CCA Texas to Fund $14,000 Flounder Boat for Sea Center Texas

CCA Texas

CCA Texas to Fund $14,000 Flounder Boat for Sea Center Texas

As we are all well aware, Texas has seen a dramatic decline in southern flounder numbers. This decline has prompted Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) officials to explore various management options to increase the statewide population.

One option TPWD recently initiated is a dedicated effort to rear hatchery produced juvenile southern flounder for stocking into Texas' bays and estuaries. The ultimate goal at Sea Center Texas (SCT) in Lake Jackson is to develop new techniques for growing flounder on a large-scale basis to help compensate for poor class recruitment regardless of the season.

A critical aspect and challenge in achieving this goal has been the ability to acquire the quantity of broodstock that is required to consistently spawn captive flounder. Studies indicate that three males are needed for every female for successful fertilization of flounder eggs.

For the last couple of years, SCT has been able to acquire adult southern flounder through a variety of methods. Efforts by SCT staff, CCA sponsored guided fishing trips and fish donated by the general public are a few methods that have been used to gather broodstock. These efforts have been productive but it has become apparent that hook and line collection simply isn't enough to bring in the amount of fish this program needs to be successful.
One method that has proved to be very successful is in other areas of the state is "netting". This method is similar to gigging flounder under the lights but nets are used rather than gigs. This allows the fish to be gently lifted into the boat with no harm done to the subject. With catch rates as high as 50 fish in a three hour period, it is also an extremely efficient and effect way to collect broodstock.
To this end, CCA Texas is pleased to announce the gifting of $14,000 to SCT for the purchase of a welded aluminum boat, motor and associated equipment. The boat will be used by SCT staff to ensure SCT and other hatcheries have sufficient numbers of fish to insure reaching production and research goals for the future.

"CCA Texas is proud to be part of another important project related to the recovery of the southern flounder" said Robby Byers, CCA Texas executive director. "The staff at Sea center Texas is doing great work and this boat will assist them in their efforts. CCA Texas and our members are committed to seeing flounder numbers rebound and this boat is another big step in the flounder recovery process."

The decline in southern flounder numbers in Texas is alarming and CCA Texas will continue to work with researchers and TPWD officials to help bring this important species back to its historic levels.

HTFT Project Update: Vancouver Reefing Project Commitment Grows

In April of this year, CCA Texas Executive Board approved a $25,000 commitment for the Vancouver Nearshore Reefing Project off the Freeport coast. With the addition of a $60,000 grant for nearshore reefing from a private foundation and the donation of additional materials from Oldcastle Precast out of Brookshire, Texas, CCA Texas' Habitat Today for Fish Tomorrow (HTFT) has reshaped the Vancouver Project. This project will now be a joint effort between HTFT, Oldcastle Precast, Dorsett Brothers Concrete and Texas Parks Wildlife Department (TPWD).
In addition to the original materials of twenty-three granite blocks, Oldcastle Precast has donated over one-hundred concrete catch basins, man ways, and like materials. These materials will provide beneficial habitat to the Vancouver reefing area as well as easily accessible fishing waters for Texas recreational fishermen.

Dorsett Brothers Concrete, based out of Pasadena, has provided temporary storage with docking facilities along the Old Brazos River in Freeport where materials will be loaded to be taken offshore. Materials have been moved to the staging area and TPWD is currently in the process of putting together the necessary information for bid packages with the hope of awarding a bid by the end of the year and deployment of materials as soon as possible after the award has been made.

The donations from Oldcastle Precast and Dorsett Brothers Concrete along with an additional $25,000 commitment from HTFT has more than doubled the size of the original project and works with TPWD's Nearshore Reefing Program to provide an easily accessible nearshore reef. HTFT will continue to work with TPWD in its efforts to provide Texas recreational fishermen with habitat rich nearshore waters that will attract the most sought after offshore species along the Texas coast.