Big Year for TPWD Hatcheries

CCA Texas
Big Year for TPWD Hatcheries

TPWD Coastal Fisheries stocking numbers for 2008 were being finalized at press time. Robert Vega says total production could exceed 27.5 million fingerlings, a great boost for Texas bays. TPWD Coastal Fisheries Division operates three marine hatcheries; Sea Center Texas, Perry R. Bass Marine Fisheries Research Station and CCA/CPL Marine Development Center.

Robert also had news regarding the status of TPWD's southern flounder stock enhancement projects. "We are working with Dr. Joan Holt's team at the University of Texas Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas to better understand flounder spawning and develop protocol necessary for hatching and rearing." Vega is hopeful that a large-scale stocking program for southern flounder could be achieved soon, possibly within three to four years.

Does stock enhancement work? Vega says, "Yes it does, and DNA tells the story. The research teams at Texas A&M identify genetic markers in our brood stocks; finding these markers in specimens collected from the bays tells what percentage of the population are of hatchery origin."

Next time you hook a big red or sassy seatrout, thank a marine biologist!

2008 Red Drum Stocked:

Aransas Bay                    1,767,090
Corpus Christi Bay        1,485,521
East Matagorda Bay        860,946
Galveston Bay                6,004,888
Lower Laguna Madre   2,788,136
Matagorda Bay              4,473,576
Sabine                             3,039,192
San Antonio Bay            1,056,811
Upper Laguna Madre   1,052,192
Inland Lakes                  1,569,220
Total                            24,097,572

2008 Spotted Seatrout Stocked:

Galveston Bay                  797,385
Lower Laguna Madre  1,219,791
Sabine                             1,269,994
Total                                3,287,170