CCA Texas Update and Happenings

John Blaha
CCA Texas Update and Happenings
Breakwater along Dagger and Ransom Islands that will provide protection to sensitive marsh and estuary. (Photo Courtesy of Ducks Unlimited)

As this edition of Texas Saltwater Fishing hits the newsstands, we hope Texas and many other states are moving forward into the next phase of opening our communities and economies.  CCA Texas is weathering these unprecedented times well, thanks to the incredible success of our local chapters the last several years.  This success is a direct result of the dedicated efforts of our volunteers at the local and leadership levels, and our staff.  Thank you all for putting the organization in a strong position to deal with times like this.

The strong success of CCA Texas’s local chapters has allowed CCA Texas to contribute over $7.8 million to 40 habitat projects up and down the Texas coast since the inception of Habitat Today for Fish Tomorrow (HTFT).  The local success has allowed CCA Texas to lead the way in critical advocacy issues such as oyster management, fresh water inflow, and fishery management issues.  CCA members and volunteers are critical to the advocacy process by taking an active role, whether it is active roles on committees, commenting at public hearings, or sending in their comments to the appropriate governmental agency for any one specific issue.  The common thread to all of CCA Texas remains to be successful local chapters and dedicated volunteers.

Habitat

Nueces Bay Oyster Project - Habitat creation and protection projects have continued to move forward through the pandemic crisis. The Nueces Bay oyster reef project was recently completed under the leadership of Coastal Bend Bays and Estuaries Program (CBBEP).  Two hundred tons of 3” x 5” bull rock were placed within the protected area of the shoreline protection project in Nueces Bay.  This rock, along with a 20’ X 200’ strip of crushed oyster shell will provide a good baseline for the potential success of oyster restoration in this part of Nueces Bay.  CBBEP and Harte Research Institute (HRI) will monitor the area to track the success of oyster growth.

Dagger Island Shoreline Protection and Marsh Restoration - CCA Texas partnered with Ducks Unlimited to create critical shoreline protection in Redfish Bay along Dagger Island. The Dagger and Ransom Island Shoreline Protection Project is a wide-ranging project with the ultimate goal to eliminate or drastically reduce the rate of shoreline erosion and island migration.  Three different types of shoreline protection (shoreline revetment, beneficial use, and offshore breakwaters) are being used at three priority areas.  Once completed, the project will protect more than 5,000 acres of marsh and wetlands, and create more than 40 new acres.  Work is ongoing and the breakwaters are now complete.  The contractors are also stacking material for the containment levees, and the next phase to begin shaping the material on the levees should begin mid to late May.

Lone Star Beer Contributes $150,000 to CCA Texas for Habitat Restoration and Creation

Lone Star beer recently committed $150,000 to CCA Texas for habitat restoration and creation along the Texas coast as part of their Hurricane Harvey Relief Giving.  Lone Star has been a great partner to CCA Texas, and especially the Austin Chapter.  These funds have been designated for habitat work in the Coastal Bend, and CCA Texas and Lone Star are currently working with partners to identify potential projects.

“As the National Beer of Texas, we deeply value the land and waters of the Lone Star State,” commented Troy Moldenhauer, RGM South Texas. Moldenhauer continued, “For us, working with the CCA to protect the beauty of our state for future generations to enjoy, especially with a beer in hand, was an absolute must. We look forward to this friendship for many more years to come.”

Hatchery Update

Flounder buildings expected to increase southern flounder production

The CCA Texas flounder building at Sea Center Texas in Lake Jackson is nearing completion and the sister building in Corpus Christi is already online. With the two new buildings, Texas Parks and Wildlife will soon ramp up their southern flounder stock enhancement efforts.

“CCA Texas continues to be a proud partner of the stock enhancement program,” said Robby Byers, executive director of CCA Texas. “Our hope is that with increased production capabilities, stock enhancement can aid in the recovery of the flounder fishery. TPWD has repeatedly expressed grave concern for the status of flounder stocks and we want be a part of the solution by supporting the department and raising awareness amongst our membership.”

Over the past 15 years, CCA Texas has donated more than $1 million to support flounder research and stock enhancement projects:

  • $740,000 to the University of Texas Marine Science Institute for facilities and equipment to support larvae research.
  • $14,000 to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department for a skiff to aid in flounder broodstock collection.
  • $40,000 to the Sea Center Texas Hatchery in Lake Jackson for flounder larvae culture equipment.
  • $325,000 to the Sea Center Texas Hatchery for a flounder culture larvae culture building.

CCA Texas STAR Tournament

The STAR Tournament kicks off on May 23, 2020 and lasts till September 7, 2020.  Don’t hit the water without signing up.  You might be the next big winner.  For more details, be sure to visit www.starttournament.org.  

 
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