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TPWD temporarily closes fishing on Texas Coast

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has issued a temporary closure to saltwater fishing along parts of the Texas coast due to freezing weather conditions.
Credit: kiii staff
Fishing ban due to cold

AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has issued a temporary closure to saltwater fishing along parts of the Texas coast to protect resources during freezing weather conditions. The closure takes effect at 12:00 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 15 and extends through 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 16.

In addition to killing game fish in shallow bay waters, a hard freeze can also cause surviving fish to congregate in a few deeper areas where they become sluggish and prone to capture. Those are the areas the department has temporarily closed.

"The high mortality that a freeze can cause may deplete fish stocks for years," said Robin Riechers, director of TPWD’s Coastal Fisheries Division. "Protection of the surviving fish during the few days when they are especially vulnerable to capture would likely shorten the time period for overall recovery of coastal species, especially spotted sea trout."

Texas has about two million acres of bays and estuaries susceptible to freeze. There were three major freezes during the 1980s, including one in 1989 when the temperature at Brownsville dropped to 16 degrees and an estimated 11 million fish were killed in the freeze event. The last time there was a closure due to freezing temperatures was in January 2018. That freeze did not kill significant numbers of fish.

Anglers and coastal residents can report any freeze related fish kills or large numbers of sluggish or cold-stunned fish by contacting TPWD’s Law Enforcement Communications office at (281) 842-8100 or (512) 389-4848.

Visit the Outdoor Annual online to see the list of closed areas with a map feature.

Coastal Areas Closed To Fishing During Freeze Conditions

Effective 12:01 AM, Monday Feb. 15, 2021 through Tuesday 11:59 PM, Feb. 16, 2021

  • Aransas
  • Aransas Pass
  • City by the Sea

All waters and canals of the City by the Sea subdivision west of the GIWW and a line beginning at a point on the entryway seawall (27° 57.08" N; 97° 06.05" W) extending across the entrance to a point (27° 57.04" N; 97° 06.06" W).

  • Aransas
  • Fulton
  • The Raquetball

All waters and channels of the Racquetball Club development Club west of line beginning at a point on the entryway seawall (28° 05.94" N; 97° 01.73" W) extending across the entrance to a point (28° 05.96" N; 97° 01.73" W).

  • Aransas
  • Fulton
  • Kon Tiki

All waters and canals of the Kon Tiki development west of a line beginning at a point on the entryway seawall adjacent to the end of the fishing pier (28° 06.04" N; 97° 01.49" W) extending across the entrance to a point (28° 05.99" N; 97° 01.49" W).

  • Aransas
  • Rockport
  • Bahia Bay

All waters and canals of the Bahia Bay subdivision west of the GIWW and a line beginning at a point on the entryway seawall (27° 57.63" N; 97° 05.66" W) extending across the entrance to a point (27° 58.65" N; 97° 05.66" W).

  • Aransas
  • Rockport
  • Cove Harbor

Entire harbor west of the GIWW and a line beginning at a point on the entryway seawall (27° 59.37" N; 97° 04.38" W) extending across the entrance to a point (27° 59.42" N; 97° 04.35" W).

  • Aransas
  • Rockport
  • La Buena Vida

All waters and canals of the La Buena Vida subdivision west of the GIWW and a line beginning at a point on the entryway seawall (27° 57.31" N; 97° 05.89" W) extending across the entrance to a point (27° 58.36" N; 97° 05.89" W).

  • Aransas
  • Rockport
  • Little Bay

All waters of Little Bay and connected waters west of Nine Mile Point on Key Allegro (28° 01.98" N; 97° 01.52" W), including Blevins Channel south of the entryway seawall (28° 03.05" N; 97° 01.87" W), Leggett Channel west of the entryway seawall (28° 01.80" N; 97° 01.84" W) and all canals within the Key Allegro and Harbor Oaks subdivisions.

  • Aransas
  • Rockport
  • Palm Harbor

All waters and canals of the Palm Harbor subdivision west of the GIWW and a line beginning at a point on the entryway seawall (27° 58.05" N; 97° 05.36" W) extending across the entrance to a point (27° 58.03" N; 97° 05.36" W).

  • Aransas
  • Rockport
  • Rockport Harbor

Entire harbor north of the entryway seawall and a line beginning on the entryway seawall (28° 01.19" N; 97° 02.89" W) extending across the entrance to a point (28° 01.19" N; 97° 03.00" W).

  • Aransas
  • Lamar
  • Sea Gun Marina

Entire harbor north of the entryway seawall and a line beginning Harbor at a point on the entryway seawall (28° 08.06" N; 97° 00.40" W) extending across the entrance to a point (28° 08.11" N; 97° 00.42" W).

  • Calhoun
  • Port O’Connor
  • Army Hole

The enclosed waters between the Matagorda Island State Park docks and Pringle Lake.

  • Cameron
  • Brownsville
  • Brazos Santiago Pass South Jetty

Gulf of Mexico from and including the Brazos Santiago Pass south jetty along the beach for one half statute mile and out from shore for 1,000 yards.

  • Cameron
  • Port Isabel
  • Point Isabel

Area from shore out to a line from the high point of the Queen Isabella Memorial Causeway on the northwest and the end of the old causeway on the southeast including the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway bounded by the Queen Isabella Memorial Causeway on the north and the Port Isabel Swing Bridge on the south. Does not include the adjacent canal in Port Isabel.

  • Galveston
  • Dickinson, Texas City
  • Moses Lake

From Moses Lake to the Tide gate, to include the navigational channel up to the northern shoreline of Dollar Bay (area corresponds to 29° 26.00" N to 29° 27.00" N). Dollar Bay and Moses Bayou are not included.

  • Galveston
  • Galveston
  • Offats Bayou
  • All of Offats Bayou east of Marker 22.
  • Matagorda
  • Matagorda
  • Matagorda
  • Entire harbor from the entrance to the Gulf ICWW.Harbor
  • Matagorda
  • Palacios
  • Shrimp Basin
  • Entire shrimp basin from the entrance to Matagorda Bay, including all turning basins.
  • Nueces
  • Corpus Christi
  • Padre Island

The area is bounded on the north by Packery Channel, on the subdivision west by the ICWW and on the south by a line drawn due east from the intersection of the New Humble Channel and the ICWW to the mainland (along 27° 35.25" N).

  • Orange
  • Bridge City
  • Entergy Outfall
  • Entire canal – from the mouth of the canal at the Neches River Canal to the power plant.
  • San Patricio
  • Aransas Pass
  • Conn Brown

Entire harbor north and west of the GIWW and a line beginning from the Harbor at a point on the entryway seawall (27° 53.96" N; 97° 08.09" W) extending across the entrance to a point (27° 53.82" N; 97° 08.13" W).

  • Willacy
  • Port Mansfield
  • Port Mansfield
  • Entire harbor from the corners of the bulkheads on either side of Harbor to the harbor mouth.

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