I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Laura Picarello from Sea Grant Texas, Scott Hickman with the Galveston Professional Boatman’s Association, and Shane Bonnot with CCA. We discussed future coastal issues. We all had a common focus on several matters. Some of these items we discussed concerned: level of professionalism in the people connected to the fishing public, daily bag limits, catch and release, and habitat protection.
We had a good discussion about the importance of monitoring the catches recorded and how those catches relate back to the fish population/repopulation. Increasing the public awareness and increasing buy-in to catch and release programs was discussed as it relates to the impact on the future quality of fishing. We also discussed protecting the habitat; with increased pressure we can all equally share the resource and still maintain the habitat. No one wants to limit access; we need to find solutions. Our actions today will be key in the viability of the resource 20 years from now.
I think it is important to know the forces in action, whether we agree with them or not, we need to know what is going on. There are a tremendous number of agencies studying many aspects of coastal life. We are at a great crossroads. As I’ve said numerous times, they’re making more boats, but they aren’t making any more water.