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The State of the Bay Galveston Bay Area Project

Fisheries Data Portal and Mapping Application

FISHERIES DATA PORTAL

Galveston Bay maintains important recreational and commercial fisheries for shrimp, crabs, and finfishes. Scientific monitoring of these biological resources is routinely conducted by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) Coastal Fisheries Division.


The TPWD utilizes several sampling gears for fisheries-independent monitoring of finfish and shellfish communities. They include: 1) bag seines for collecting smaller organisms in near shore environments; 2) trawls for collecting organisms found on or near the open bay bottoms; 3) gill nets for catching larger fish near shore; and 4) oyster dredges for sampling the oyster reef community. The data generated by TPWD are some of the best coastal fisheries data in the United States. Not only does TPWD use multiple gears in a random sampling protocol, they identify (to the lowest taxonomic unit possible) and count everything that they collect.


Collected data include spatial and temporal information describing the sample location and time, collection gear information, hydrological data (e.g. dissolved oxygen, water temperature, and salinity), weather conditions, species caught, and number of each species captured. Data are displayed here as catch per unit effort (CPUE), defined as the number of individual fish or shellfish caught for a given area seined or time trawled, gill netted or dredged.


Use the Fisheries Data Portal to:

  • View population trends data for species of finfish and shellfish that inhabit Galveston Bay subbays (small bays that make up the larger bay system).
  • Use the interactive graphs to browse annual and monthly catch per unit effort (CPUE, which is described below) data for selected species.
  • Download the raw data in Excel format


How to Use the Fisheries Data Portal

STEP 1: Select a sampling gear type from the drop down list.
STEP 2: Select a subbay from the map of Galveston Bay.
STEP 3: Select a species of interest (all are listed by common name).
STEP 4: Click on the bar graph to drill down through time (view data in graph and table format).
STEP 5: Download the data set (the raw data for the user’s selection) in Excel format.

Note: Little or no data may be available for some species when certain gear types or subbays are chosen because the gear types are selective for certain sizes, life history stages, and preferred habitats of the finfish and shellfish species. Additionally, the distribution of many species is not uniform throughout the bay. A species may inhabit different areas of the bay or even leave the bay for the Gulf of Mexico depending upon the time of year and the species’ life history stage.


 
FISHERIES MAPPING APPLICATION

Use the Fisheries Mapping Application to:

  •     View spatial trend data for selected species of Galveston Bay
  •     Compare spatial data for select hydrological parameters with species abundance data.
  •     View population trend graphs for selected species of Galveston Bay.


 How to Use the Fisheries Mapping Application

STEP 1: Select a gear type and species of interest in the mapping application to view the spatial   distribution of the species. An expandable list allows the user to view relative abundance data by sampling stations or by average across sampling grids. Other selection choices include data sampled across all years or by season.
STEP 2: Select a hydrological parameter of interest (salinity, temperature, dissolved oxygen, turbidity) and expand the list to choose seasonal averages by grid.
STEP 3: View population trend graphs for selected species that inhabit Galveston bays.

 

 

 

Enter the Galveston Bay Fisheries Data Portal
 

 

 

 

 Population Trend GraphsGraph depicting a decline in the blue crab population in Galveston Bay.

 

 

Open the Galveston Bay Fisheries Mapping Application
Thumbnail image of Texas Coastal Fisheries Mapping Application from NBII

 
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