The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is putting your Gulf fishing trips on ice – for now

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The closure, which began New Year’s Day, will be in effect until tonight, January 3, at 10:00 p.m.

Officials stated the low temperatures the Gulf Coast is experiencing are bringing the potential to deplete the fish in the area in such a way their numbers reportedly will not be able to hold up if people continue to fish.

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“The high mortality that a freeze can cause may deplete fish stocks for years,” Robin Riechers, director of TPWD’s Coastal Fisheries Division, said in an interview. “Protection of the surviving fish during the few days when they are especially vulnerable to capture would likely shorten the time period for overall recovery of coastal species, especially spotted sea trout.”

When temperatures drop, industry experts say the fish gather together for warmth and become sluggish, according to

For this reason, they’re reportedly easy to capture and vulnerable to overfishing.

TPWD officials said their closure specifically targets areas where fish are known to gather during cold weather.

Freezes, like this one currently blanketing Texas, can kill huge numbers of fish, with another unseasonably cold winter from 1989 killing an estimated total of 11 million.

If you live near the coast and see a large number of fish killed or stunned by the cold, the TPWD encourages you to contact them at their Law Enforcement Communications office by calling 281-842-8100 or 512-389-4848.

RELATED: The snow may be gone, but police say the ice on Houston roadways left some drivers frozen in their tracks

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