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“We saw some just miraculous numbers of redfish in East Matagorda Bay,” Hartman stated. The number of redfish encountered in nets set in East Matagorda Bay all the way through April set a 35-yr record, she noted, greater than double any outdated April’s numbers.
“The number of redfish there turned into simply off the charts,” she observed.
The bay’s speckled trout population looks effective, too.
“Trout numbers could emerge as being a bit decrease, but no longer by means of a whole lot,” Hartman talked about. “There’s no shortage of trout within the bay.”
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there’s additionally no shortage of food for the trout and redfish, both.
“The number of baitfish — menhaden, mullet — is definitely excessive,” Hartman noted. “The trout and redfish aren’t going hungry.”
Populations of menhaden, mullet and other forage species looks robust in all other higher-coast bays, too. That bodes well for fish, if not anglers who have to compete with an abundance of natural forage when trying to idiot fish.
If there’s a question mark amongst bays alongside the higher coast, it’s Sabine Lake. The state’s easternmost bay device has been swamped lots of the previous 12 months with freshwater, first from typhoon Harvey’s rains, then once more this spring when heavy rains and flooding along the Sabine River saved the bay practically completely sparkling from wintry weather through most of spring.
“The bay turned into pretty much fully fresh for three months,” Gelpi observed. That freshwater shoved saltwater species, equivalent to speckled trout, either absolutely out of the gadget and into the close-shore Gulf or into deep-water area maintaining water with adequate salinity, he mentioned.
The outcome became this spring gill nets surveys in Sabine Lake noticed lots reduced numbers of marine species akin to speckled trout. but, it produced some very distinctive species for coastal crews.
“We caught bass and bluegills and even crayfish and tadpoles — now not species you’d consistently expect to see in a bay,” Gelpi spoke of.
but a extremely dry April, might also and early June pinched off freshwater runoff and salinity levels to creep up, and saltwater species to lower back to the bay.
“We seeing salinities in the teenagers — 12-15 parts per thousand, which is dazzling commonplace — again in the lower lake,” Gelpi mentioned, noting the multiplied salinity is encouraging displaced marine fish to movement back into the bay device.
“all of the recent records we have says the bay’s fishery is doing wonderful, besides the fact that all the flooding has moved fish around,” Gelpi noted, adding, “I predict this to be a great summer season.”
The equal appears to be the case in all upper-coast bays.