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TPWD News Release — April 23, 2007

Saltwater Anglers Can Expect Good Year Coastwide, ‘Banner’ Year on Some Bay Systems

AUSTIN, Texas — Texas Parks and Wildlife Department coastal fisheries biologists are predicting a good year for saltwater anglers in Texas.

“Two years ago, the year began with a white Christmas and ended with a record number of hurricanes. Last year began with a severe drought and ended with no hurricanes. This year has started off chilly and wet,” noted Mark Fisher, Ph.D., TPWD’s Coastal Fisheries Division science director. “Despite the unusual weather patterns, the outlook for the coastal angler is a good one.”

Fisheries biologists forecast angler success by analyzing the previous year’s sampling and survey data. Sampling is conducted using gill nets, bag seines and trawls; surveys of anglers are conducted throughout the year.

The resulting data set has been called the largest and best such collection of information on coastal fisheries in the world and received high marks in an independent scientific review by scientists from the American Fisheries Society.

“Overall, our data show our inshore saltwater fisheries to be in excellent shape,” said Larry McKinney, Ph.D., director of TPWD’s Coastal Fisheries Division. “Texas bays continue to provide world-class angling opportunities, and we are hopeful that recent changes in regulations — including last year’s seagrass conservation measure in Redfish Bay and the upcoming spotted seatrout bag limit change in the lower Laguna — will help continue that trend.”

An analysis of information collected in 2006 indicates:

Coastwide

Sabine Lake

Galveston Bay

Matagorda Bay

San Antonio Bay

Aransas Bay

Corpus Christi Bay

Upper Laguna Madre

Lower Laguna Madre

Anglers can find more information on historic catch rates (by species) for any Texas bay system — as well as boat ramp locations — at TPWD’s interactive, online “Catch Rate By Minor Bay” application.

For more information about a particular bay system, please contact the appropriate TPWD Coastal Fisheries ecosystem leader listed below:

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