For the first time in seven years, the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department has issued a temporary fishing ban in the Coastal Bend.
The ban is aimed at protecting resources during the freezing weather conditions and it affects Aransas, Nueces and San Patricio counties.
The ban ends at 10 p.m. Wednesday.
TPWD said during freezies, fish will stay in deeper waters where they can become sluggish and easy to capture, which in even a short period of time can drain fish stocks for years. When TPWD biologists see freezing temperatures over two or three days, they will ask to put a temporary fishing closure in place.
The last time they had to do that was in 2011.
With the Coastal Bend seeing consistently low temperatures these past few days, the closure went into effect at 10 a.m. Tuesday.
Biologists said historically, fish have migrated to the coastal waterways and the inner canals of the Packery Channel where the water is deeper, so when fishermen crowd those areas it can be bad news for the fish.
"It stresses the fish out, which could enhance the number of fish that can die just because of the cold, because of the stress," TPWD Capt. Marvin Tamez said, "and also because it's an easy opportunity for people to take more than they should under normal circumstances."
Game wardens will be out checking if anyone is fishing in the closure areas. Depending on each situation you can be issued a fine, but TPWD said they are there to educate the public about the temporary closure.
For a list of closures, click here.
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