Fisheries Department reels in Mathis as new home

A Texas Parks and Wildlife intern helps the Inland Fisheries and Hatcheries restock Lake Corpus Christi with 100,000 Largemouth Bass earlier this year. The Inland Fisheries and Hatcheries will soon have an office at the state park with construction beginning in the spring. 

MATHIS – A new office headquarters will soon show up in Mathis as the Inland Fisheries Division of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has chosen Lake Corpus Christi State Park as the site for their new district office.

A collaborative effort between the State Parks Division and Inland Fisheries Division of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will see the installation of a new Fisheries District office building, roughly 10,000 square feet, just outside the entrance gate to Lake Corpus Christi State Park on state park property.  

The project is currently in the planning and design phase, which is expected to be completed in the spring of 2021 with construction anticipated to begin by the end of that same year.

The general purpose of the building is to provide office and workspace for staff dedicated to the management of diverse freshwater fisheries resources throughout the greater Corpus Christi area.  The main goal of this management is to provide the best possible angling while also protecting and enhancing freshwater aquatic resources. The district’s activities include fisheries management and research, ecosystem and habitat assessment, angler education and fishing access, and other aquatic management activities.    

The new building will also provide office space for state park staff,  improving the operation of the state park and the visitor experience.  

“The Lake Corpus Christi State Parks team is very excited about this collaboration with our Inland Fisheries Division partners,” Lake Corpus Christi State Park Superintendent Robbie Merritt said. “The project will provide a much needed base of operations for vital fisheries management programs for our lakes & rivers throughout South Texas. 

“In addition, it will also provide new administrative office space for the state park which will allow space for the planning and development of new visitor services at the state park in the future.”

Corpus Christi District TPWD Inland Fisheries Division District Supervisor Greg Binion added, “There’s direct and indirect benefits. We do quite a bit of outreach events with the local youth. We’re heavily involved with the local high school as far as doing some sampling demonstrations and showing them kind of what we do and will sometimes collect fish and show them how we work with fish and process fish.”

Binion said that they also hold the annual Kid Fish event, the largest event at Lake Corpus Christi, where they stock 2,000 Rainbow Trout in a cove at the lake and hand out free fishing poles to area youth and let them fish for free.

“We manage the freshwater fish population so we do quite a bit of survey work and make recommendations on how to make sure to improve our fisheries and make sure there’s abundant fish and healthy fish for people to eat,” Binion said.

Questions and comments for this phase of the project will be accepted until Nov. 1 and may be submitted in writing to Justin Fleury, park planner, Austin Headquarters, 4200 Smith School Rd., Austin, 78744, emailed to Justin.Fleury@tpwd.texas.gov or call 512-389-4367; Greg Binion, district supervisor, Corpus Christi Area, P.O. Box 116, Mathis, 78368, emailed Greg.Binion@tpwd.texas.gov or call 361-547-9712.

•pgonzales@mysoutex.com•

 

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