Nearshore Reefing and Flounder Hatchery Developments

John Blaha
Nearshore Reefing and Flounder Hatchery Developments
CCA Texas continues to work closely with TPWD to help ensure sound fishery management and enhancement. Photo Courtesy of CCA Texas.

Nearshore reefing efforts continue to grow along the Texas coast.  CCA Texas partners, Friends of RGV Reef (FRGVR), continue to lead the way in reefing efforts, and are currently in the middle of another large deployment that began in early January.  CCA Texas has also partnered with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s (TPWD) Nearshore Reefing Program for two efforts that will take place in 2020 at Galveston’s Big Man and Kate Reef areas, and in Sabine at the Sabine HI20 site.  These partnerships remain a driving force in the effort to create and restore critical marine habitat in the nearshore waters along the Texas coast.

FRGVR has set the standard for reefing efforts along the Texas coast.  At 1,600 acres, the Rio Grande Valley reefing site is the largest nearshore site in Texas waters.  The current effort will deploy 10,000 tons of materials in the 400 acre nursery area called the CCA Nursery.  This deployment will consist of 54 low-relief reef patches.  Each patch is made up with 25 tons of concrete railroad ties, 25 tons of broken concrete and 6 pallets (420 blocks) of cinderblocks. In addition, there will be 16 patch reefs made up of 250 tons of concrete railroad ties each in a line north of the reef to provide protection to the nursery reef. Capping it all off will be another 1,500 tons of material placed in the SE corner of the reef site, known as the CCA Corner.  This deployment phase should be reaching its final stages as this issue reaches the newsstands. To date, CCA Texas and Building Conservation Trust have provided $611,000 in funding to reefing efforts in the Rio Grande Valley Reef site.

CCA Texas and Building Conservation Trust have partnered with Texas Parks and Wildlife on two projects in the Upper Texas Coast. CCA Texas, BCT and Shell Oil Company are providing $329,000 in funding for reefing efforts in the Galveston Big Man and Kate’s Reef areas that will provide an additional 155 pyramids and additional low-relief modules.  This additional funding will supplement a $1.5 million effort by TPWD that will deploy 845 pyramids and 180 low-relief modules in these two sites.  Funding Partners, CCA Texas, BCT and TPWD will deploy 150 pyramids into the Sabine HI20 Site. This $230,000 project will be funded by $100,000 from CCA Texas and BCT, $100,000 from Sempra Energy, and $30,000 from Cheniere Energy.  CCA Texas will continue to work with these local partners and Friends of Sabine Reefs to provide marine habitat along the nearshore coastal waters. These partnerships are crucial and CCA Texas is proud to be a part of the efforts.

If you have any questions about CCA Texas and Building Conservation Trusts habitat efforts, please contact John Blaha at [email protected] for more information.

Flounder Hatchery News

With two new buildings coming online, Texas Parks and Wildlife will soon ramp up their southern flounder stock enhancement efforts. The climate-controlled flounder buildings at the CCA Marine Development Center in Flour Bluff and Sea Center Texas in Lake Jackson should allow hatchery staff to expand production into months that were previously impractical due to constraints in infrastructure and other fish production priorities. The building at Sea Center Texas was made possible in large part by a generous donation of $325,000 by CCA Texas members and industry partners. 

“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.”

CCA Texas has donated more than $1 million to support flounder research and stock enhancement projects: including:

  • $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 larvae culture building.
For more information about flounder and other work that CCA Texas is involved in, please visit