Friends of Padre

Texas Turtle Nest Update 9/24/2017

By Tyler Thorsen

Today a new green turtle nest was located on the Texas coast, at Padre Island National Seashore.

 

KEMP'S RIDLEY TURTLE

This year, 353 Kemp’s ridley nests were confirmed on the Texas coast. This far surpasses the previous record of 209 Kemp’s ridley nests found in Texas during one year. The nests recorded in Texas during 2017 include (north to south in state):

 

3 Bolivar Peninsula

5 Galveston Island

0 Brazoria County, N. of Surfside 

3 Surfside Beach 

1 Quintana Beach 

0 Bryan Beach 

0 Brazoria County, N. of Sargent Beach 

0 Sargent Beach 

7 Matagorda Peninsula (area record)

0 Matagorda Island

3 San Jose Island

11 Mustang Island (area record)

8 North Padre Island north of Padre Island National Seashore

219 Padre Island National Seashore (area record)

70 South Padre Island (area record)

23 Boca Chica Beach (area record)

 

LOGGERHEAD TURTLE
So far this year, 9 nests have been confirmed on the Texas coast including (north to south in state):

1 Surfside Beach

1 San Jose Island

1 North Padre Island, north of Padre Island National Seashore

5 Padre Island National Seashore

1 South Padre Island

 

GREEN SEA TURTLE
So far this year, 28 nests have been confirmed on the Texas coast. This surpasses the previous record of 15 green turtle nests found during one year. The nests recorded in Texas during 2017 include (north to south in state):

22 Padre Island National Seashore (area record)

6 South Padre Island (area record)

 

Data presented here are preliminary. Do not cite or quote without permission. Contact Donna Shaver for further information.

 

Updates regarding nesting are also posted at the Padre Island National Seashore website:  https://www.nps.gov/pais/learn/nature/2017-nesting-season.htm

 

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Friends of Padre Beach Report 9/17/2017

By Tyler Thorsen

Friends of Padre Beach Report 9/17/2017

Cody Moravits

Waves: 1-2 feet with occasional 3 footers on 2nd bar

Water temp: 83 degrees F

Wind: 5-10 mph ESE increasing to about 15 mph late in afternoon

Driving: 4.5/10

            There is a ton of debris on the beach due to hurricane Harvey and unfortunately it will probably keep washing in over the next few months, including debris from hurricane Irma. The bulk of it is large trees, most requiring 4WD to get around them and a few you actually have to drive over for the time being.

 

Plenty of firewood on the beach though and the ship that was grounded in the Mansfield channel is gone. The surf was pretty much filled with giant ladyfish the length of the beach, if you caught anything besides a ladyfish on live mullet then you were doing pretty good. Casting out chunks of ladyfish led to small sharks 2-4 feet long.

Woke up at 12:30am to a Park Ranger notifying us of a missing woman around the 30mm, and drove past the scene where she washed up Sunday morning a little north of the 30mm.

Moderate amount of bait the length of the beach and water clarity was decent the length of the beach also- with a few dirtier spots between the 10-25mm. A lot of birds on the beach number-wise (especially on the south end) however no oddball species. Did see an Aplomado Falcon coming off the beach on one of the speed limit signs just past the Visitor's Center.

Species observed:

Juvenile Yellow Crowned Night Heron

Reddish Egret

White Morph Reddish Egret

Great Blue Heron

Caracara

Turkey Vulture

Black Skimmer

Long-Billed Curlew

Black Bellied Plover

Wilson's Plover

Sanderling

Ruddy Turnstone

Spotted Sandpiper

Brown Pelican

Ring-Billed Gull

Herring Gull

Laughing Gull (most immature)

Sandwich Tern

Black Tern

Caspian Tern

Royal Tern

Forster's Tern

 

 

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Friends of Padre Beach Report 8/03/2017

By Tyler Thorsen

I invited Al Oswalt to join me on what turned out to be a very interesting scouting trip of PINS on 3 Aug.  We were on the beach a little before daylite and immediately noted that the night time high tides had been quite high.  Driving for the first few miles was rather slow with lots of “wash boarding” present due to the extremely high volume of vehicular traffic the northern end of the beach has been experiencing during this high heat and calm seas time of year.  Turtle patrollers were already working with a new found Green turtle nest just north of the 4 wheel drive sign although it was not yet daylite.  Around the 17 mile beach we stopped and assisted visitors with a dead battery.  It gave me the opportunity to test drive our portable jumpstart system and I sure would recommend one to anyone doing a lot of overnight 4 wheel driving and camping.  They were nice folks who were down there celebrating their 20th. wedding anniversary.  It felt good to be able to help them out and they promised to be at next year’s Big Shell Beach Cleanup so it was a win-win all the way around.  Driving was 2 wheel drive till we reached a small torn up area  just north of the 25 that required the use of 4 wheel high.  The majority of the driving south of there continued to be 2 wheel drive but there were small areas where the water line had sheared away the beach and 4 wheel drive was required; especially the closer we got to the Port Mansfield channel.  That is typical of this time of the year; as is ponding of water above the tide line.  No fresh sargassum was observed north  the 30 mile and very little south of there.  Some old dead sargassum was occasionally encountered but not enough to hinder fishing. The water was clear and green from one end of the beach to the other.  No off colored water and NO UPWELLING of cold water was observed. If anything, the water temperature at the jetty was a little warmer than to the north.  Fishing was slow and anglers with whom we spoke were complaining about it all along the beach. Some speckled trout, Spanish mackerel, ladyfish and whiting were encountered.  In the early afternoon a heavy squall line approached and pounded us with the heavy rain coming sideways for 8 solid miles as we crept back to the north barely able to see.  The entire beach was standing water and we sure used a lot of unexpected gas on our way out.  Make sure you top off your tanks prior to going south.

 

Bird species observed include the regulars (as per recent reports) with the only exceptions being 2 Spotted Sandpipers and 5 Tri-colored Herons.  These are migrants. 

 

We could have some tricky weather in the upcoming days so stay up on you weather reports and with a full moon Monday that tide is going to be higher.  IF that tropical entity forecast to enter the Gulf mid week does so the water will goes to the dunes when it does.  Be Careful, Be Courteous, Be Kind  Billy

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Friends of Padre Beach Report 8/03/2017

By Tyler Thorsen

I invited Al Oswalt to join me on what turned out to be a very interesting scouting trip of PINS on 3 Aug.  We were on the beach a little before daylite and immediately noted that the night time high tides had been quite high.  Driving for the first few miles was rather slow with lots of “wash boarding” present due to the extremely high volume of vehicular traffic the northern end of the beach has been experiencing during this high heat and calm seas time of year.  Turtle patrollers were already working with a new found Green turtle nest just north of the 4 wheel drive sign although it was not yet daylite.  Around the 17 mile beach we stopped and assisted visitors with a dead battery.  It gave me the opportunity to test drive our portable jumpstart system and I sure would recommend one to anyone doing a lot of overnight 4 wheel driving and camping.  They were nice folks who were down there celebrating their 20th. wedding anniversary.  It felt good to be able to help them out and they promised to be at next year’s Big Shell Beach Cleanup so it was a win-win all the way around.  Driving was 2 wheel drive till we reached a small torn up area  just north of the 25 that required the use of 4 wheel high.  The majority of the driving south of there continued to be 2 wheel drive but there were small areas where the water line had sheared away the beach and 4 wheel drive was required; especially the closer we got to the Port Mansfield channel.  That is typical of this time of the year; as is ponding of water above the tide line.  No fresh sargassum was observed north  the 30 mile and very little south of there.  Some old dead sargassum was occasionally encountered but not enough to hinder fishing. The water was clear and green from one end of the beach to the other.  No off colored water and NO UPWELLING of cold water was observed. If anything, the water temperature at the jetty was a little warmer than to the north.  Fishing was slow and anglers with whom we spoke were complaining about it all along the beach. Some speckled trout, Spanish mackerel, ladyfish and whiting were encountered.  In the early afternoon a heavy squall line approached and pounded us with the heavy rain coming sideways for 8 solid miles as we crept back to the north barely able to see.  The entire beach was standing water and we sure used a lot of unexpected gas on our way out.  Make sure you top off your tanks prior to going south.

 

Bird species observed include the regulars (as per recent reports) with the only exceptions being 2 Spotted Sandpipers and 5 Tri-colored Herons.  These are migrants. 

 

We could have some tricky weather in the upcoming days so stay up on you weather reports and with a full moon Monday that tide is going to be higher.  IF that tropical entity forecast to enter the Gulf mid week does so the water will goes to the dunes when it does.  Be Careful, Be Courteous, Be Kind  Billy

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Friends of Padre Beach Report 7/13/2017

By Tyler Thorsen

Tyler Thorsen and I did a scouting trip for FOP on Thurs., 13 July.  Due to busy schedules and admittedly to the fact that the fishing was good we were only able to go to the 32 mile beach.

 Water was  green but not really clear north of the Big Shell and both old and some new sargassum was observed down into the northern half of the Big Shell.  South of there no grass was observed and the water was quite clear. 

 

Driving was very good except for a couple of soft areas down around the 24-26 mile areas and even these were drivable in 2 wheel drive. 

Little bird activity was observed and bait was very scattered.  Speckled trout were the fish of the day but then again that was all we fished for.

  Beach traffic was moderately lite but unfortunately a lot of it continues to be traveling far too fast.  The turtle patrol seemed to be breaking camp and taking out supplies.  It’s the time of year for this.  Overall bird numbers were still on the low side but an increase in migrants from the north was obvious.  Black Tern numbers were up significantly and large groups of Sanderlings were noted.  Bird species observed included 1 White-tailed Hawk, 1 Turkey Vulture, 3 Cattle Egrets, 3 Black Skimmers, 1 Little Blue Heron, Brown Pelicans, Least, Black, Sandwich, Foresters, Royal and Caspian Terns, Laughing Gulls, Ruddy Turnstones, 11 Long –billed Curlew, 5 Marbled Godwits, and Wilsons and Black-bellied Plover. There are quite a few vacationing families enjoying the beach and small children are present in good numbers as well so keep your eyes open and your foot off the gas.

If we don’t leave any there won’t be any.

  Billy Sandifer

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Thanks to Texas Bluewater Kayak Classic!

By Tyler Thorsen

Friends of Padre was one of the charities chosen to be a recipient of funds from the charity raffle they held this past weekend at their tournament.  Thank you to this fine organization of fishermen and women who made this donation possible!

 

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Texas Blue Water Kayak Classic 7/08/2017

By Tyler Thorsen

We will be setting up at Roy's Bait and Tackle today from 12am-5pm helping sell raffle tickets at the Blue Water Kayak Classic Tournament. $10 each, cash only. Lots of goodies to win. Must be present. Half of the proceeds will be donated to us and help in so many areas. If interested come on out and say hi! Talk to Jen she will be there and able to answer any questions you might have about our organization.

Also, don't forget this Saturday at 10am we are helping Burners Without Borders by cleaning our section of the beach south of Bob Hall. Come on out to mile marker 262 to help and show your support. We will have bags to pass out for all that come to help.

Thank you!

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Texas Turtle Nest Update 7/06/2017

By Tyler Thorsen

Via Dr. Donna Shaver

 

Today, one older Kemp’s ridley and two new green turtle nests were found in Texas, at Padre Island National Seashore.

 

KEMP'S RIDLEY TURTLE

So far this year, 351 Kemp’s ridley nests have been confirmed on the Texas coast including (north to south in state):

 

3 Bolivar Peninsula

5 Galveston Island

0 Brazoria County, N. of Surfside 

3 Surfside Beach 

1 Quintana Beach 

0 Bryan Beach 

0 Brazoria County, N. of Sargent Beach 

0 Sargent Beach 

7 Matagorda Peninsula (area record)

0 Matagorda Island

2 San Jose Island

11 Mustang Island (area record)

8 North Padre Island north of Padre Island National Seashore

218 Padre Island National Seashore (area record)

70 South Padre Island (area record)

23 Boca Chica Beach (area record)

 

LOGGERHEAD TURTLE
So far this year, 6 nests have been confirmed on the Texas coast including (north to south in state):

1 Surfside Beach

1 North Padre Island, north of Padre Island National Seashore

3 Padre Island National Seashore

1 South Padre Island

 

GREEN SEA TURTLE
So far this year, 7 nests have been confirmed on the Texas coast including (north to south in state):

6 Padre Island National Seashore

1 South Padre Island

 

Data presented here are preliminary. Do not cite or quote without permission. Contact Donna Shaver for further information.

 

Updates regarding nesting are also posted at the Padre Island National Seashore website:  https://www.nps.gov/pais/learn/nature/2017-nesting-season.htm

 

Read more