COVID-19 Fishing

pi_landscape_city-tx_covid19FISHING [update 4/24/20]

• Boat ramps are open.
• Charter services have resumed with social distancing restrictions.
• Fishing may only take place during hours not covered by a curfew.
• No more than 2 people are allowed on a boat and must be on that boat to fish.
• Face coverings must be used.
• Social distancing must be practiced.

As declared by Gov. Abbott’s 3/31/20 proclamation, fishing is considered an essential activity. Fishing is permissible with restrictions:

• Fishing may only take place during hours not covered by a curfew.
• No more than 2 people are allowed on a boat and must be on that boat to fish.
• Face coverings must be used.
• Social distancing must be practiced.
• Owners may fish on their private docks.
• Owners of boats currently in waters in and around Port Isabel may fish using those boats while following the restrictions.
Please note: public boat ramps are closed, fishing piers are closed, docks are closed, charter fishing services are closed*.

Governor Greg Abbott’s Proclamation excerpt on accessing essential services or daily activities: [3/31/2020]

This Executive Order does not prohibit people from accessing essential services or engaging in essential daily activities, such as going to the grocery store or gas station, providing or obtaining other essential services, hunting or fishing, or engaging in physical activity like jogging or bicycling, so long as the necessary precautions are maintained to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 and to minimize in-person contact with people who are not in the same household. The order also includes exemption for religious services conducted in churches, congregations, and houses of worship. All critical infrastructure will remain operational, and government entities and businesses will continue providing essential services.

A little history about Port Isabel’s waterways

In 1829, the land that Port Isabel occupies was granted to Don Rafael Garcia by the Mexican state of Tamaulipas. Over the years, erosion changed the shoreline submerging an unknown amount of land which adjoined state-owned submerged lands.

About 100 years later, in 1931, the Texas Legislature authorized the sale of certain submerged lands around the City of Port Isabel, Texas, for the purpose of building wharves, warehouses, and other improvements. Also in 1931, the State of Texas issued Patent 333 by which the State conveyed to the City of Port Isabel the land described in the legislation.

Various parts of the Patent 333 lands have since been sold, but waterways over lands in and around the city limits of Port Isabel are still owned by the City of Port Isabel. The City of Port Isabel retains jurisdiction over those waterways within the Patent 333 lands.

*What is an Essential Business?

• Grocery stores, certified farmers’ markets, farm and produce stands, supermarkets, food banks, convenience stores and such.
• Agriculture, food and beverage cultivation, processing and distribution, such as, farming, ranching, dairies and breweries.
• Businesses that provide food, shelter and social services for economically disadvantaged.
• Newspapers, television, radio and other media.
• Gas stations and auto supply, auto repair.
• Banks and financial institutions.
• Hardware stores.
• Plumbers, electricians, exterminators, HVAC repairs and other service providers.
• Landscaping and pool cleaning services.
• Businesses providing mailing and shipping services.
• Laundromats, dry cleaners and laundry service providers.
• Businesses that supply products needed for people who work from home.
• Airlines, taxis and other transportation for hire.
• Home-based care for seniors, adults or children.
• Residential facilities and shelters for seniors, adults or children.
• Professional services, i.e. legal or accounting.
• Funeral homes.
• Childcare facilities for employees exempted in this order.