Fall Fishing East Matagorda Bay

2015 Oyster Season Delay Sargent Texas

  • November 16, 2015

The East Matagorda Bay Oyster is making a comeback.  But unfortunately  this season’s opening  has been delayed The commercial Oyster Beds are located about 10 miles south of Sargent and fan out from  Live Oak Bay and Dressing point. This is that time of the year when one of my favorite foods is ready to harvest around Sargent Texas.  These incredible morsels are some of the best tasting Oyster in the United States. This year the state of Texas Health Department  has delayed the opening of the Sargent Oyster season because of massive rains before the November 2015 opening day. but look for the opening in next few weeks as the influx of fresh water subsides and colder weather invades this part of Texas  plumping the Oysters. After the last 6 years of drought has slowed the  Oysters of East Matagorda Bay are making a comeback and will taste incredible for years to come.  Conditions continue to improve.

Oysters Sargent Texas

Around the vicinity of Sargent Oysters are most prolific where salt and fresh water mix and produce a special mini environment. Caney Creek has had a good flow for the last few months.   Just south of Sargent  and north of the  Bay is Lake Austin. When it overflows it flows into Carancahua Creek . This in turn flows into White Oak Bay part of East Matagorda Bay.. There are many active reefs in that area. In the Greater Sargent ecosystem we are blessed very pristine watersheds. These Watersheds filter the fresh water before it enters the bay and helps the Oysters form and build reefs. The state has authorized this part of the bay for Oyster Harvesting. It is clearly mapped from which areas the State of Texas allows the harvesting of Oyster. The Season for harvest is November to April, Sunrise to 3:30 pm. You need a valid fishing licence and must observe all laws on size and location. You must not use mechanized approach or you then need an additional special licence. There will be new rules proposed want to lower the size of Dead Oyster shell in each sack of  100lbs.

Remember over the last 6 years East Matagorda Bay and Greater Sargent had been whacked by  a really bad drought. This  wreaked Havoc on the bay especially for filter feeders and other smaller organisms that thrive with the mix of fresh and saltwater.  

Recently I interviewed Leslie Hartman. Leslie told me;  “There were times over the last 6 years when the Salinity of East Matagorda Bay was actually higher than the Gulf of Mexico”.  “This condition is called Hyper Salinity” and “occurs because of evaporation” and lack of freshwater inflow. “When you combines this with the shallow nature of East Matagorda Bay it got really serious” says Leslie Hartman Matagorda Bay Texas Parks and Wildlife Ecosystem Leader.  “Fresh Water is essential” for the “Nutrient load caused by this mixing of fresh with Saltwater”. Many lower level animals are the basics of many small bait fish and small crustaceans including  Crabs. These are the building blocks for the bay and the building of the food chain.

Leslie Hartman and her crew which is made up from Volunteers and Scientist from Texas Parks and Wildlife  team up to take samples of Matagorda Bay. They do this  from many different locations. They have been very excited because much of her survey is finding parts of the bay back to normal with intermittent inflows of fresh clean water.

So look for good fall fishing because of an abundance of bait and also look for better Oysters this year because of fresh water flows across the reefs. Nutrient rich waters are meeting incredibly high tides. Yes some roads flooded but the net result for Sargent and the Bay have been great. It caused so much needed scouring out bottom and turning over the water column. All good news for Sargent and East Matagorda Bay. Happy Oyster eating Sargent.