About the Waterfront
October 7, 2011
Our fifth Friday Fishin’ trip aboard the Flying Fish Too departed TAMUG on Friday, October 7th at 2:04p.m. with 18 passengers aboard. We headed to the end of the Galveston South Jetty only to be stopped by the steep waves brought on by several days of strong Easterly winds. From there we traveled to the North Jetty Boat cut, as we had done the previous week, in hopes of calmer waters. Once there, we noticed the gulf waters pouring through the cut into the bay and a significant color change from the brown water of the churned up gulf and the green, clearer water of the bay. We anchored there in 20 feet of water and, although more protected from the winds, still experienced some good swells rolling in from the Gulf. Fishing was challenging this day with strong currents from an incoming tide and the strong winds causing the boat to swing back and forth on her anchor. Sticking it out in this location for the duration of the trip, we managed to pick up a few small gafftopsail catfish and sand trout and we also boated one 36” Bull Redfish. In addition, two more unknown fish were hooked and escaped to fight another day after giving a couple of our anglers some excitement. After weighing anchor at 5:30, we made our way home and were docked at TAMUG just a few minutes after 6. Congratulations to our angler with the catch of the day:
September 30, 2011
Our fourth Friday Fishin’ trip aboard the Flying Fish Too was a little more challenging than previous excursions. We left TAMUG on Friday, Sept. 30 just after 2p.m. with 17 passengers aboard and headed to the end of the Galveston South Jetty. Winds from the East and strong current made for a slightly wet and bouncy ride out but once we anchored on the Gulf side of the jetty the seas were more manageable. Although everyone was trying their best, this spot didn’t turn out to be productive so after about an hour we pulled anchor and searched for another area. The next spot was the North Jetty Boat Cut which is a gap in the rocks about a mile away from the Bolivar Peninsula. This opening in the jetty allows for vast amounts water to flow in and out the bay with the tides and is a popular area for fish to find a meal. After about half an hour there we had caught just a few gafftopsail catfish, mostly small, but then we heard the sound of line quickly peeling off a reel as a Bull Redfish had found the bait of Michael Bradley, who was fishing with cut shad on the bottom. After a short but lively fight he brought in the 37 inch redfish, which was released. Then, on a tip, we headed to the concrete ship “Selma” where I was told that seven Bull Reds had been caught just minutes before our arrival but, alas, there were no more to be found and our time was up so we made way for home and were dockside at TAMUG at about 6:15pm. Even though the “catching” part of this fishing trip was slow, it was still a nice afternoon on the water. Congratulations to our angler with the catch of the day:
And thanks to all who ventured out on Friday and their Aggie persistence! Just a reminder: Friday Fishing trips depart at 2pm, end at 6pm and are absolutely free. Just bring your own fishing gear, bait, snacks and beverages (Non Alcoholic), and closed toed shoes (no flip flops). Not into fishing? No problem! There’s plenty of space on the boat to lay out and relax in the sun or hang out in the air-conditioned cabin so come enjoy a boat ride after a long week in class.
September 23, 2011
Our Third Friday Fishin’ trip aboard the Flying Fish Too was another success! We left TAMUG on Friday, Sept. 23 just after 2p.m. with a 17 passengers aboard and headed to the end of the Galveston North Jetty. A light breeze from the Southeast and clear sunny skies made for a nice day on the water. We anchored on the Gulf side of the jetty and began to catch Spanish Mackerel on a variety of baits. These fish are very fun to catch, especially on light tackle and were biting on live and dead shrimp and mullet that were fished from mid depths to the bottom. Although the mackerel are usually found near the surface, there was an abundance of them lower in the water column this day. In all, we caught over a dozen Spanish mackerel (plus the ones that got away) and several Blacktip and Atlantic Sharpnose sharks. Some individual catch reports are as follows:
Michael Ross: 3 Spanish mackerel and 2 Blacktip sharks
Matthew Denton: 3 Spanish Mackerel plus two that were lost right at the boat.
Matthew Tobeck: 5 Spanish Mackerel and 2 Blacktip Sharks
September 16, 2011
Our second Friday Fishin’trip aboard the Flying Fish Too was productive from the start right up to the very end! We left TAMUG on Friday, Sept. 16 just after 2p.m. with a record 20 passengers aboard and headed to the end of the Galveston South Jetty. A moderate breeze from the East made for a choppy day but the fish cooperated despite the waves. Once anchored, we were surrounded by large schools of mullet working the top of the water near a tide line, where the water color and current change as the water swirls around the jetty. We quickly started catching various species such as Sand Trout, Whiting, Croaker and Hardhead Catfish as well as three Atlantic Sharpnose Sharks. Although dozens of these species were caught, the fish and (and sharks) were pretty small so most were released. The action on the smaller fish was pretty consistent for the first half of the trip and then, as had happened on the previous trip, the Redfish started to move through. In all three Bull Redfish were boated with the largest being 42” and around 30 pounds! Travis Rhodes hooked up on this massive Redfish right as we were about to pull anchor and head in and he fought the fish for nearly 30 minutes on light tackle as the bull surfaced and dove several times. Following are some individual catch reports:
Chris Franks: 33” Bull Red (tagged)
Travis Rhodes: 42” Bull Red (tagged)
September 9, 2011
Our first fishing trip aboard our new vessel, the Flying Fish Too, was a great success! We departed last Friday, Sept. 9 at 2:10 pm with 5 anglers and one rider aboard and made our way to the end of the Galveston North Jetty. Once there, we anchored just outside the jetty amongst a few other boats. The weather was great with clear skies and a nice southeasterly breeze to keep us cool. At first the action was a little slow but then the redfish started to move through in abundance. In all, we caught and released 3 redfish over 28 inches (known as Bull Redfish) and caught and kept one redfish of 34 inches (with the proper tag), two redfish 26” in length, two Florida pompano, a nice sized whiting, a small ladyfish and a hardhead catfish. Some individual catch reports are as follows:
Veronica DeLaGarza: 34” Redfish
Samuel DeLaGarza : 26” Redfish, 30” Bull Redfish (released)
Josh Warren: 26” Redfish, 32” Bull Redfish (released), Florida Pompano
Brad Warren: 30” Bull redfish (released), Florida Pompano, Whiting
Many thanks to all those that joined us on our inaugural fishing trip on the Flying Fish Too. With the extra speed and increased range of our new addition, I’m confident we will have many more successful and enjoyable trips to come. Just a reminder: Friday Fishing trips depart at 2pm, end at 6pm and are absolutely free. Just bring your own fishing gear and make sure to wear closed toed shoes (no flip flops). Not into fishing? No problem! There’s plenty of space on the boat to lay out and relax in the sun or hang out in the air-conditioned cabin so come enjoy a boat ride after a long week in class.
See you on the water! Capt. Shawn
Time to grab your poles and head to the water. Fishing starts again on Friday 09/09/2011 and will run to the end of the semester.
See Flyer Fishing Flyer 2011.pdf
Sign up in office of student life.
August 2011 "Flying Fish Too"
Waterfront Operations runs full speed ahead even when classes are out! In preparation for the new school year and a mandate that all academic classes must work vessel time into their curriculum we have purchased and refit a 60ft by 20ft vessel capable of traveling up to 100 miles offshore. This vessel will augment the Earl Milan and be capable of carrying 38 persons for extended range trips. Her top speed of 20kts and her large aft deck make the vessel very suitable for academic teaching. The air conditioned main salon helps as well! This Vessel was purchased for $135,000 using funds designated by the state for Hurricane Ike vessel replacement.
May 2011 - August 2011
Orion Construction of Houston was awarded the contract to perform structural renovation on the Clipper Pier. Work included replacing the bulkhead on the shore side of the pier. Rebuilding over 20 damaged piles and deck beams. Replacing Damaged hand rails and ensuring the extended service life of the entire pier structure. Including the engineering work involved the budget of $1.6mil was a well needed capital project that will extend the service life of the pier another 25years. This project was paid for with Tuition Revenue Bonds approved by the Texas Legislature in 2009 after Hurricane Ike.
Courtesy of the Galveston Daily News
Friday Fishing Trips for Spring
It's that time of year again! Time to grab your poles and head to the water. Fishing starts again on Friday 03/11/2011 and will run to the end of the semester.
See Flyer Fishing Flyer 2011.pdf
Sign up in office of student life.
Kelso Marine has begun construction of the new boat ramp and has completed dredging of the Marina. This project will include the instalation of face boards and cleats on the new bulhead. A new protected boat ramp and fixed pier. This project is slated to be completed by May, 2011.
The R/V Earl Milan was hauled out of the water for her two year U.S. Coast Guard dry dock examination. While out of the water the bottom was cleaned, the propellers checked for balance and pitch and the interior and exterior of the hull were inspected by the U.S. Coast Guard for corrosion and damage. The inspection proceeded without a discrepancy noted and the vessel was refloated and will be back in service and recertified for the Spring 2011
Waterfront Capitol Improvement Project updates:
The contract for the renewal of the floating docks, the construction of a fixed bulkhead, and the replacement of the north bank shore protection and landscaping has been completed.
We have recently awarded a bid to Kelso Marine Services to perform the 2nd phase of the marina reconstruction. They will be starting in January with the dredging of the marina, a new boat ramp, fixed pier, and other miscellaneous projects.
In accordance with phase two of the overall project we have hired LEAP engineering to perform structural, mooring and services analysis of the pier and to create the construction plans to be able to bid the repair work to the Clipper Pier. We are pleased to be ahead of schedule with that project and hope to have the repair work needed out to bid by the middle of February 2011.
As per our fleet realignment goals TAMUG has sold the old research vessel Roamin’ Empire. This vessel came to us in 1988 and was used primarily for near coastal research. Her age, small size and limited facilities were factors in the decision to auction her off. We are currently in the process of acquiring another vessel more capable of suiting our needs. We wish the vessel well in her new endeavors as a hotshot service boat to service the Galveston anchorages
September 10 - December 3, 2010
Fishin-N-Fiddlin '10 -- Friday Fishing Trips and Free Bay Fishing Tournament -- every Friday except November 26 (weather permitting)
See the Fishing Flyer for details.
July 6, 2010
Despite recent reports about tar from the Deepwater Horizon Disaster reaching the Galveston Bay area, Waterfront Operations continues to provide regular services. The Waterfront Operations Director and staff will continue to monitor the situation. There have been no changes to schedule or procedures as of this posting.
June 7, 2010
The 25th summer of Sea Camp fun has begun in great fashion. Sea Campers have converged on the water front at Texas A&M University to explore the marine estuaries and coastal wetlands that surround us. Every day until August the Waterfront Operations staff will host these campers onboard our floating classroom the Earl Milan. Sea Campers will be involved in exploring the tiny creatures in the bottom mud of Galveston Harbor. They will use an otter trawl to gather fish and other pelagic specimens to examine and understand what marine life lives in the water. As an added bonus they get to tour a great harbor that showcases the workings of one of the busiest ports in the United States.
March 29, 2010
On March 24, 2010, Sullivan Land Services and subcontractor Piling Inc. mobilized their construction equipment to begin re-construction and improvement of our Small Boat Marina. They began by removing the fixed decking on all of the old finger piers in preparation for the pilings to be removed and replaced. Most of the old pilings are at the end of their service life and are being replaced by an upgraded system. Following repositioning of the concrete piles the new aluminum floating dock system will be installed. It will be a slightly larger than what Hurricane Ike destroyed. It will be of a heavier duty construction to hopefully survive an Ike-sized storm. Construction of those docks will begin on Wednesday, March 31, 2010. In conjunction with the new docks the north bank of the marina will be re-graded and covered in new ACB concrete matting to ensure the slope is stable and looks good. At the top of the bank will be a row of palm trees and several patios for picnic tables and benches. Construction is progressing rapidly and major changes should be visible within the next few weeks. The project will be completed in time for the dedication of the Ocean and Coastal Studies Building in October.
March 8, 2010
Several vessels from Waterfront Operations at TAMUG are completing a two week study of Galveston Harbor and its approaches by a hydrographic research company called Sea Engineering. This company is responsible for several types of sea floor and related research projects.
They have been contracted by United Research Services a subcontractor to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to research the Galveston ship channel and study different ways of sediment transport. They will be testing currents throughout the channel as well as the wave patterns that are produced by not only wind but also the wakes that ships create. By studying these current patterns, they can then study the transport of sediments in and out of the channel. As ships pass by on a daily basis, they create a substantial amount of wake causing sediments on the ocean floor to move. The study will explore if those sediments settle back to where they were or if they are pushed along by the currents. The goal is to devise better dredging plans for the future.
The study will involve devices placed the ocean floor to measure the movements of the currents and sediments. Our vessels will conduct roving scans using an Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler to provide detailed data to the study engineers. That data will be interpreted to create computer models for the Army Corps of Engineers.
The funding for this study was provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 - commonly referred to as the Stimulus Package - which is an economic stimulus package enacted by the 111th United States Congress in February 2009.
February 4, 2010
Big changes are underway on the waterfront. Sullivan Land Services (SLS) has started reconstruction of the boat basin and surrounding area.
We have approved a plan to rearrange the floating docks and to repair the existing fixed docks. SLS has ordered the prefabricated aluminum truss dock system and we expect to take delivery in about eight weeks. SLS will be renewing and replacing the concrete articulating mat; commonly called revetment on the north and east side of the marina. Already completed is the removal of the remaining footings for the old boat basin compound that was damaged during Hurricane Ike. Work will commence shortly on the renovation of the existing piers.
All of the landscaping will be developed and planted in harmony with the new science building and its grand debut later this year. SLS has re-graded the area and installed eight new Sabal Palms to brighten up the area.
Thanks to the Texas Maritime Academy Corps of Cadets the Lifeboat Station has been officially inducted into the Aggie community with a fresh coat of maroon paint.
January 4, 2010
The waterfront operations department is pleased to announce that Captain Shawn Clark will be joining the operations team. He is a 100 ton master with experience in marine mechanical and electrical repairs. His previous experience in offshore charter fishing and running his own small marine construction and salvage business will be a great addition to the capabilities of the Waterfront Operations Department.
PO Box 1675 ● Galveston, TX 77553-1675