Coastal fishing is some of the best ever

The nine-day recreational red snapper season is open through June 10.

The water temperature on Sabine Lake is in the lower 80s, and as of last week catches of trout, reds and flounder were stupid good, according to guide Colby Denbow with Sabine Lake Lodge.

“It’s been as good as I’ve ever seen it,” says Denbow. “Most of the action is under the birds on the lower end of the lake. We’re looking for small flocks of gulls and hitting them quick with soft plastics. Some of the go-to lures are Down South plastics.”

Recreational snapper season opens in federal waters

Just recently, the NOAA Fisheries opted to give recreational anglers a nine-day red snapper season.

This year’s red snapper recreational season in federal waters will open June 1 and close June 10. It’s the shortest season on record despite the fact that the total allowable catch of red snapper in the Gulf is the largest in the history of the species under management.

East Texas hiking/biking trails get $3.54 million in improvement grants

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission has approved $3.54 million in federal grants for 22 recreational trail projects across the state, many in East Texas.

The grants are funded from a portion of the federal gas tax generated by gasoline purchases for off-road motorcycles and four-wheelers. Thirty percent of the total grants must be spent on motorized recreational trails, while another 30 percent must be spent on non-motorized trail projects. The remaining 40 percent is discretionary.

The East Texas motorized trail projects include:

The Texas Motorized Trails Coalition in Crockett County received $386,581 to fund improvements to the Escondido Draw Recreation Area. The grant will fund trail restoration and building educational facilities.

The Sam Houston National Forest in Walker County received $400,000 to develop the Sam Houston Multiple Use Trail by renovating the existing 12 trail miles.

The non-motorized trail projects include:

The City of Longview in Gregg County received $200,000 for improvements to the Nature Center and Arboretum trails. Renovations include creating a new 0.78-mile trail with a boardwalk, bridges and benches.

Memorial Park Conservancy in Harris County received $70,250 to continue ongoing maintenance of a 1-mile trail system. Projects include maintaining causeway and boardwalk construction, armoring and resurfacing the trail.

The Sam Houston Trails Coalition in Montgomery County received $200,000 to improve the Richards-Raven Trail Network. The grant will fund development of a new 8-mile equestrian trail.

The City of Nacogdoches in Nacogdoches County received $161,401 to improve the northern part of Lanana Creek Trail with a new stabilized soil surface.

The Sam Houston Trails Coalition in San Jacinto County received $50,000 to develop the Lone Star Hiking Trail. Improvements include renovating all 14 miles of the trail and adding signage, parking, kiosks and traffic control installations.

Can’t outrun the game wardens

Two game wardens were checking a fisherman at a local lake when they discovered the man did not have a fishing license. Upon further investigation, the wardens learned the man, who had several felony arrest warrants, had given them a false name. When the wardens confronted him about the warrants, the man tried to flee on foot, though he did not get far before the wardens caught up to him and arrested him. Several charges, including failure to identify as a fugitive, resisting arrest and evading arrest, are pending against the fisherman.

Two Calhoun County game wardens were patrolling Keller Bay for commercial oystering compliance when they saw a boat crew harvesting oysters in closed waters. Once the crew spotted the wardens, they attempted to elude them, but they didn’t get far. The wardens arrested two individuals for oystering in closed waters, which is a state jail felony.