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Keep em Alive! Water Quality, Temperature ,Oxygen and Keeping Live Bait Alive

The Texas coast line when visited by strangers from the Atlantic and Pacific coastal areas always draws comments like "You can't see the bottom, I wouldn't swim here for anything!" or How come the water looks so dirty?" We that have grown up in this area naturally accept what we have. Lets look at the facts.

Galveston bay photo

This is a photo of Galveston Bay taken from one the space shuttles.

It's pretty obvious that the water coming from the rivers and marshlands effect the clarity and condition of our bay water.

Contributing Factors

  • The dissolved clay which is naturally abundant in our region is micro-fine and dissolves into the bay with every washing wave.

  • The extra fine silt being washed down rivers from the other regions of our state also makes it's obvious contribution to our water condition.
  • Fortunately, industry restrictions has made considerable improvements to the polution and suspended solids problems that were making our bay basically inhabitable to our favorite aquatic species. We are at the top of a 20 year improvement trend and still gaining.

    Water Temperature
    Galveston Bay as a whole is a very shallow body of water and the water temperature rises quickly in direct sunlight. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that the hottest part of the water is at the top on the surface.

    What level of water do we draw from when we circulate that live well in the boat? What water does that floating bait bucket provide to our live bait when we're wade fishing? How about that 5 gl bucket on the shoreline or on the floor of the boat?

    We all watch our dependable (Yea, right!) weather men on our favorite TV channel to see if it's going to be a good day to hook up the boat and head to the bay. We're watching for the obvious thunderstorms but most importantly how strong that almost always South-East wind is going to be blowing. Those whitecaps are something to be reckoned with. As much as we hate them we gotta have them. Those whitecaps are our bay's aeration system. With the oxygen robbing polution coming under control and that pain-in-the-ass southeast wind the oxygen level in our bay is back to an acceptable level for our favorite aquatic friends. Six parts per million is what they require. Higher oxygen levels makes em even stonger.

    Oxygen ? Temperature Relationship
    Ever wonder where the bubbles come from when we boil water in a pan? It's a physical law that as water temperature increases the ability to contain dissolved oxygen decreases.

    Simply stated: Higher temperature, lower oxygen Lower temperature, higher oxygen The natural level of dissolved oxygen in water without any other forces is called the saturation point. We can temporarily increase this level of dissolved oxygen with aeration but when the aeration process is removed the water will again return to the natural saturation point based on the water temperature. The process of adding dissolved oxygen to water can be greatly enhanced by the use of pure oxygen with aeration. For detailed information on this go to:

    The Secret of Putting it all Together
    Removing the silt, clay and suspended solids from the live well water helps keep the gills clear to absorb the needed oxygen from the water.

    Lowering water temperature reduces stress on the bait but more importantly enables the water to maintain the dissolved oxygen.

    Continuous aeration replaces the consumed dissolved oxygen and the oxygen that leaves the water as nature seeks the normal saturation level.

    Here's the Secret?

    It's the Water!

  • Keep it clean, keep it cool,aerate,

    Mother Nature will do the rest!

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