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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am calling you out. Rollover Pass is about to be closed by the state. San Luis Pass is closing. Brown Cedar Cut has been closed for decades. Green's Cut has been closed for decades. Pass Cavallo is closing. Cedar Bayou has been closed for several years. Yarborough Pass has been closed for decades. "Houston, we have a problem". Many of your current members and at least 1 (that would be me) of your former members would like to know where in the hell are you? Your silence is deafening.
 

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Pass Cavallo is nowhere near closing. Why don't you call out the rfa? I hear they are masters at keeping passes open.
 

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suggest you write a letter to the Editor of the Chronicle, giving justification for not closing Rollover, send CCA a cc of the letter. It won't do any good but you'll feel better after venting.

Another option if to write all your representatives in State and Federal Govt and ask their assistance. Get a Black friend to sign and mail it for you. Send Quanell X a cc. That should do it.

Good luck. Appears decision has already been made. Facts mean nothing on this issue.
 

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Old Salty

Did you change your name.....You sound like some guy named Jim from the Bluewater Board! Gater
 

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fish control my brain
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Mission Statement of CCA

The stated purpose of CCA is to advise and educate the public on the conservation of marine resources. The objective of CCA is to conserve, promote and enhance the present and future availability of these coastal resources for the benefit and enjoyment of the general public.

Not sure where a pass constitues as a resource, but if your PO'd about a man made pass bing closed by the state, why would you bash a organization that is out there to protect the fish.

And BTW, San Luis Pass is not closing. It's a natural pass that connects a barrier island to main land, it it will continually change.
Cold Pass used to flow into the Gulf, and that's where Treasure Island got it's name.
Do you want CCA to reopen that too ????
 

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I have mixed feeling about rollover. Its a great fishing spot and it offers the fish in east bay enother exit to the gulf in case of a severe fish freeze event.

But on the other hand, its a man made pass and was never supposed to be there in the first place. Its clearly taking sand that would normally be on the beach and washing it into the bay.
 

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RIP HRCH Daniels Sonny Slough 05.24.2016
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It sure seems like the CCA is more interested in raising money through cronyism at their dog and pony shows than in protecting the resource for future generations. I wonder what the founding members of GCCA and the original conservationsits (The guys who worked to get the Redfish Bill signed) think about the current state of affairs in the CCA and our Texas Fisheries?? I know of one who is probably rolling over in his grave about right now. I also wonder how much time and money those guys donated to cause to preserve the resource?? I wonder how much they profited ??
:texasflag
 

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Mission Statement of CCA

The stated purpose of CCA is to advise and educate the public on the conservation of marine resources. The objective of CCA is to conserve, promote and enhance the present and future availability of these coastal resources for the benefit and enjoyment of the general public.
if the objective is to do as stated, promoting the future availability of the coastal resources for the benefit and enjoyment of the public, then why haven't we heard from them on the closure? if closing would enhance fisheries or fishing opps, then they should come out in favor of closing. if not, then they should come out against closing. just say something CCA.

again, where is the voice, one way or another? say something CCA.

about to write them...CCA.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Guys, make no mistake. There are 2 sources that provide the lifeblood for our bay systems. One is our marshes, the other is our passes. Closing passes is not a good thing. Also, beware of "scientific studies". "Common Sense arise and waken our sleeping brethren" From the Book of Old Saltycus, chapters 7 thru 11. Old Salty- still pluggin'
 

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Life is a Trip!
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Old Salt,

With much respect I was firmly where you are now...then I did about two months worth of research into coastal passes, etc. This is what I came up with, not an easy fix as there are many variables, and all of them cost a lot of money.

It's a long read and please excuse the top stuff, but the meat is in the bottom half. [written for TIDE in 'O5]

Just something else to consider, and thanks for your concern...

Fishing with the Flow
Keeping Tidal Inlets in play

It was late April, and right on cue, waves of mean, hard-bodied trout were instinctively pushing through a gently rolling surf. Like clockwork, you could count on the week either side of Texas Independence Day for the first run of speckled trout filtering in from the Gulf. After spending the majority of winter past the beachfront, it was time for these fish to invade the rich hunting and spawning grounds of the bay system. If there ever was such a thing as magic, it was all happening right here, right now. Standing knee-deep in dawns green tide hinted of the master plan, and topwater explosions further confirmed that life was good. If we time it just right, the numerous tidal passes between our bays and beaches can produce some of the most awesome light tackle adventures imaginable for eons to come.

Or can they?

Much of our fishing future is out of our full control, but on some issues, we might all benefit from a little more awareness. In the meantime, if we pay attention to a few simple rules of nature, we can continue to tap some of these tidal arteries for the highest outdoor value they have to offer.

The setting above was at the great San Luis Pass, located on the southern end of Galveston's West Bay. On this particular adventure, all we had to do was pitch a topwater up current around tightly packed schools of mullet, twitch it lightly for effect, and then hang on. These fish were running four to six pounds and not your typical full-time resident bay trout. Markedly stronger from months of fighting offshore elements, they were on a mission and meaning serious business. So were we, because like most other exchanges, San Luis Pass can be an intense place to fish. Typical of a spring Gulf tide though, our coveted speckled trout weren't the only predators dictating lethal terms.

Ahead of those trout, working on top of the ever-changing sand bars, were small platoons of aggressive, stiff-finned redfish. First light found them still being bullies, but they were winding down their brutal nocturnal gorge on a fresh arrival of juvenile menhaden. An occasional flounder could also be seen, blowing completely out of the water on black clouds of glass minnows swirling vulnerably in the current. Also present, however, were humping packs of bottle-nosed dolphins, poised and ready to nail anything that moved into harms way.

Watching nature's violent display of aquatic life and death behind a tidal inlet is indeed magic, and Texas host several such places. All have their own unique heartbeats, but in many respects, they are all much the same. It's all about the exchange of water between two separate systems, and where it positions fish - when.

Fishing a tidal pass is a timing game, so being able to follow game fish during tide changes is critical. A very basic overview would be that fish usually use the deeper guts as arteries to & from favored feeding grounds, and then again as a place to sit down when the tide goes slack. A major key to remember, however, is that most all predators abide by two simple rules.

One is to spend as little energy as possible to feed, and the other is to not become feed for something else.

In deeper, major guts, especially on an incoming current, and especially during stronger two day tides, fish are usually in a highway mode and will not hold anywhere for very long. For lack of a better word, it's "pass" shooting, where you get one shot at them as they blow thru and that's it. They are moving and scattering across to the easier, and safer, feeding areas of the flats. An exception would be areas that make the current either change direction or speed, places they can hide behind and let bait be brought safely to them. Distinct points, bends, downstream of the cut outs in sandbars that lead to flats, on top of the bars, and of course on the flats themselves, can be good during incoming tides. However, we might picture tidal movement here as being somewhat like a funnel.

When we fish an incoming tide, we are often fishing the big end of the funnel. Fish are moving in but they quickly scatter across vast areas of water. An outgoing tide on the other hand would be more like the small end of the funnel. When the water starts falling off the flats, the bait has no choice but to enter the deeper & deadlier areas where trout are patiently waiting. Predators tend to concentrate in smaller areas and hold longer. Excellent spots to try are the downstream tips of bars and the little rips dumping into the guts. An often overlooked area is anywhere relatively deeper water slopes up shallower going downstream. Trout will sometimes lay in the shallower part and just wait for the bait to be conveniently pushed up to them. Behind level drops where the current tumbles bait into confusion can also hold good concentrations of both trout and reds.

During slack tides, target the depressed, slightly deeper holding areas on the flats and especially the edges of the deeper guts themselves. Working the steep drop-offs with a noisy topwater can often call non-feeding trout up with violent results, and persistence can save the day if you missed them earlier.

In all stages of tide, the presence of other predators will force game fish such as trout and reds to seek areas where bigger teeth can't get to them. Extremely shallow areas near deep-water escapes are always on the list, and regardless of what we hear, even during middle of the day in the summer. Off-colored water, especially near color changes, can hold many more fish than the more vulnerable cleaner areas. Another interesting but often overlooked scenario, and one that goes against conventional wisdom, is that the best areas to fish aren't always in the big rafts of mullet we see. There are often too many other toothy critters riding that herd, and the bigger & smarter trout usually stay out of that circus, much preferring areas of lesser attention. Back off of the massive rafts to the smaller pods of bait, and the size of your trout just might increase. In trying to summarize, follow the fish in, concentrating on current breaking structure, watch for signs on the flats during the last part of the incoming tide, then work the nearby "safe" areas when it all goes slack. An outgoing tide can be much easier. Key on the small end of any funnels that look good.

Fishing is a life long study that we hopefully never graduate from, and there is just no end to discussing theories and possibilities. However, coastal inlets and passes are much more than just great places to fish. They are marine superconductors if you would, relaying the critical current needed to help keep our bay systems charged at the highest possible amperage. The importance of them is not at question.

As quoted by The Coastal Inlets Research Program "The United States, through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, has vital national interest in the stability and behavior of tidal inlets around its coastline." Paraphrasing further, they confirm that inlets are "important commercial and military navigation links", "provide recreational activities", "allow for exchange nutrients and water between bays and ocean bodies", and "are important assets for the economic health of coastal communities." Without them the balance of life as we know it would be tilted. Unfortunately, we are seeing some of that tilt.

The overall picture is extremely complex, however, it is mostly painted with human intervention. There are two types of breaches from bay to Gulf; those carved by nature and then those designed by man. The faces of both are changing andthere are very valid reasons why. Of the natural passes, where once there were many, are now very few, and some that remain have been sentenced to death by strangulation. In simplistic terms, hydraulic power between bays & beach used to be tremendous, but now an adequate transfer of water rarely exists to keep them flushed clear.

Historically, most bays contained excess power looking for relief and cuts were scoured at will. However, an ever-increasing demand for fresh water has reduced a once powerful bayward flow into a mere dribble of former volumes. Granted, humans will not be denied their "higher use" of fresh water, and increasing municipal needs, intense industrial use, and voluminous agricultural irrigation means even more dams in the future. Freshwater in-flow is only one factor in the tidal pass equation however.

Whatever losses of hydrostatic pressure we see from reduced river flow has been multiplied by the almighty modern dredge, the steel claw of modern navigational and canal home progress, the very tool we look to for improvements. Of what force remains, much has been buffered by artificially deepened water such as the Intracoastal Waterway and myriads of canal homes. As badly as they are needed, our dredged deepwater navigational channels, coupled with the radically reduced charge of fresh water, have created an entire set of new rules.

Natural passes are one story, but our man-made channels are not immune from an evolving society either. We try to force nature to act under our preferred rules, but even the presence of jetties play another card of concern. Due to laterally driven long shore currents, all jetties will block sand on one side, which causes beach erosion on the other. We see this in every location. This stack and rob scenario requires manual re-distribution, and the placement of dredge fill poses even yet another dilemma.

As to the subject of beach erosion, one of the few things agreed upon by most geologists and engineers is that dredged and jettied navigation channels are the major cause of most our shoreline erosion problems. Without dredge maintenance, longshore currents will also eventually block these jettied entrances. Maintenance cost can be significant.

We can keep these channels open and flowing with proper funding, but unfortunately, the availability of maintenance dollars is shrinking fast. In today's ecomomic climate, funding is largely, if not fully, based upon commercial tonnage rather than "recreational" or "other uses". "Other uses" includes water quality. Natural disasters such as major hurricanes have drawn the governmental purse stings even tighter. Unfortunately, it goes with small mention that a large part of our coastal economy is dependant on healthy bay systems. A typical example of overlooked "other uses" would be the Port Mansfield Channel.

With granite out to 2300', it is the shortest successful pass today in its class. However, it has been six years since it was dredged and has shoaled up from twenty feet to five feet in some areas. There is no commercial tonnage here, but for 45 years, the district has counted on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to dredge the channel. But a funding crunch led the Corps to scrap plans to do the job that would have cost about $2 million. Being the only exchange between Port Isabel and Mustang Island, it has been deemed highly critical for the health of an economy, which no doubt, largely depends on a healthy bay system.

Whether tidal inlets are man made or by nature's own design, their importance is not in question.So, what can we do to insure that water exchanges in Texas continue to exist and work as they were designed? How can we continue to extract the highest outdoor value from our passes, and, continue to fuel the economies that depend on them?

Theoretical answers are widely contested and emotionalas everyone wants their local projects funded.Butwhatever the answers are, long term and rational thought dictates that a multi-faceted battle awaits us all. It begins with awareness and ends with cooperation from many concerned groups.

The awareness part hopefully comes from things like this article. The co-operation between concerned groups has no end. A quote from the U.S. Geological Survey Biological Resources Division states "The most important human-caused components of environmental change over the last 30 years have been water diversion and flood control, brushland clearing, human population increases, contaminants, and continued dredging of the Intracoastal Waterway.

It's time we get serious about balancing the needs between a growing population and our vital waterways.Let's get to it. In the meantime, we'll see you at the pass. Bring your topwaters.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hey Mctrout, sounds like we agree. I know it costs a lot of money. But, I think it could be done if all of us could get on the same page. Political pressure and money can move mountains. By the way, I was sure glad to here you guys got your cut opened up good again. I hear fishing has really picked up. My primary fishing destination has been Rockport for the past 35 years or so. I was there when Cedar Bayou flowed free and deep enough to actually be a migratory route. Before the state closed it because of the oil spill. Even after mother nature slightly re-opened it, it helped although I don't think it was enough of a pass for significant migration. But since it has been completely closed now for a while, fishing in that area has really nosedived I'm sure you are aware. When I think of the major passes with deep channels and jetties like we have at Sabine, Galveston, POC, Port Aransas, Mansfield, and South Padre, I am convinced that we could have and should have more of them and not fewer. I'm also really worried that the middle coast has had such a downturn even with no fish killer freezes. We all know its bound to freeze again sometime and whatever we have left in the way of trout are going to have no way to escape. I think we need major jettied passes at Rollover, Brown Cedar, Mouth of the Colorado, Greens Cut, Cedar Bayou, and Yarborough. If we had enough major passes opened and eliminate the use of croakers as bait, I believe mother nature will take care of the rest, provided we also have adequate freshwater from the rivers and marshes. Still pluggin'-Old Salty
 

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Salty I agree,

But the bottom line is that if nature doesn't have the power [or need] to keep certain passes open, they aren't going to stay open without a of of funding. Our's is already silting back up. CCA has contributed quite a bit to these efforts even though it is not in their scope.

Don't know what else to say. We all wish things were different, but I'm still looking for the entity who can trump the cards we have dealt ourselves. Just keep being salty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
McTrout, I read where CCA gave 10k for a study on Cedar Bayou. I've also read they have given 3 million for college scholarships, and about 1 million to TPWD (that one smells fishy). 10k for the study is like a cab driver tip. 3 million for college scholarships? Down the drain. A million to TPWD? Corruption! With all due respect to you, "Come on Man", that ain't right! Still pluggin-Old Salty
 

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We need to start emailing the corps of engineers and the secratary of the army. I'll dig for the address.

Biggie
 

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McTrout, I read where CCA gave 10k for a study on Cedar Bayou. I've also read they have given 3 million for college scholarships, and about 1 million to TPWD (that one smells fishy). 10k for the study is like a cab driver tip. 3 million for college scholarships? Down the drain. A million to TPWD? Corruption! With all due respect to you, "Come on Man", that ain't right! Still pluggin-Old Salty
College Scholarships down the drain? Your right, we shouldn't be helping kids who want to become biologists, fishery managers, etc..........A million to TPWD corruption? I think you need to use the "Come on Man" towards yourself. TPWD gets barely enough from the State to accomplish its objectives, every cent they get is money well spent. Opening the passes is a goal that CCA see's as vital, but there are so many players in the game that you are not even considering. You need to go back and read McTrout's article again, Freshwater flows is where it's at. Population growth has siphoned so much out of area lakes and streams you don't have the natural flow anymore to keep a pass open naturally anymore. http://www.ccatexas.org/home/what-is-cca/accomplishments/freshwater-inflows/ Don't be so short sighted and quick to judge until you have all the info, there are is a lot of political power, fight and debate over water. Population continues to grow, water will become more expensive and lucrative than oil in the years to come, just ask someone who lives in one of the Western states right now. Up there they have a set number of taps off municipal water and there is no drilling your own well. Alot of places you have to haul your water for your own cistern.
 
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