporary closure to saltwater fishing along parts of the Texas coast to protect resources during freezing weather conditions.

The closure takes effect midnight Monday and extends through 11:59 p.m. Tuesday.

Areas around Galveston that are part of the closure are:

From Moses Lake to the tide gate, to include the navigational channel up to the northern shoreline of Dollar Bay (area corresponds to 29° 26.00" N to 29° 27.00" N).

Dollar Bay and Moses Bayou are not included.

All of Offats Bayou east of Marker 22 is closed.

The closures are intended to protect trout and other fish that likely will be stacking up in deep holes and channels in an attempt to escape the freezing temperatures that are in the forecast.

When water readings hit the low 40s and lower, trout have a difficult time surviving. Other fish, especially mangrove or gray snapper, also are vulnerable. Bait fish such as mullet and menhaden are usually among the first to succumb.

While it is not anticipated that this freeze event will be nearly as bad as the ones of 1983 and 1989, it is likely that we will see dead fish floating on the surface a few days afterwards.

It should be noted that it is illegal to catch stunned fish floating near the surface of the water. In years past, anglers would take dip nets, landing nets and other devices to scoop up stunned fish. This now has been outlawed, as some of the fish will survive if not bothered.

If in the next few days or even longer you should observe any dead fish, please call the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and let the Reel Report know as well.

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

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(1) comment

Gary Miller

Later we will learn how this cold snap compares with 1941, 1943, 1951 and 1960. Worse I suspect than '41, '43 and '60 but not nearly as bad as 1951. !983 was as bad as 1951 but 1989 was not. Polar surges on the gulf coast are as rare as hurricanes.

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