With all of the damage from the freeze, anglers are not focusing on fishing but on diverting their attention to getting things back to normal. Still, there is that wait-and-see outlook toward the effects on fish, particularly trout.

While we can hope for the best during this time of waiting, there is a lingering question I have had for quite some time. What was the situation decades ago when coastal freezes were more frequent and harsher?

While there no doubt were fish kills associated with hard freezes in the Galveston Bay Complex, they must have been less severe. If you check the record low temperatures published each morning in The Daily News, it is easy to see how severe freezes were back then.

One explanation of why they were not as severe then as they have been in the last 40 years is the Galveston Bay Complex was deeper and offered better insulation from the bitter cold weather.

Looking back at the time frame around 1900, you would find large vessels making their way from San Luis Pass to Galveston via West Bay. Hanna’s Reef in East Bay was named after a woman who was shipwrecked there.

Today it takes, in general, shallower draft boats to make it to those particular spots. Certainly not a steamboat.

The silt from the rivers, creeks and bayous that flows into Galveston Bay has raised the water levels over the years and likely is the culprit for the changing effects of hard freezes on fish.

I hope we will learn more about this as time passes. For now, however, stay safe as this crisis will pass and things will return to normal, as is always the case.

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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