CCA Newsletter

 

 

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Phillips 66 Awards $90,000 to BCT and CCA Louisiana's Marine Habitat Initiative
Partnership will benefit an Artificial Reef in East Calcasieu Lake

Phillips 66 has awarded a grant of $90,000 to Coastal Conservation Association's (CCA's) National Habitat Program, Building Conservation Trust (BCT) and CCA Louisiana. The Phillips 66 Corporate Citizenship Grant will fund an inshore artificial reef in East Calcasieu.

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Cox and The Trust for Public Land Announce John Walther as Louisiana's 2017 Cox Conserves Hero | $20,000 going to local nonprofits

walther_awardCox Communications and The Trust for Public Land last night named John Walther as Louisiana's 2017 Cox Conserves Hero during an opening reception at the Center for Planning Excellence's (CPEX) Louisiana Smart Growth Summit. Coastal Conservation Association of Louisiana (CCA Louisiana), Walther's nonprofit beneficiary, will receive $10,000. Walther was among the three finalists who were nominated by the public then chosen by local judging panels to compete in an online vote for the title of Louisiana's Cox Conserves Hero.

Walther is a long-time volunteer of Coastal Conservation Association of Louisiana (CCA Louisiana) and has been the guiding force behind 20 unique artificial reef deployments across Louisiana's coast. He pioneered the use of recycled concrete materials in artificial reef projects in Louisiana and has also been the driving force behind the annual Derelict Crab Trap Removal Program. One of his most significant accomplishments is the installation of 20 reefs - with an additional two coming down the pipeline. He has the vision and determination to enhance the fishing experience in Louisiana.

 


 

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Chapter and Partners Continue to Help the Bay

md_trailer CCA Maryland's Habitat Committee spent the fall continuing its work building reef balls with students and volunteers throughout the state. In September, long-time volunteer Larry Jennings introduced the program at the historic Goshen Farm in Cape Saint Claire. Soon after, "Big Red" - the mobile reef ball trailer - headed to Bass Pro Shops to put on a display in front of the Hanover Maryland store on National Hunting and Fishing Day. Bass Pro Shops employees and walk-up volunteers took part in the fun, and by the end of the weekend 15 new reef balls headed down the road to prepare for deployment.

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Wild Texas Film Tour

tx_film The 2017 Wild Texas Film Tour concluded a 12-city speaker tour in Houston in November and featured inspiring adventures and conservation stories. The goal of the tour was to showcase important local conservation issues, inspire viewers to engage in grassroots efforts, and increase recruitment for local conservation organizations. Each event had guest speakers, and CCA National President Pat Murray was featured at several of the stops to discuss marine conservation issues.

Hosted by filmmaker and conservationist Ben Masters, the tour was made possible by YETI, Epic Provisions, Texas Parks & Wildlife Foundation, Stewards of the Wild, The Borderlands Research Institute and King Land & Water.

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Conservation Highlights

 
 
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Gone are the days when Texas bays closed shop for the holiday season. Unbelievably, there was a time just a couple of decades ago when winter wadefishing was a solitary pursuit enjoyed by an elite group of purists. They were often alone on winter shorelines and were the eclectic few who got to fish one of the best seasons on the bays and flats of the Texas coast. The secret is now irrevocably out, but the fishing can still be some of the best of the year.

GEAR MATTERS
Proper clothing always matters in wadefishing, but along the Texas coast, you have to be particularly adaptable. The conditions can turn from humid and hot to a searingly cold northwest wind and then settle into a soaking dense fog….in a day. It can literally be that schizophrenic. With that in mind, gear is paramount not only for safety but also for enjoyment of your trip. Remember to bring multiple layers on every trip and not just layers for addressing cold conditions, but also to adjust if a front backs up and produces heat, humidity, fog, rain or all of the above. The best news is that outerwear and wader technology have evolved dramatically in recent years. Not that many years ago, I clearly remember proudly donning my neoprene bratwurst skin waders for a day of overheated misery while wading a shoreline with the brutal combination of cold water and a searing sun. I never knew how bad I had it until I got my first pair of breathable waders. They are a must. The thin, pliable skin provides room for proper layering underneath, and allows you to actually be nimble in and out of the water. A basic rule is to always overpack for any winter trip and you will never be sorry.

NO BAIT DOESN'T MEAN NO BAIT
The first rule of trout and redfish fishing along the Texas coast (and actually any coast for that matter) is the importance of there being baitfish. No bait, no fish. It is almost that simple. But, during the cold water periods of late fall and winter, a lack of visible bait does not mean that it is not present. Keep a keen eye out for subtle signs of mullet or other cold water prey species, and be particularly aware of cormorants, loons and pelicans. Honestly, my favorite winter sign on a cold, seemingly lifeless shoreline is a pod of white pelicans crouched low to the water in a full stalk. They ease along and look for cold-slowed mullet which is exactly the same prey a large speckled trout targets. Equally significant, diving loons or cormorants provide an almost sure sign that there are some minnows or other small finfish in the area and, during winter, any secondary sign of bait is also a sign of trout and redfish.

WHEN WATER CLARITY IS A PROBLEM
Cold water temperatures invariably bring clearer water than any other time of the year. At first appearance, that would seem to be a positive for a winter wader, but in reality, the opposite is often the case. Air clear water can be the mark of desolate water as bait and predator species scatter and an angler is left with a beautiful wade in an empty aquarium. It can be maddeningly hard to find streaky or even milky water, but time spent searching is often worth the effort. Additionally, focusing on areas that hold a softer bay bottom, and particularly near bayou outlets, bring the combination of a warmer muddy bay floor and marsh-fed flow from the bayou mouth to create natural turbidity and near-perfect ambush points.

GRIND IT OUT
Cold water brings lower metabolic conditions for baitfish and gamefish, so patience can be imperative. Unlike the frothy days of summer and fall when fish feed regularly and are measurably more active, the cold of winter brings sluggish behavior and feeding patterns to match. There is never a season that putting in extras hours does not pay off, and none more so thaN winter. But, by keeping an eye on the weather, properly preparing and putting in the hours, this holiday wadefishing season may deliver the most memorable gift of all.

 


 

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Featured Video

AFTCO x CCA - Partners in Conservation

AFTCO and CCA have expanded their relationship as they collectively work toward their common goal to conserve, promote, and enhance the present and future availability of our coastal resources.


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Newsletter Editor and Designer: Heather Peterek
Newsletter Consulting Editors: Pat Murray and Ted Venker

 

The objective of CCA is to conserve, promote, and enhance the present and future availability of coastal resources for the benefit and enjoyment of the general public.

 

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Past Newsletters

Click on the links below for the latest issues of the CCA Newsletter.

May 2017

April 2017

December 2016

March 2016

Spring 2015

Fall 2014

Spring 2014

Building Conservation Edition 2014

Spring 2013

Spring 2012

Winter 2012

Winter 2011

Fall 2011

Summer 2011

Spring 2011

Winter 2010

Building Conservation Newsletter (Fall 2010)