CCA Texas Volunteers Assist TPWD in Flounder Research

CCA Texas
CCA Texas Volunteers Assist TPWD in Flounder Research
Photo by Shane Bonnot.
CCA Texas volunteers and staff members hit the water with Texas Parks Wildlife Department (TPWD) on May 22, 2008 to take the next step in the on-going efforts to develop a viable stock enhancement program for southern flounder. Southern flounder have shown a steady decline for years and this effort led by TPWD, with assistance from University of Texas Marine Science Institute, shows promise for the declining southern flounder in Texas. In the summer of 2007, six boats, including two guide boats and four volunteer boats, fished Sabine Lake and secured between 60 and 70 southern flounder and twenty four speckled trout for the hatcheries. The southern flounder were then strip spawned and the resulting spawn is now residing at Sea Center Texas in the research tanks.

CCA Texas volunteers, TPWD employees and CCA Texas staff hit the water again on May 22, 2008. This trip included four local guides and their boats and over 10 volunteer boats. CCA Texas once again picked up the fees for the guide boats and the local chapters and others supplied the volunteers to go out and catch the fish. "These two events have played a large role in the preliminary stages of TPWD's goal in achieving a large scale stock enhancement program for southern flounder," said TPWD biologist Shane Bonnot. Shane added, "With the help of all the volunteers and our partners at UTMSI and CCA Texas, the future is bright for a successful and long term enhancement program for southern flounder."

With a continuous increase in fishing pressure up and down the coast, TPWD must take proactive steps to ensure viability of the fishery for years to come. "Flounder is a species that has been getting a lot of attention," commented CCA Texas President Bill Schwarzlose. "This interaction between TPWD, UTMSI, local guides and CCA Texas volunteers speaks volumes about the commitment of all the active parties to see that the southern flounder remains a viable fishery for all users of the resource."

CCA Texas Executive Director Robby Byers commented, "Our hatcheries in Flour Bluff and Lake Jackson as well as the CCA Texas funded Marine Larviculture Center at UTMSI in Port Aransas, are all working on spawning flounder in captivity. The hope is to one day assist Mother Nature with a flounder restocking program much like the redfish and speckled trout. These brood fish that we are collecting from Sabine lake will provide our Lake Jackson hatchery with needed stock to continue their work with this important species."

CCA Texas is proud to be a part of this far-reaching enhancement project that will help restore southern flounder to its once bountiful population. "I'm really proud of CCA Texas volunteers and members and their desire to help the flounder fishery," said Schwarzlose. "This project and others, as well as proactive approaches to fisheries management, will be the key to future generation's opportunities to enjoy coastal fisheries for years to come."

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