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Media Contact: Aaron Reed, 512-389-8046 [AR]

TPWD Website: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us

TPWD News Release — Oct. 10, 2008

More than Half of Galveston Bay Boat Ramps Now Accessible

DICKINSON, Texas — For those anglers who have found a way onto Galveston Bay since Hurricane Ike passed through nearly a month ago, fishing reportedly has been better than average.

"Our gill nets are still producing good catches of spotted seatrout and red drum, and the birds are working the bait schools in the bay," said Bill Balboa, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Galveston Bay ecosystem leader. "So fishing under the birds should be productive, too."

The question is: how to get a boat on the water?

High winds, a powerful storm surge and tons of debris damaged or blocked almost all of the boat ramps around the Galveston Bay system in the days immediately following Hurricane Ike. Now, slightly more than half of those launch points are back in some semblance of working order.

"Approximately 67 of the 127 sites we have been regularly surveying are now accessible," Balboa said. "Some sites — especially bait camps — may take months to repair, and even for the sites we have listed as open, we recommend that anglers check with ramp owners and operators and exercise caution when launching, running the bay and fishing."

Balboa said debris hazards are still a significant issue and that it is even possible that bay bottom topography has been altered by the hurricane.

For a complete list of Galveston Bay-area boat ramps that are open or accessible as of Oct. 10, please visit the TPWD Web site.

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