Arroyo Colorado

September 25, 2012

Hello Arroyo Partners:

Well, it is officially Fall.  For the last week or so, the mornings have been very cool and crisp, almost even cold.  We are still hitting the mid-nineties every day but you can definitely feel a difference in the mornings and in the afternoon.  We are really hoping for a wet winter here in the RGV.  The Falcon and Amistad Reservoirs and getting critically low and we have used our water allocations for next year.  It is going to make for very interesting year if we do not get any rain over the next 6 months.  

I want to remind everyone that the ACWP will be holding several of their Work Group meetings in October.

The Arroyo Colorado Agriculture Issues Workgroup meeting will be held on October 18, from 9-11 am at the Cameron Co. AgriLife Extension Office located inside the Cameron Co. Annex Building at 1390 W. Expressway 83, San Benito, TX.

The Arroyo Colorado Habitat Workgroup meeting will be held on October 18, from 2-4 pm at the Estero Llano Grande World Birding Center located at 3301 S. FM 1015.

The Arroyo Colorado Watershed Partnership will be hosting an Arroyo Colorado Steering Committee meeting on October 18, from 5-7 pm.  Members of the TCEQ Nonpoint Source Team will be in attendance at the meeting to discuss options for addressing the bacteria impairment in the watershed so please make every effort to attend. We will also be discussing the timeline for updating the ACWPP and upcoming grant cycles. Food and refreshments will be served from 4:30-5:00 pm.  The meeting will be held at The Estero Llano Grande World Birding Center located at 3301 S. FM 1015.

Please mark your calendars for the upcoming events:

- The Valley Environmental Summit will be held on Thursday, October 4, 2012 at the Brownsville Events Center.  The purpose of the Valley Environmental Summit is to bring together the general public, political leaders, neighborhood associations, non-profits, businesses, and students to identify possible solutions, and implement those solutions. The environmental summits actively engage communities in working together to improve their environment and quality of life.  To register for the summit, please click on the following link: http://www.tceq.state.tx.us/assistance/summitsreg.  Video Contest Official Rules and Entry Form Available, click on the Video Contest Tab.  Visit us at www.Facebook.com/ValleyEnvironmentalSummit

- RIO REFORESTATION SATURDAY, OCTOBER 13, 2012 (Rain Date Saturday, October 27, 2012) 8:00am to noon.  Volunteer your church, civic, school group or family.  Volunteers are needed to plant tree and shrub seedlings.  Food and refreshments will be provided.  Please call Valley Proud Environmental Council at (956) 412-8004 for more details and directions to planting site located outside Brownsville in Cameron County.  For more information please be sure to check our website in the near future: www.valleyproud.org.

I did not have a very good summer as far as fishing goes.  I had gotten skunked so many times, I was starting to think I had lost my touch.  Sunday before last, my luck started to change.  It was the day after a good rain and there was rain predicted all day.  Captain Richard Lopez, Coach Joe Gaspar and I ignored all warnings and headed out to Port Mansfield anyway.  There was a nip in the air and I was actually cold when we got to our spot.  We were going to fish a gut in a spoil bank that separates a large bay from a shallow back bay.  We had to anchor the boat a good distance from the gut and get off of the boat and wade to the location.  There was a lot of activity in and around the gut; big fish breaking water and bait jumping everywhere.  I caught 2-20” flounder and 1-26” red in short order.  Richard and Coach also picked up a flounder each.  It eventually slowed down and we moved and started looking for reds.  A short time later, Coach landed a 24” red and commented that he had never caught a grand-slam (1 red, 1flounder and 1 trout) before.  Richard and I where both very surprised because Coach is a veteran angler that has been fishing for over 40 years.  All at once, we were determined to help Coach get his Grand Slam.  He switched to a popping cork and baited it with Gulp.  On his first cast, his cork went down and he set the hook.  He fought it and got it close to the boat and realized he had a trout.  While I was trying to get the net, he horsed the fish into the boat.  As soon as the fish hit the deck, it spit the jig but it was already safely in the boat.  It was a 22” trout and it completed Coach’s Grand Slam.  He let out a yell and a huge sigh of relief.   I tried and tried but could not complete my grand slam but was happy to be part of Coach’s.  Joe Gaspar coached and taught at Edinburg North for 31 years and only recently retired last year.  He is an avid angler and plans on fishing even more than ever now that he is retired.  It is days like this one that keep me coming back time after time and it is not just about the fishing.  A day like that motivates me to not only fish but to work even harder to protect the Arroyo Colorado and the Lower Laguna Madre.  We all need to keep working together to protect these amazing natural resources.  

Looking ahead,
Jaime Flores