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Reef's nooks, crannies habitat for fish in Sabine LakeReef's nooks, crannies habitat for fish in Sabine Lakehttps://www.recenter.tamu.edu/news/newstalk-texas/?Item=40932014-05-29T09:24:00Z2014-05-29T07:00:00Z

SABINE LAKE - Sabine Lake oyster reef as a sort of all-you-can-eat buffet. The reef's nooks and crannies provide habitat for small crabs, shrimp, worms and other marine critters that make a living among the oysters.

Small fish are attracted by the bite-sized critters, and then bigger fish arrive to dine on the smaller ones.

This month, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has been at work on a project to enlarge the Sabine Lake oyster reef, which should enhance fishing conditions in the estuary.

The natural reef is thought by Texas wildlife officials to be among the largest unharvested oyster reefs in the country.

Workers hauled river rock out to the site on a barge, then used a track-hoe to scoop the material into mounds about six feet high. About 1,700 of the mounds in all were put down.

"Once some oysters start growing on that thing, it should be a really good fishing hole," said Bill Rodney, an oyster restoration biologist who worked on the project. The first generation of oysters should reach "market size" by late 2015.

Another benefit for Sabine Lake anglers will be increased catch and greater diversity of types of fish near the oyster reefs.

Read more at the Beaumont Enterprise. Listen to Podcast 217 for this story and more.

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