October 31, 2014
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Keep Rollover Pass Open Wednesday, March 13, 2013
625 Views :: 0 Comments :: :: Local News

Keep Rollover Pass Open

By Wayne Stupka and Ted Vega
Recently, in a gross example of government overreaching in violation of private property rights, the General Land Office of the State of Texas went to the Corps of Engineers and applied for and received a permit to close Rollover Pass. Not only do they not own the land in question, they did not ask the owner of the land – the Beaumont Rod, Reel and Gun Club – - if they could. They just did it.

If this wasn’t bad enough, they are seeking to remove the best public access fishing location on the Upper Texas Coast. It is a high quality recreational resource available to handicapped and less wealthy fishermen and women of the coast – persons who cannot afford boats and motors. Furthermore the grounds on which they are overreaching do not hold up. It is a land grab, pure and simple.

Now, how would you feel if the government came to you and told you that they had applied for a permit to take action that would destroy your property? How many of you citizens out there would stand still for an arrogant, oppressive government agency telling you what they were going to do with your private property?

And now because the General Land Office has no power of condemnation, the GLO is trying to force Galveston County to do their dirty work for them by asking – or perhaps coercing – the County into condemning our property on their behalf. To date, Galveston County has not acted, but let’s be clear. It will be a “gut check” on whether the members of Commissioners Court are really concerned about overreaching government or not. This is an issue that puts the rhetoric of support for private property rights to the test.

So why are we closing the Pass?
First, we are always told it is because of erosion. Unfortunately, the big erosion problem on the Upper Texas coast is that the source of sand for all of our beaches is not what it used to be. Rollover Pass is a small symptom of the larger disease of loss of sand supply due to dams up the Mississippi River. Shutting Rollover Pass is not going to solve the erosion problem on Bolivar or anywhere else. Severe storms such as Ike cause ten to a hundred times more erosion in one day across a hundred miles of beach than does Rollover Pass in a decade. If the jetties were constructed that were part of the original plan, the erosion issue – such as it is – would go away.

Second, we are told that the problem is siltation of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway – that sediment comes through the Pass and is deposited in the canal and causes increased maintenance dredging costs. However, consider this. A diversion was recently constructed (and permitted by the Corps and the GLO) to allow the diversion of Taylor’s Bayou in Jefferson County southward into the GIWW about fifteen miles in from the easternmost point of East Bay. That diversion will dump incredibly large amounts of sediment into the GIWW – a much larger amount than is contributed by Rollover Pass. So if increased dredging were really a concern, that project would never have been allowed. Yet it was with full support by the very entities that are trying to shut down the Pass.

Third, we are told that the GLO wishes to restore East Bay from an ecological perspective. To us, that sounded like a decent reason. But once again, this issue must be viewed in a cumulative context. The Taylor Bayou diversion mentioned above will divert millions and even billions of gallons of floodwaters into the GIWW and East Bay. That diversion is a new event. If Rollover Pass is closed, the ecology of East Bay will be dominated by freshwater inflow and will cease to function as a salt water fishery for long periods of time.

The Taylor Bayou diversion is a much bigger threat than Rollover Pass. However, if the Pass is left open, the freshwater domination of the Taylor Bayou diversion would be moderated by an exchange with the Gulf of Mexico and East Bay will likely be just fine. With the Pass closed, East Bay is doomed.

On the positive side, Rollover Pass is a poor fisherman’s dream. It offers truly quality fishing literally out of the back of your truck. You can drive right up to it. You can roll your wheel chair to it. It is open to all ethnicities and all classes of users. It is all about equality – equal access and equal rights.

By shutting the Pass, the government will be taking private property from the Beaumont Rod, Reel and Gun Club for the supposed purpose of benefiting beachfront homeowners – homeowners who now own the majority of the beach after the Severance decision by the Texas Supreme Court. Why should the Club’s private property be condemned to help private property owners?

Artist's concept of how Rollover Pass could look (click image for larger view).

All of us involved in supporting the Pass – the Beaumont Rod, Reel and Gun Club and the Gilcrist Community Association – recognize that the Pass must be improved. We have produced an image of what it could and should be, and we believe that we can raise the money – private money, not government money – to build this newer and better Pass. But since Ike, the Club, the Gilchrist community and Rollover Pass have been under attack.

All we ask is that the government leaves us alone – that we be allowed the chance to restore this fabulous recreation asset and get back to the business of providing quality fishing, bird watching and recreation to the residents of the Upper Coast.

Wayne Stupka is President of the Beaumont Rod, Reel and Gun Club.
Ted Vega is President of the Gilchrist Community Association.

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ATV- ROV's frequently asked Questions by Galveston Sherriffs Dept. Monday, August 06, 2012
4042 Views :: 0 Comments :: :: Public Policy, Local News

Frequently Asked Questions – ATV/ROV’s

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ATV News Monday, August 06, 2012
1064 Views :: 0 Comments :: :: Public Policy, Local News

Last month, a State Attorney General’s opinion provided some guidance for both operators and government officials about the use of all-terrain and recreational off-road vehicles (ATV/ROV’s) on Bolivar Peninsula beaches. 

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Specks on a Fly- “UBETCHA” by Ed Snyders Monday, December 05, 2011
2325 Views :: 0 Comments :: :: Business, Local News, Events

Rolling out a cast to the grassy edge of the salt-marsh settled my streamer right on top of a swirl left by a feeding trout, when, after a few quick line jerks, the reaction for the action "imploded" on it bowing the fly rod to the fight of speckled silver.


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Those Amazing GULP! Ed Snyder/Outdoors Bolivar Peninsula, TX. Monday, November 28, 2011
1576 Views :: 0 Comments :: :: Business, Local News, Events

Massaging my jig along the bottom as it drifted with the tide I could feel every grain of sand and click of shell as it thumped its way along a submerged sandbar. Then, a sudden, aggressive “TIC” triggered my hook-set into a big fish, a strong fish. Arching rod and a reset drag prepared me for a long, hard fight…. “Gulp” had paid off for me again with a nice 22inch doormat sized flounder coming to net.

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The Pelicanidae - Awkward Yet Graceful Pelicans by Ed Snyders Tuesday, November 22, 2011
1716 Views :: 0 Comments :: :: Business, Public Policy, Local News, Events

American White Pelican - (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) - Awkward but amusing to watch when waddling about on land, but surprisingly graceful to observe when in flight or water-born, the white pelican, as clumsy as it can be is as majestic as it is. The White Pelican are migratory birds, spending their summers northward and wintering southward, are rather large feathered creatures that journey to the Bolivar area around mid October.

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Angler Rescue Monday, October 24, 2011
1544 Views :: 0 Comments :: :: Local News, Events
Trying their luck for flounder, fishin’ brothers, Greg and Glenn Mayer, of Port Neches TX, along with friend Rick Bauchman, of Gilchrist, were fishing east bay waters when they suddenly heard yells for help! Read More..
Small Business Tools for promotion Monday, October 24, 2011
1328 Views :: 0 Comments :: :: Business, Local News
I’m sure you are all aware of the national program to encourage everyone to shop local on Small Business Saturday (Nov. 26, the Saturday after Thanksgiving).  This program was begun by American Express and was wildly successful in its first year.  This year figures to be even more so.  The Small Business Saturday Facebook page contains many tools and aids for local small business owners to assist them in promoting their business Read More..
Kayaking on the Bolivar Peninsula Gulf Coast by Ed Snyders Monday, October 10, 2011
1267 Views :: 0 Comments :: :: Business, Local News, Events

Gliding across calm waters in silence gave me the opportunity to smell, touch, and feel the pleasures of nature in its most intimate form. The air was clean and pure, the water cool and alive to the touch with the sights and sounds of nature in its most natural form both stunning and breathtaking.

One of my few experiences in my life where absolute freedom was enjoyed was when I quietly glided over calm waters in a kayak. The peace and tranquility from those trips completely enveloped me with a true sense of happiness. However, my first encounter with a kayak bordered more on horrific rather than terrific!

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Rollover Pass Monday, September 19, 2011
2600 Views :: 0 Comments :: :: Business, Public Policy, Local News
Swimming off the flats with the first hint of Autumns cooling weather, the flounder began gathering in deeper waters moving towards the bays and passes to begin their Fall spawning migrations into the Gulf of Mexico. Along the way millions of these strange looking, double eyed flatfish would wriggle their way onto millions of dinner plates to be enjoyed by millions of happy anglers. Read More..
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Colim caravan concept provides the advantage of detaching the front part if one does not have a usage for the home part.

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Swedes Texas Frog Fest
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