Every day different agencies work together to keep our Rio Grande Valley safe out on the streets … But, the Valley is known for its many bodies of water…from the Rio Grande, to the bay, to the Gulf of Mexico.
Tonight we kick off our series ‘Valley Navy’… an inside look into the agencies keeping our waters safe.
The RGV is home to large bodies of water and therefore appeals to tourists, beachgoers, and fishermen alike… so who is out there making sure these people and the environment are safe?
Texas Parks and Wildlife Game Wardens are one of the agencies. Two to three of their boats can be seen anywhere from the Arroyo bay area, to the ship channel and offshore .
“People come from all over the state to enjoy the resources that we have here, the fishing is excellent so our main duty while we’re out here patrolling in the water is water safety and making sure everybody is abiding by parks and wildlife code and taking care of our resources,” says Game Warden Santana Torres.
As they look for proper safety equipment including life jackets, noise devices, and the required fishing licenses, the game wardens can stop anyone on the water… from a small fishing boat, to a large shrimp vessel coming back home after spending weeks away.
“We’re boarding a shrimp boat coming into the Brownsville ship channel. What we’re going to do is water safety check, we’ve already spoken to the captain. He’s getting his permits and licenses ready,what we’re also going to do is inspect his catch. The captain said that they’d been out for about 22 days so he said shrimping is getting kind of slow. So we’ll go out there and inspect his catch make sure everything is… Make sure they’re abiding by the rules and regulations,”says Torres.
The captain provided all needed licenses, federal and local… as for the catch? The shrimp compartment was clean and well in order.
“This is one of the fish that’s regulated and it’s a cobia ling and they have to be 37 inches so this one looks like it is legal, ” says Torres.
The Texas Game Wardens are not alone when it comes to deterring illegal activity. The agency works with several others when it comes to the illegal cargo that can be found aboard a ship.
“Also inspecting a vessel you never know what you’re going to find like i said we assist the united states coast guard over here and border patrol, one case that we had they did have a hidden compartment downstairs and there were people coming in from Mexico, that was a few years ago,”says Torres.
The Texas Game Wardens will continue to work towards keeping you safe while they advise you do your part as well.
“And all we can say is make good decisions and have all your safety equipment and be ready,” says Torres.
Don’t forget to tune back in next Monday night as we continue with our special series on our Valley’s Navy.
News center 23’s Emily Jimenez will be sharing her visit with the U.S Coast Guard.