As forwarded by Dave Hayward with Swan Point Landing
As you and most folks who fish the Port Aransas/ Aransas Pass/ Rockport area know, a private company was granted a lease by the Texas General Land Office (GLO), and later a “Letter of Permission” from the Corps of Engineers (USACE) to construct a mile-and-a-half long barge fleeting facility in Lydia Ann Channel, directly across from the Lighthouse.
The project has displaced recreational use of that shoreline, created a hazard to navigation and poses a very real threat of devastating environmental and economic impact on a sensitive area in the event of a spill. Those of us who have boated and fished this water our whole lives know that the Lydia Ann Channel is the main tidal connection between the Redfish and Aransas Bay Systems and the Gulf. An incredible amount of water funnels through the channel. It serves as an important migratory route for baitfish, gamefish, shrimp and other wildlife. A swift incoming tide and stiff wind will push any spill, along with the inevitable runoff, from the facility into these bays within minutes, without possibility of control. It would destroy fishing in the Lighthouse Lakes, Redfish Bay, Aransas Bay and St. Jo.
As a result, concerned citizens and fishermen formed a non-profit “Friends of Lydia Ann Channel”, and filed a lawsuit against USACE in December 2015 challenging the improper granting of a ‘Letter of Permission’, without any environmental studies or public comment. The issuance of a Letter of Permission for a project of this scale, located in an environmentally sensitive area, inside the Redfish Bay State Scientific Area, was wholly inappropriate. A Letter of Permission is an abbreviated permitting process which, by law, is reserved for situations where “the proposed work would be minor, would not have significant individual or cumulative impacts on environmental values, and should encounter no appreciable opposition”. The company and the government essentially took a short cut on the permitting process, and the result is the eyesore on one of our favorite pieces of water that threatens to ruin our fishery.
The Texas Observer recently published a pretty good piece on the issue: https://www.texasobserver.org/port-aransas-barge-lydia-ann-controversy/
PLEASE take a look at this important coastal workshop presented by FlatsWorthy next Saturday, Feb. 25th at the Bay Education Center 121 Seabreeze Dr., in Rockport; with teaching officials from the National Estuarine Research Reserve, the University of Texas Marine Science Institute, and Sea Grant Texas at Texas A&M University scheduled to appear. The workshop is Free to all but attending folks must register ahead of time at https://goo.gl/forms/oAEUxNPIqe5ZLSTk1
Our speaker for the February 28, 2017 monthly meeting will be Mike Lembke from Wollaston Lake Lodge located in Canada approximately 100 miles from the Northwest Territories http://www.wollastonlakelodge.com/ . Mike will be telling us about the trophy Northern Pike, Lake Trout, Grayling and Walleye to be found at Wollaston Lake along with the spectacular scenery and relaxed atmosphere found in the Canadian wilderness. So, if you are interested in hearing about the fine fishing opportunities to be found in northern Canada, watching some fly tying before the meeting or just socializing with some friendly fly anglers, come to the February 2017 monthly meeting, we would be glad to have you.
4 of us made it to Harmon Creek as a “Plan B.” Continue reading
Latest update on the festival.
When: Saturday, February 11, 2017
Where: 3223 Westheimer Road, Houston 77098 – Google Map
For those of you who have been asking, there is a schedule of presentations included in the link provided below.
Schedule of Presentations
The TFF sponsored 2017 Trout in the Classroom project got off to a flying start last week. Thanks to the kind donations from TFF through the club fund raising and also with three new schools acquiring the necessary equipment themselves, we are now up to TEN tanks in high schools across Houston! This is a doubling in size of the project in one year and all the new teachers signed on after hearing about the success of tanks in our classrooms through their school system. We now have tanks in the following schools:
- Katy HS – Ms Kathleen Brown (Aquatic Science)
- Katy HS – Coach Williams (Aquatic Science)
- Katy HS – Jennifer Greenland (Aquatic Science)
- Mayde Creek HS – Sharon Carswell (Aquatic Science)
- Morton Ranch HS – Leigh Anne Colonna (Aquatic Science)
- Seven Meadows HS – Carlton Colmenares (AP Environmental Science)
- Klein Collins HS – David Henderson (AP Environmental Science)
- Cypress Lakes HS – Eileen Gariepy (Aquatic Science)
- Westbury HS – Lauren Gustartis (World Geography)
- Deer Park HS – Kirby Schmidt (Aquatic Science)
As usual the rainbow trout eggs were supplied by Trout Unlimited and came from a hatchery in Washington state. Each school received approximately 100 eggs and some have already started to hatch. Over the next few months I will keep everyone updated with their progress. Meanwhile if you have any questions then feel free to get in touch with me.
Matt Blyth (8324444206)
I’m thinking about taking the kayak & 8 wt down to Ernie’s Too on Sunday morning and seeing if anything is going on in Christmas Bay. If anyone is interested in meeting up, let me know.
Don ‘t be embarrassed to throw the “Squirmy Wormy” in front of fish. It works! Shown here is a modified tying technique. Continue reading