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Texas Parks and Wildlife implores fishermen to use the right bait

Posted at 6:24 PM, May 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-23 19:24:21-04

Fishing might be on your Memorial Day Weekend plans but there is something else to keep in mind.

Texas Parks and Wildlife officials want to make sure you and your family are using the proper bait.

If not, that could lead to a big problem.

Shrimp is the standard bait that most anglers use before they wet a hook. However, there is a certain type of non-native shrimp that could be infected with a harmful virus.

Officers with the Texas Parks and Wildlife say, shrimp from any other country or any non-gulf state is considered imported and is illegal to use in this area.

“The shrimp imports that we’re talking about are coming from other countries they can be coming from overseas and in Asian countries or South American countries,” says Texas Parks and Wildlife Coastal Fisheries Biologist Robert Adami.

This type of imported bait in shrimp can carry the virus, White Spot Syndrome.

Officers say this is a devastating and deadly virus that can infect crawfish, crab, and shrimp in the Gulf.

“What we really recommend is for the anglers to buy locally buy from the shrimp trawlers, buy from the bait stands because these guys are producing and harvesting our native shrimp. The browns, the pinks, the whites, we got plenty of that shrimp around here,” says Adami.

Over at the Cos Way Bait and Tackle, this business uses fresh shrimp.

This shrimp is caught and brought to the store straight from the Corpus Christi Bay.

Game Wardens are being vigilant going to bait shops all over the area making sure imported shrimp is not being distributed.

If a bait shop is selling imported shrimp, they could be facing a Class C Misdemeanor and that could result in a $25 to $500 fine.