“Friend” me on Facebook

Posted by: Larry Bozka on April 24th, 2013

Subconsciously, I winterized myself last fall. Like tending to a boat in need of updating, repair and maintenance, I scheduled my medical overhaul for the December 2012 through March 2013 time frame.
I’m happy to report that I am now thoroughly retrofitted and in better running condition than I’ve enjoyed in years.
Plus, I got my vision repaired .. not the 21-foot Vision that I run, but literally, my vision. It took getting to the point that I could not get a clear focus with an autofocus Nikon lens, but I finally went to the Joffe MediCenter off of the West Loop in Houston and had an operation … one that I’d been putting off for ages.
The recovery was miserable, not that they didn’t warn me. Nonetheless, it was worth it.
It’s good to be back at the helm. Ditto for being back here on CoastalAnglers.com and TexasFishingForum.com as well.
Suffice it to say I am busy catching up, not only with deadlines but also a great deal of e-mail. If you’re trying to reach me, do us both a favor and “friend” me on Facebook.
Drop a post, or even a message, and I’ll get back with you ASAP.
It may take a while, but I will indeed get there.
Many thanks to everyone who sent good wishes and prayers.
I’m thrilled to report that they not only worked, but worked spectacularly.

Thanks to all …


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TPWD issues release today re: Upper Texas Coast Red Tide Scenario

Posted by: Larry Bozka on August 14th, 2012

Regarding the ongoing Red Tide situation along the Texas Upper Coast, the followingt is a press release issued today by my friend Steve Lightfoot of the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department. See yesterday’s blog for more information and also a new Red Tide Status website put online yesterday by the department’s Dickinson Marine Lab “Kills and Spills Team.”


News Release
Media Contacts: Steve Lightfoot 512-389-4701, steve.lightfoot@tpwd.state.tx.us
August 14, 2012
Red Tide Confirmed along Upper Texas Coast
AUSTIN –Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is working with other agencies to monitor a red tide event along the upper Texas coast.
The bloom was first confirmed on Sunday, August 12, by biologists with the Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS) who collected samples around the Galveston area to follow up on reports of dead fish washing ashore.
Subsequent analysis confirmed low to moderate concentrations of the microscopic algae Karenia brevis, commonly called red tide. Effective at 12:01 a.m., August 13, 2012, Conditionally Approved Area 1 of Galveston Bay, the Central and East Approved Areas of Galveston Bay, and Smith Point Approved Area of Galveston Bay as designated on the map dated November 1, 2011 were closed to the harvesting of molluscan shellfish, including oysters, clams, whelks and mussels.
The bloom is suspected to have caused fish kills along a number of locations along the upper coast, including Crystal Beach, Galveston, Surfside, Sargent’s and Matagorda beaches. TPWD plans to conduct an overflight of the entire Texas coast before the end of the week to get an aerial view of the bloom’s extent.
Karenia brevis is a naturally-occurring organism that produces a toxin affecting the central nervous system of fish which causes paralysis and the inability to breath.  As a result, red tide blooms often result in dead fish washing up on Gulf beaches. When red tide algae reproduce in dense concentrations or “blooms,” they are visible as discolored patches of water, often reddish in color.
The last red tide occurrence in Texas was in 2011-2012 and occurred from Boca Chica to the lower reaches of Galveston Bay.
People who are near the water during red tide may experience irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, as well as coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. People with existing respiratory illness, such as asthma, may experience these symptoms more severely.  If you have concerns or questions about human health effects of red tide or symptoms you are experiencing, consult a physician.
Updated information on the current red tide situation in Texas, as well as background information on red tide and how it affects people and fish, is available on the TPWD website: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/hab/redtide/. You can also get up-to-date information through TPWD on Facebook and Twitter.

Read: TPWD issues release today re: Upper Texas Coast Red Tide Scenario »

New TPWD Red Tide Status Website established for Red Tide information on Upper Texas Coast

Posted by: Larry Bozka on August 13th, 2012

It’s back, for the second time in less than two years.

Furthermore, it’s still blooming … an ironic term for red tide, one of the Texas Coast’s most noxious natural phenomena.

According to Stephen Mitchell, Regional Biologist for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s “Kills and Spills Team,” reports of a substantial fish kill began to trickle in last Thursday.

The initial calls came from Matagorda, where at the mouth of the Colorado River beach visitors and surf anglers were finding large numbers of dead fish, primarily menhaden, washed up on the beachfront.

“It wasn’t long before we began to receive calls from fishermen near Surfside Beach as well,” Mitchell says. “People fishing from the Freeport jetties reported large numbers of clearly-visible dead fish moving through the channel with the incoming tide.” Mitchell notes that red tide conditions have been encountered by boaters as far as four miles offshore.

The toxic algae bloom, which can cause watery eyes and even respiratory problems for those unfortunate enough to encounter it, has since spread progressively.

“We know that red tide conditions have already spread eastward up the Bolivar Peninsula to Crystal Beach,” says TPWD Coastal Fisheries Division biologist Winston Denton. “By now, it’s very likely that it has made its way to Rollover Pass.”

Menhaden are currently the primary species affected, Denton says. “Gulf menhaden are less tolerant of red tide than other saltwater forage and game fish species,” he explains. “They also tend to travel in large schools, which accounts for the reason why menhaden tend to show up along the beachfront in numbers when confronted with red tide conditions.”

Like all such algae blooms, the current red tide scenario is constantly changing. To keep the public informed and provide a ready avenue for the sharing of information TPWD has established a special “Red Tide Status” website. Mitchell and Denton stress that since the site is being updated on a continuous basis, for at least the time being, users might experience brief delays as more information is added.

Concerned individuals can log on to http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/landwater/water/environconcerns/hab/redtide/status.phtml to receive updates, provide additional as to unlisted sightings and even obtain a link that profiles the health-related ramifications of red tide and how to best deal with its adverse effects.

The department is also listing phone numbers for individuals who wish to talk to a representative by phone.

To reach the department’s Austin headquarters, call 512-389-4848. To contact the TPWD Office in LaPorte, call 281-842-8100.


— Larry Bozka

Read: New TPWD Red Tide Status Website established for Red Tide information on Upper Texas Coast »

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