Popular Fishing Spots 'Banned' During Winter Blast

It's not a matter of if fish will die rather how many, as a result of problems associated with the winter blast.

"I've been here for 15 years... and this is the worst I've seen it yet."

James Dunks is a sergeant with Texas Parks and Wildlife.

It's his job to protect fish left paralyzed by the plunging temperatures.

He does it by manning the waters and ticketing those fishing in banned areas.

"They were fishing but didn't have any fishing poles," Dunks said. "They had nets and they were scooping up sea trout as they were going to try to get to deeper water."

It's now illegal to fish in certain areas of the water.

The ban went into effect to keep anglers from preying on areas where fish tend to congregate during a hard freeze, according to Sgt. Dunks.

"From the highest point of the Causeway to the old Causeway and everything back to the Southwest... all the way to the swing bridge... that is the closed area to fishing... Other areas off limits for the time being included the marina in Port Mansfield and the south jetty to a thousand yards off shore and half a mile down the beach... are also off limits," he said.

Wildlife experts said the bay turns into a virtual death trap for many fish who become paralyzed in the rapidly cooling waters.

Fish begin to show signs of stress with temperatures in the mid 40's, one expert said.

Predicted low's on Thursday night were reported to be in the mid 20's.

Sgt. Dunks said he's already seen the negative effects on fish as a result of the hard freeze."Dead trout and Grouper," he said.

Between the winter blast and the illegal anglers, it's clear fish are taking a vicious one-two punch in the bay.