Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Topics - MikeF

Pages: [1]
Events and Information / Cedar Bayou Redfish Study
« on: March 16, 2015, 10:45:04 AM »
Reopening of Cedar Bayou    
Scientists measure inlet's effect on marine life

An HRI survey of a recently reopened waterway that connects the Texas mainland to the Gulf of Mexico found juvenile red drum, a key indicator species, at nearly every predicted impact site. The findings give researchers optimism that the reconnected inlet is positively influencing the densities of juvenile fish, shrimp and crabs (nekton) in Mesquite Bay near Rockport, Texas.

Cedar Bayou, which runs through Matagorda Island and connects the Texas mainland with the Gulf of Mexico, was intentionally closed in 1979 to prevent contaminants from the Ixtoc oil spill in the Bay of Campeche from reaching the Texas mainland. The reopening of Cedar Bayou was deemed so environmentally crucial to the State of Texas that, in April 2014, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a permit to permanently open the bayou's mouth, a task that was completed in late September using funds secured by Aransas County and the Coastal Conservation Association.

Due to immense interest from within the scientific and fishing communities concerning how fish and crustacean assemblages and densities in the Mesquite Bay complex may change due to the reopening of Cedar Bayou, HRI's Center for Sportfish Science and Conservation has been charged with monitoring Cedar Bayou. Currently, researchers are taking rigorous and repetitive measurements at fixed control and impact locations throughout Mesquite Bay and comparing them to measurements taken prior to reopening Cedar Bayou. These surveys will continue until late 2015.

"In the two years of data collection before the reopening, no juvenile red drum were found at the impact sites near Cedar Bayou," said Quentin Hall, an HRI Master of Science student whose research focuses on the effects of reopening Cedar Bayou on nekton species. "This finding is very encouraging and we look forward to getting a better picture of how reopening Cedar Bayou will influence juvenile nekton densities over the next year."

Recent research has documented how inlets such as Cedar Bayou play an important role as migratory routes for spawning fish as well as access to estuarine nursery habitat. For example, a study conducted on the Packery Channel showed that reopening the inlet approximately 38 miles southwest of Cedar Bayou resulted in increased densities of economically important species in the surrounding area.


"Adult red drum spawn offshore and the resulting young rely on tidal inlets such as Cedar Bayou to migrate into seagrass beds located in bay systems," said Dr. Greg Stunz, Director of the Center for Sportfish Science and Conservation. "We suspect that with Cedar Bayou closed, these juveniles could not make their way into Mesquite Bay. Numerous other species rely on tidal inlets for this reason as well, including southern flounder and blue crab."

Access to nursery habitats has both ecological and economic implications because as much as 75 percent of commercially or recreationally important species in the Gulf of Mexico are estuarine dependent. Post-opening densities of larval/juvenile fish suggest that Cedar Bayou provides important and increasingly rare access to nursery habitat populations and indicates that reopening barrier island inlets increases access to estuarine nursery habitats.

Direct beneficiaries of this increased productivity of the new inlet will most certainly be recreational fishermen and also commercial crab and shrimp fleets throughout the Gulf of Mexico. Economic recovery is especially critical following manmade and natural disasters such as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and Hurricane Katrina.

The refuges bordering Cedar Bayou are also the wintering grounds of endangered whooping cranes that rely on Cedar Bayou's blue crab population for 41 percent of their winter diet. Given that times of lower blue crab abundance may be linked to increased winter mortality for whooping cranes and that the reopening of inlets has been shown to increase blue crab recruitment densities, the reopening of Cedar Bayou will likely play a decisive role in increasing this good food source and subsequent whooping cranes survival during the winter months.


Events and Information / Protecting Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout
« on: February 04, 2015, 10:34:02 AM »
A Video by Judy Lehmberg

Events and Information / Cedar Bayou Redfish Study
« on: January 23, 2015, 01:35:43 PM »
Center for Sportfish Science and Conservation

The Center for Sportfish Science and Conservation has surgically implanted several redfish with tracking technology as part of the Cedar Bayou study. Each of these fish is marked with a green external dart tag. Please release these fish if caught and call the phone number on the tag to let researchers know where you caught the fish and to add valuable movement information to their study! If you decide to keep a tagged fish or if the fish dies in the process of being caught, please keep the black cylindrical acoustic tag implanted in the fish and call (361) 825-2028. This research is heavily dependent on the cooperation of local anglers, and your support is greatly appreciated!

Take a kid fishing and while your at it teach the benefits of Hook and Release.

General Discussion / Happy New Year
« on: December 31, 2014, 11:24:16 AM »
Want to wish a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year to All. Lets all do a lot of fishing this year. Best wishes for good days on the water with family and friends.

Events and Information / Powderhorn Ranch Acquisition Update
« on: November 15, 2014, 12:04:53 PM »
Walmart Acres for America Program Makes $525,000
Grant for Powderhorn Ranch Acquisition

November 13, 2014
Media contact: Lydia Saldaña

Walmart Acres for America Program Makes $525,000 Grant for Powderhorn Ranch Acquisition
Texas Coastal Purchase Part of Public/Private Partnership to fund conservation projects across the nation

DALLAS- Powderhorn Ranch along the Texas Gulf Coast is one of four grant recipients announced this week by Walmart’s Acres for America program. The program is considered to be one of the most effective public-private partnerships in the history of U.S. conservation efforts and was established in 2005 by the Arkansas based retail giant in collaboration with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF). Program goals are to conserve lands of national significance, protect critical fish and wildlife habitat and benefit people and local economies.

Acres for America began as a 10-year, $35 million commitment by Walmart to purchase and preserve one acre of wildlife habitat in the United States for every acre of land developed by the company. The program has protected critical habitats for birds, fish, plants and wildlife and has funded 59 projects in 33 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. The 2014 grants total $2,325,000, and will leverage an additional $82,936,000, for a total conservation investment of more than $85 million.

In August 2014, a multi-partner coalition announced the purchase of the 17,351-acre Powderhorn Ranch along the Texas coast in Calhoun County.  The acquisition conserves a spectacular piece of property that is one of the largest remaining tracts of unspoiled coastal prairie in the state and represents the largest conservation investment in Texas history. In years to come, Powderhorn Ranch is expected to become a state park and wildlife management area.  Project partners include The Texas Parks and Wildlife (TPW) Foundation, NFWF, The Conservation Fund, The Nature Conservancy and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. The TPW Foundation is spearheading the fundraising for the $50 million project, which includes the purchase of the property, habitat restoration and management, as well as a long-term endowment. The $525,000 grant announced this week will go toward land acquisition costs.

“We’re thrilled at the announcement of this generous $525,000 grant, “said Anne Brown, executive director for Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation. “Walmart’s Acres for America program underscores the necessity of public/private partnerships in funding transformational conservation projects that will benefit all citizens. Powderhorn Ranch is an investment that will benefit the communities nearby and the entire State of Texas. It exemplifies Walmart’s commitment to the communities in which it operates.”

With the Acres for America grant, $43.5 of the $50 million needed for the project has been raised. Additional contributions are welcome and interested donors can contact Anne Brown at the TPW Foundation for more information at 214-364-5632 or

The other projects funded by the 2014 Acres for America grant are the Hood Canal Landscape Conservation Initiative in Washington, the Lost Coast Redwood and Salmon Initiative in California and the Coastal Headwaters Forest Longleaf Conservation and Restoration project in Alabama and Florida.

For more information about the Acres for America 2014 recipients:
For more information about Powderhorn Ranch:

Since 1991, Texas Parks and Wildlife (TPW) Foundation has leveraged public funds with private philanthropy to advance Texas’ proud outdoor traditions and conserve our state’s wildlife, habitat, recreational areas, and natural resources.  Since its inception, the TPW Foundation has raised more than $100 million to help ensure that all Texans, today and in the future, can enjoy the wild things and wild places of Texas.


Pages: [1]