Arroyo Colorado

March 1, 2012

Hello Arroyo Partners:

The Rio Grande Valley has been experiencing some fantastic spring time weather.  It has rained 2-3 days a week for the whole month of February.  Every week, a cold front would blow through and trigger the showers.  It may have not been a drought breaker but it was nice to see the rain.  Because of all the rain, everything is in full bloom.  It started with mountain laurels and yuccas blooming in early February.  The citrus orchards are in full bloom and almost all of the native trees have new growth/leaves. 

The ACWP hosted the Habitat WG meeting and Outreach & Education and Steering Committee meeting on February 9, 2012 at the Estero Llano Grande World Birding Center.  We had a very good turnout to all of the meetings and they were also very productive.  The meeting summaries will be posted on the AC website shortly.

One of the topics discussed at the steering committee meeting was the Valley Land Fund’s annual photo contest.  The Valley Land Fund Wildlife Photo Contest is designed to combine economics, art, education and conservation in a single world-class event.  It is the richest, toughest, most competitive photographic event in the world.  The best wildlife photographers from across the country come to South Texas where they are teamed with private landowners.  Teams split their prizes, rewarding private landowners financially for maintaining and enhancing their wildlife habitat.  Each photo contest produces a coffee table book of the incredible wildlife images showcasing the important wildlife species of the area.  This year, the Valley Land Fund will partner with the ACWP and the theme of this year’s photo contest will be the Arroyo Colorado.  The ACWP is very excited about this opportunity to work with the VLF to showcase the beauty of the Arroyo Colorado through photography.  Additionally, a portion of the proceeds from the purchase of every coffee table book produced at the end of the contest will go directly to the Arroyo Colorado Conservancy.  I would like to thank Jim Tabak for all of his hard work in helping put this event together.

The LRGV-TPDES Storm Water Task Force will be hosting their 14th Annual Stormwater Management Planning Conference on March 28-30, 2012 at South Padre Island.  There is a wide array of topics for this year’s conference, so please make an effort to attend.  I have attached an agenda and registration form.

Well, I finally got a chance to do a little fishing this past Sunday.  Capt. Richard Lopez and I headed out around noon for an afternoon on the water.  It was very slow and we could not locate any baitfish.  We kept moving around and about 4 pm we finally ran into some baitfish and set up a drift.  We had not had a bite all day and suddenly “the fish were on”.  We were fishing live shrimp under a popping cork and managed to land 2 sheep-head, 3 speckled trout, 4 reds and 8 black drum.  We also released a good number of all of the species mentioned that were too small.  The reds were all caught in the last hour before sunset.  There is nothing like a “sunset red” to really get your heart pumping.  All in all, it was a great afternoon on the incredible Lower Laguna Madre.  Keep those lines tight.

Looking ahead,
Jaime Flores