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What's new as of Januaary 18, 2013

  • Trout in the Class Room Project for 2013 has began.

Trout in the Classroom Update posted 18 January 2013

If you would like to look at what Katy HS is doing then you can check out their blog at Katy High School Aquatic Science Class and you can also visit the conservation page for Texas Flyfishers - here.

Trout in the Classroom Update posted 30 January 2013

Trout in the Class Room eggsThe 2013, TFF sponsored, Trout in the Classroom program got off to a good start last week when 100 rainbow trout eggs found homes at both Katy HS and Morton Ranch HS aquatic sciences classrooms. The eggs were supplied through Trout Unlimited from a hatchery in Washington State (www.troutlodge.com) and as of today it appears that many are already hatching in both tanks.

The Katy HS class is keeping a blog going on their project which can be found here Katy High School Aquatic Science Website

Trout in the Class Room eggs Trout in the Class Room eggs

I will also be supplying regular photo's and updates through the TFF forum and conservation page. If you have any questions or would like to help out with the project please feel free to contact me. My cell ( Matt Blyth, 832 444 4206 ) or through the TFF forum. Matt

Trout in the Classroom Update posted 18 January 2013

Trout in the Classroom Update posted 20 July 2012

Trout in the Classroom Blog is Updated: The Katy High School blog for the TFF sponsored Trout in the Classroom project has been updated with new pictures of the fry. These trout are growing and the predicted release party is scheduled for the first week of June.

Trout in the Classroom Update posted 01 May 2012

Trout in the Classroom Blog is Updated: The Katy High School blog for the TFF sponsored Trout in the Classroom project has been updated with new pictures of the fry. The hatch was very successful and there are currently close to 100 hungry baby rainbows in the tank. The project is a hit with the kids at the school and the teacher is very keen to keep this going next winter with another set of eggs. Click on the link in the right hand column for more details.

Trout in the Classroom Update posted 03 April 2012

Update on the TFF Trout in the Classroom Tank

The TFF sponsored Trout in the Classroom project is set up in Katy HS and here is the link to the students blog they have set up describing the project. The blog will be updated regularly so keep checking back to see how things are going. The trout eggs are scheduled for arrival at the end of February. Once they are in place the class has plans to set up a webcam to provide live video of the fish.

Trout in the Classroom Update posted 04 February 2012

As I mentioned at the last meeting, the TFF sponsored Trout In the Classroom project has found a home in the Katy High School Aquatic Sciences department. The tank and all the materials were dropped off before Christmas and the students will be setting up the tank and getting everything ready this week. There has been a delay in the delivery of the trout eggs from the supplier and they will now come at the end of February, a month later than planned, however this should not affect the success of the project. The students and teacher plan to start a blog of the tanks progress and I will post the link and pictures here as we go.

posted 10 January 2012

Conservation Project - Trout In the Classroom

TFF has agreed to sponsor a school for the Trout In the Classroom project through Trout Unlimited.

I am currently looking for suitable schools that would be willing to run the project starting this winter. It is targeted at high school and middle schools and science classes in particular.

If anyone knows a school or teacher that might be interested in running this then please contact me with the details either on my cell ( Matt Blyth, 832 444 4206 ) or through the TFF forum.

Information on the project can be found at Trout In The Class Room.

posted 22 September 2011

Update to the TFF sponsored Trout in the Classroom Project

On Thursday of this week I met the Trout in the Classroom regional coordinator near Austin to collect the eggs for our classroom tank. That afternoon 100 rainbow trout eggs were safely installed in their tank in Katy HS. Normally it should take about 5-7 days for them to hatch and when they do the class teacher has promised to update their blog page with pictures of the new fry. Matt

updated 24, Feb. 2012

Invasive Snail Alert

Thanks to Harry for forwarding the link below. If you are out fishing any of the rivers mentioned and you see these snails then please let me know and I will see about passing the location information on to the people conducting the study.

More details here.

posted 05 Feb 2012

Update on the Ship Channel Dredging in West Galveston Bay

Below if the latest press release from the Galveston Bay Foundation (GBF). As you can see the outcry from local fishing groups, including TFF, about the ongoing dredging operations has been heard and looks to be producing a positive response from the agencies involved. I have let the GBF know that members of our club are willing and able to help out with future habitat surveys to see if the sea grass that has already been covered in spoil is able to recover or not and I will let you know if I hear anything back.

USACE Makes Changes to West Bay Dredging Project

Webster, TX , January 10, 2012 , The Galveston Bay Foundation ("GBF") met with officials from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District ("USACE") last week to view and discuss a dredging project near Carancahua Point in West Galveston Bay on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway. GBF and many local fishermen have been concerned about the dredge material being placed upon seagrasses that have re-established in the area. Seagrass is an important and rare habitat in Galveston Bay, as juvenile shrimp, crabs, and fish all use seagrass beds as nursery areas. Galveston Bay had lost over 90% of its seagrasses since the 1950s, but in recent years, seagrasses have begun to return to the bay.

The USACE justified the dredging project under a study done in the Laguna Madre that showed that long term impacts to seagrass from being covered with a thin layer of dredge material would be minimized if the material was placed in the winter months when the seagrass is photosynthetically inactive. However, because seagrass is so rare in Galveston Bay as compared to the Laguna Madre, GBF asked the USACE to carefully review its plans and make changes to further minimize potential impacts to seagrass.

The USACE used, or was scheduled to use, two permitted placement areas ("PA") in West Bay, PA 63 and PA 62 (please see attached maps of PAs). The USACE has already completed its work in PA 63, but is still scheduled to place a substantial amount of dredge material in PA 62. After GBF representatives visited the site and met with the USACE last week, the USACE has agreed to make the following changes:

  1. The USACE will immediately complete a full seagrass survey at PA 62 prior to any new material being placed there and will follow up with a post-dredging survey in PA 63 to establish dredge material thickness and elevations for long term monitoring.
  2. The USACE will monitor impacts at PA 63 where the dredging has already taken place to create a formal record of any long term impacts to the seagrass there.
  3. The USACE will create an interagency coordination team ("ICT") to discuss the dredging on the Intracoastal Waterway between Sabine Lake and Matagorda Bay ahead of time in the future, and will also develop a full monitoring plan for disposal areas PA 63 and PA 62. The team will evaluate the seagrass surveys and the post dredging conditions and make recommendations on how the USACE should monitor and manage operations in PA 62 and 63.
  4. The USACE will attempt to minimize impacts to seagrass from the disposal that has yet to occur in PA 62. First, they will take as much as half the dredge material that is still scheduled to be placed in PA 62 and beneficially use it on private property north of the Intracoastal Waterway. Second, for the material that still must go into PA 62, the USACE will ensure its dredge contractor moves the dredge pipe multiple times to make sure no more than a thin layer will be placed onto any one area.

GBF President, Bob Stokes, stated, "I was impressed with the attention the USACE gave this matter. They took our concerns and the concerns of local fisherman seriously and have agreed to make important changes to the project." In the meantime, the placement areas will continue to be monitored to ensure the minimization of negative impacts to seagrasses in West Galveston Bay.

posted 10 January 2012

Ship Channel Dredging in West Galveston Bay.

Apparently there is some dredging of the ship channel going on at the moment in west Galveston Bay and the spoil material is being pumped over the spoil islands on top of the grass flats in the bay. This was spotted by local anglers and has been reported to the relevant Galveston Bay agencies to try and find out why this is happening and how it was approved. Word is that some of the grass flats are now filled in and dry land!!

You can find some more details here 2coolfishing thread and I have contacted GBF myself and as soon as I hear anything more I will post it here.

ps Please read all the post on 2coolfishing. There are contacts and good information toward the end.

posted 20 December 2011

To update everyone on what is happening here. This concerns the grass flats on the north side of West Galveston Bay that several of our club members regularly fish and that hold some great fish, is usually very clear and is/was a slowly recovering example of that the bay used to be like before pollution and several other factors killed off most of the grass. This grass seems to have seeded its self from plantings elsewhere in the bay and has grown very well in the time since Hurricane Ike

The Core of Engineers is dredging the ICW as part of their normal dredging program using a permiting system that was approved several years ago when the grass was much much smaller in extent. They are operating under the Laguna Madre seagrass window from November to March when they are allowed to dump a thin layer of sediment over the sea grass while it is in winter dormancy. This thin layer is actually supposed to help the grass regrow. However it would appear that the contractor employed by the COE is dumping a great deal more than a thin layer as reports show the flats are burried under 6" to 1ft of sediment. Worryingly no repeat environmental survey has been done since that original approval and most of the agencies involved appear to have no knowledge of the current extent of the grass flats. According to the contractor he has 6 miles of dredging and dumping to do in this area over the winter. Current guesses by the people in that area is that more than 34acres of flats are now covered up. This is a federally approved contract and is technically legal which means it is going to be almost impossible to shut down. Best we can hope for is getting the COE to pay for some restoration work after the job is finished and to maybe push them to conduct a new survey for future work. The discussion on the 2cool fishing link above gives lots of details from the people involved in trying to sort this out and phone numbers to call to harass the responsible parties. It does seem that the COE and other agencies have noticed the big response from local fishermen and other concerend people. Some of the area guides are also trying to organize media coverage to bring this to more people's attention.

Have any of our club members had a chance to go and check this out first hand?


Read Matts correspondance with the US Corp of Engineers.

posted 21 December 2011

Mike Gunning wrote a pretty comprehensive update in the Galveston News this morning.

posted 24 December 2011