Friends of Rio Grande Valley Reef is dedicated to assisting on permitting and funding an artificial reef north of the South Padre Island jetties in State waters. Texas Parks and Wildlife Artificial Reef division is currently processing the permits for 1600 acre reef site. This reef will contain the normal large reefing components like pyramids, shrimp boats, culverts, and concrete rip rap.
WHAT DO WE KNOW?
The low relief reef not only grows baby red snapper, it also grows innumerable small bait fish, primarily the perch-like Longfin Porgy. Having a large forage base near the high relief reef allows it to attract and hold more fish. The glass minnows we see in shallow nearshore waters also use these structures to grow into adult sardines, menhaden and pogies as they move offshore and become food for everything we all love to catch.
The proposed reef site is 10 times the size of a normal 160 acre reef.
This is to provide an extensive area of low relief scattered patch reefs. The importance of low relief reef materials, patches of small rubble scattered enough to not aggregate big fish, is only very recently being recognized as a critical missing steppingstone for the survival of juvenile fish. The problem is, when the little fish swim over to the big reef, the big fish eat them.
We are going to make a really great place to fish, and do our damnedest to make a reef that puts fish back in the Gulf. Dale Shivley, Director of the Artificial Reef Division for the Texas Parks and Wildlife envisions a multimillion dollar installation, efficiently placed based on quantifiable research, placed over years, we agree.
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