Sea Grant seeks input from pro fishing guides

HARLINGEN — Gulf coast professional fishing guides are being sought by Texas Sea Grant for a survey designed to assess needs and best practices within the industry.

Licensed fishing guides number about 1,400 in Texas, said Alexis Sabine, a fisheries specialist with Texas Sea Grant who is coordinating the survey.

“Interestingly, that number has grown over the past 10 years,” Sabine said. “Ten years ago, there were just under a thousand that were licensed. We recognize that the fishing guide sector is growing and that’s one of the reasons we developed this project, to help support them and assist them with programming.”

The idea for the survey, she said, actually came from some of the more experienced fishing guides, some with decades of experience, who believe newer guides could use some sort of best practices clearinghouse to improve their businesses.

The survey, which takes about 20 minutes and provides anonymity for participants, is a needs assessment in what will be the first phase of the project, Sabine said.

“We are surveying all the fishing guides, whether they have a state or federal license, not matter what species they target and what gear types they use, to collect information on the current practices that they use while being a fishing guide and to see what sort of programming or workshops that they’d like to see us put on for them,” Sabine said. “So, there’s four sections to the survey.”

“We are asking for information on their business operations and safety practices, their disaster preparedness, environmental stewardship practices, their understanding of fisheries management,” she added.

The survey will help Texas Sea Grant develop ways to address any knowledge gaps and then produce programs for further guide training and education.

“This is completely free,” Sabine said. “We are asking or requesting participation from all the guides because this really an opportunity for them to provide feedback to us so that their voices can be heard, so that they can influence Sea Grant’s future work with the recreational fishing industry.”


[email protected]