Oops! on the May Solunar Chart and Freshwater Inflows

Everett Johnson
My phone has been ringing nonstop and my email inbox is about to burst. The May issue went to print with no stars on the solunar chart to indicate our prediction of best fishing days. PC and Mac formats do not always play well together and this one got by us. One caller asked, "So will fishing be lousy all month?" I assured him that would not the case and fessed up to the error. We corrected our website immediately and emailed copies of the solunar chart with stars to literally scores of readers anxious to plan their fishing days. My sincere apology for the inconvenience.

As I reported a while back, in 2009 I was appointed to the Guadalupe, San Antonio, Mission, and Aransas Rivers and Mission, Copano, Aransas, and San Antonio Bays Basin and Bay Stakeholder Committee (BBASC) to represent recreational water users (coastal fishermen) in this basin. Texas Senate Bill 3 that became law in 2008 provided a stakeholder-based, consensus approach to assist water planners in future decisions. Stakeholder interests vary widely from river authority, to municipal water supply, ground water districts, agriculture, industry, recreational users, etc. The BBASC is charged with the responsibility of hiring an expert science team to discover the environmental needs of the river systems themselves and also the bays into which they flow. BBASC committees were created for each of the major basins in Texas and each hired the own Bay and Basin Expert Science Team (BBEST). Each BBASC focuses on the challenges within their respective basins and bays.

Beginning in January 2010, the majority of our work has been to become apprised of water availability, water planning, water conservation, and future water needs. Now the direction changes to reviewing the BBEST recommendations, reaching a consensus of stakeholder opinion, and then offering advice for the direction of future water planning.

You may have heard this before, "Some day water will become more valuable in Texas than oil." Whoever first uttered those words was a prophet and the day in reference is rapidly approaching.

As a conservation-minded fisherman and a member of the BBASC, what I have come to understand in terms of water availability and water needs is downright frightening. Applying population growth predictions along with growing industrial and agricultural needs makes the equation even more complex.

My first instinct, of course, is to pound the table and demand that rivers be allowed to flow unrestricted to the bays. Reality though demands that Texans need water and alternative sources of supply will not be readily and economically developed. My goal in all of this is to somehow convince my fellow BBASC members to reserve enough inflow to maintain the rich ecology of our middle-coast bays.

We are very fortunate that our major municipal water supply systems have practiced water conservation to the extent they have without this we would have likely already depleted our aquifers and rivers with nothing left to sustain our bays.

Freshwater inflows are critical to estuarine ecology. Without them our middle-coast bays will become hyper-saline lagoons not entirely void of marine life but certainly not as vibrant as we know them today. Sometimes I think I should just stick to fishing, but being a good steward demands more of us. I have been praying for wisdom.