OK? Just how bad has this record cold wave effected the Gulf Coast fishery?

elkchapo

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Can't speak for LA, but I just got back from the Texas coastal bend area... it's going to be a tough year. Fingers crossed that people consider practicing catch & release this year.
 

dswice

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I just watched a Youtube on the die-off in the Texas coastal waters. What's going on in Louisiana waters?

Bill
Was the Youtuber RedFishRoss? He lives near Corpus Christi and says the fish kill is devastating there and based on past kills, it takes about 2 years for the area to recover. Very sad indeed. See his report from last Friday: Our Fishery Is Being Devastated - YouTube
 

karstopo

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In Texas, it seems most of the kill from the videos and reports I’ve seen is from East Matagorda Bay on south to Port Mansfield. Mainly speckled trout caught in shallow water, and a lot is shallow there, got hit hard, of course any snook, inshore mangrove snapper, juvenile tarpon down there are now likely dead. Galveston bay and points east and north look much better by all reports. I doubt Louisiana got hit very hard as it wasn’t so cold for so long there as it was in Texas. Points east of Louisiana shouldn’t have any trouble. I’ve only seen one guide mentioned lake calcasieu in Western Louisiana and it didn’t sound like they had a significant kill there.

Even in the worst areas, I did see photos of decent amounts of large trout sunning themselves around Rockport post freeze. So, Not every fish was killed. Speckled Trout take ~3 years to get to 16”. Some breeder size fish survived. In 3-4 years my guess is numbers should be close to where they were prior to the freeze barring any other major issues. Might be hard to find plus sized trout in some areas they normally would be found for several years. Redfish will hardly be a blip on the radar. 2 years from egg to slot size. Every last breeder and redfish live a long time was safe offshore in relatively deep and warm water. No loss to breeders, some loss of juvenile redfish in some select areas, maybe there’s an off year or two for part of the Texas coast on juvenile redfish, that would be my summary.

I have half a mind to go out to some deeper holes I know locally here that tend to hold trout in the winter and see what fish are around. Anyway, it Could be everything works out better in the long run for the fish as some of the fill the ice box full of trout every chance type of guides might not get the traffic they once did. That whole side of guiding might really shrink, the croaker soakers guides and the meat haulers, those that use those irresistible live croaker to feed trout so as to fill one ice box after another with big breeding age trout. Maybe the state finally feels the pressure that designates Croaker as a gamefish and then therefore removes it from being used as bait. This freeze event could be the tipping point in the battle between the maximum retention crowd and the conservationists, with the conservationists getting the upper hand once and for all.
 

brownbass

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I can't recall the names of the guides or programs. I just remembered being on S. Padre island after a cold front and the fishing sucked because of the cold. I don't think it was a die-off event, just cold enough to screw up the fishing. A guide was telling me about die-offs so every time something this severe hits the coastal waters I feel bad for the fisherman and of course the fish. Good luck fishing Karstopo.

Bill
 
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