The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has scheduled a Coastal Fisheries Bay Team tournament targeting flounder for 6 a.m. until noon Nov. 15 at Conn Brown Harbor in Aransas Pass.
The program, launched in 2005, is designed to recruit experienced anglers to assist TPWD with collecting brood stock for hatchery programs. The anglers receive t-shirts and fishing lures — and the chance to win hand-held GPS units, rods and reels and BOGA-Grip handheld scales — all while promoting conservation.
An earlier event slated for Texas City was cancelled due to Huricane Ike.
“This all ties in to genetic diversity-the more fish we have for hatchery broodstock, the better it will be for the millions of fish we stock in Texas public waters to improve fishing each year,” said Robert Adami, TPWD coastal fisheries biologist in Corpus Christi.
A long-term decline in southern flounder numbers in Texas bays has led to a series of public scoping meetings to consider regulation changes for the 2009-2010 season. At the same time, efforts are underway at both TPWD and the University of Texas Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas to consistently and successfully spawn flounder in captivity.
“Avoiding inbreeding is an essential component of any hatchery breeding program. You don’t want the same fish siblings year after year after year,” Adami said. “You want at least 25 percent of your brood stock to be new fish each year, and this program is helping us do that.”
Each Coastal Fisheries Bay Team tournament is open to 30 two-person teams, 60 people total, on a first-come, first-serve basis. Registration takes place on-site the day of each tournament. There is no entry fee, but all entrants must be 21 years old or older. Participants may turn in three fish per tournament.
Everyone who brings in at least one flounder is eligible for a drawing to win a Garmin eTrex GPS, a BOGA-Grip handheld scale or a Shimano Calcutta 200B baitcasting reel mounted on a Texas Tackle Factory rod.
The prizes, equipment, and program are made possible through support from Anheuser-Busch, Inc. Since 1991, Anheuser-Busch, in partnership with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation, has contributed millions of dollars in funding to support conservation causes and fishing, hunting, and outdoor recreation programs in Texas.