Fishing show offers new wares; government actions mean good news for fishers
As reliable as bikinis on a spring break beach, the 39th annual Houston Fishing Show commences March 5 through 9 at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston.
Everything that is fishing - salt or fresh - will be on display, including the newest and coolest to help you catch a fish.
Shimano's new Curado I series, introduced in February, will be on display along with the Chronarch CI4. While you are there, quiz some of Shimano's factory reps about what baitcaster or spinning reel best fits your fishing prowess.
You will need a sensitive graphite stick to go with your new reel, so check out Waterloo's Ultra Mag, Slam Mag and the new economical Phantom series baitcasting and spinning models. Hook Spit, Laguna, Castaway, Falcon and American Rodsmiths will also be on hand, many displaying "Fishing Show Specials."
My good buddy and native Texan, Mark Nichols, founder of DOA Lures in Florida, will be coming home to show off his wares. You will be instantly impressed by his fishing IQ And Mark has never met a stranger, so ask questions.
Anyone who has brushed salt off of their hat knows the names MirrOlure, Corky, Heddon Super Spooks, Norton, Texas Tackle Factory, Tidal Surge and Bass Assassin. All of those, along with local companies like ChickenBoy, will be on site to fill empty tackle boxes.
This year's seminar schedule with specific times, topics and presenters is available daily by going to the event website (houstonfishingshow.com). Show hours are noon to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, 10a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $9 adults and $2 children 6-12.
Coastal counties, wildlife get a break
Anyone who irrigates, hunts, floats or drinks water from the Colorado River received a bit of good news when the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) commissioners decided Feb. 26 to modify the emergency order requested by the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA).
Sure, rice farmers will be cut off from receiving "rice water" for the third year in a row, but TCEQ refused to adopt a higher trigger level, as requested by LCRA. The current trigger level to release agricultural water downstream is 850,000 acre-feet of water on the Highland Lake. LCRA requested the trigger level to be raised to 1.4 million acre -feet - a reckless move which could have left Lower River Basin users hung out to dry, so to speak.
"We knew with the currently low lake levels and historically low inflows that there would be no water for rice farmers again this spring, but we were very concerned about raising trigger levels from 850,000 acre-feet in the two previous emergency orders to 1.1 or 1.4 million acre-feet and putting undue burden on already stressed downstream users," said Kirby Brown, conservation outreach specialist for Ducks Unlimited, in a statement on the DU website.
"We're very pleased that after thoughtful deliberation, the TCEQ commissioners took into account concerns across the entire basin," said Brown.
Commissioners clarified that environmental flows would remain consistent with the 2010 water management plan and would not be included in the emergency order.
"Although this order does cut off interruptible water for a third year - and that is bad news for the beleaguered Texas rice industry as well as the myriad waterfowl, other birds and wildlife that depend on those managed wetlands - we feel that the Commissioners heard, considered and acted favorably upon our requests in letters and comments to equitably share sacrifices across the basin in water-allocation decisions," Brown said.
Colorado, Wharton and Matagorda county judges and commissioners, as well as Ducks Unlimited, are to be commended for their efforts and testimony to protect these long-standing agricultural economies and communities.
Bink Grimes is a freelance writer, photographer, author and licensed captain. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.