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Thread: Cedar Bayou

  1. #1
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    Default Cedar Bayou

    Recently our County Judge (Aransas Co/Bert Mills) wrote a letter asking the state what thier plans were with regard to opening Ceday Bayou.

    Tomorrow evening at 6PM the TPWD is having a meeting at the Aransas County Courthouse about Cedar Bayou.

    If you are in the area or have friends in the area and this notice isn't too short, please attend.

    Friday, August 21, 2009
    Aransas County Courthouse at 6PM
    Texas Parks and Wildlife Department public meeting about opening Cedar Bayou.
    Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance.

  2. #2
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    wonder when the sand's gonna fly? hope soon

  3. #3
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    The meeting was called by the county judge. Those attending were TPWD officials from Austin, all the local game wardens, representatives from Todd Hunters office, and Hagar's office, the local press, Saltwater Texan, 30-40 fishing guides and businessmen, County commissioners and Jim Smarr from the Recreational Fishing Alliance. And Lynn Edwards. The representative from the US Fish and Wildlife was a Whooping Crane Biologist and speculated that opening the pass would help things. There were no "Heavy Hitters" from any agency and no-one said that they were working on getting the pass open from any state or federal agency.

    There were just over 200 people in a court room designed to seat 102 people. It was standing room only the jury box was filled and people were shoulder to shoulder around the room. Conspicuously absent was representation from the Corps of Engineers. I think that the attendance was amazing since the meeting wasn't published in the local newspaper and it was on a Friday evening.

    Burt Mills, the county judge, read a statement that said in effect that he was on board and expected results by next May at the latest if he had to have it on every agenda from now on for the commissioners court. Lynn Edwards said that they have been working for 5 years to get a permit to open the pass and have forever been getting the run around. TPWD spokesman made a statement that said that they had answered all of the questions asked by the Corps of Engineers but would not commit as to weather or not they thought opening the pass would be good, bad or indifferent and could not be made to render an opinion. (basically a non answer). A fishing guide that has been guiding for 40-50 years (Adams) stated that if TPWD would just look at commercial landings and creel surveys since 1978 (which information they have) and compare those numbers to the years that Cedar Bayou was open or years with very high rainfall they would see how badly the pass needs to be opened.

    Except for the business men and guides that spoke, it was in my opinion mostly pawing the ground stamping the feet, snorting and puffing out of chests and little was accomplished....What the meeting did more than anything was put the community on notice that the Aransas County Judge is behind this and has every intention on seeing that the pass gets opened. The judge also pointed out that there is no money set aside to do the work if and when the permit is issued but money is available at the federal level but perhaps not to a Republican county with our current administration.

    My impressions are:

    *The US Army Corps of Engineers are being more of a hindrance than a help.

    *TPWD is paying lip service and not trying to help.

    *Save Cedar Bayou (Lynn Edwards) means well but is in over their heads.

    *Public support is well meaning but not wide spread.

    *There is pressure from somewhere (perhaps a landowner) to keep the pass closed.

    What I think can and should be done is for everyone in favor of opening Cedar Bayou and Vincent Slough to contact their state representatives and let them know the benefits of opening the pass and the lack of support that they will receive should the pass not be opened in a timely manner. And ask them to light a fire under TPWD. Next to contact our US House of Representatives and Congressmen and stress to them that our support hinges on them building a fire under the Corps of Engineers.

    From what I have learned over the past three years is that opening Cedar Bayou without opening Vincent Slough also will probably result in the Bayou closing from silt within only a few years but that if the entrance to the Slough was opened too, there would be enough water flow to keep the pass opened. Jim Smarr indicated to me that the RFA had filed a lawsuit and had withdrawn it but it would be re-filed in 5 days. (this remains to be seen, but I hope so)

    There seems to be no doubt that having Cedar Bayou and Vincent Slough opened would improve the fishing in the seven bays by a huge amount. It seems too, that the Bass family doesn't want Vincent Slough opened.

    I am happy that Judge Mills has made himself a project out of this and the way we can help is to ask our local, state and federal officials to get off the dime and move froward on this.
    Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance.

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