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  IB Hooked - June 29, 2007

Last week ya‚ll got the broad overview on the Texas Great Barrier Reef
Project, this week some of the how‚s and why‚s. The permit that the Corps
of Engineers is now considering will allow the Gulf Coast Stewards to
place artificial reefs from what‚s left of Sabine Pass all the way to the
Sandspit. When word of this began leaking out everybody and their brother
chimed in with crap that would make great reefing materiel, from concrete
culverts to you name it and the input was appreciated but rock piles and
what not are not the most efficient materials to use. They will be used as
habitat enhancement just not as the primary materiel.

The guys recruited Dick Stone whom headed up the North Carolina reefing
program years ago and Dr. Bob Shipp of the U of Alabama- Mobile that
refined the design through numerous experiments and came up with the
design that should appear on this page. This is a small example cuz it had
to fit in the trunk of a car for the trip to Galveston, in real life these
pyramids will be ten to twenty feet tall and weigh several hundred pounds.
These are what Dr. Shipp deployed off of Alabama in profusion and now
Alabama accounts 40% of the red snapper catch in the entire Gulf of
Mexico, this from a State with a 40 mile coast line that previously didn‚t
have bottom features that would hold the critters.
The guys also recruited Dr. Timothy Dellapenna an Aggie geophysics dude
with a serious side-scan sonar rig that has already mapped most of the
strata in the bays up the coast. I know what ya‚ll are thinkin‚ a treasure
hunters dream, not so fast. As Billy Aljoe found out a couple of decades
ago when he filed a salvage claim on a find on North Beach, the State is
greedy and won a court order preventing him from collecting the claim.
Under the ruling the Texas Historical Commission owns all artifacts found
in the State, that didn‚t stop Billy, legend has it he refused to tell‚um
where the loot was and over the years he did the salvage after dark. The
entire project will be in State waters between 5 and 8-1/2 miles from
shore. The use of side-scan sonar will be to identify the proper substrate
on which to build the reef corridors.
The gent that really got this ball rollin‚ is an Aggie cartographer by
the name of Tom Hilton whom also owns the site Hilton‚s Offshore
Navigator, similar in some ways to Mitch Roffer‚s Roff‚s Ocean Forecast
that blue water folks swear by, his goes a bit further but I ain‚t gonna
get into that. Tom, like every other fisherman I know of which includes
every name in this piece and last weeks are totally fed up with the
federal BS of the last several years to the point that the federal
fisheries managers have lost all credibility with any semi-intelligent
reasonably sane individual. Soooo, being pissed and having the brain power
and some tools to do something about it, he looked up Jim Smarr and Randy
Davis of the Recreational Fishing Alliance and proposed TGBRP but only in
Texas waters. Leave the federal bureaucrats out of it and if possible all
the bureaucrats on the sideline, noble idea but Parks & Wildlife and the
General Land Office have to be involved, so far they appear to be warming
to the idea and the oil and gas industry just loves it. TBC next week with
another Aggie Dr. Bob Ditton socio-economic dude.
The Alphabet Soup Gang rides again with a marlin hunt this weekend,
weigh-in is over by Dirty Al‚s at the Sea Ranch 6:00-7:30 Saturday and

I.B. Hooked Archives

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