TPWD News Release — Sept. 5, 2005
FULTON, Texas — Ownership and management of the Copano Bay Causeway State Fishing Pier is expected to transfer from Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to Aransas County Navigation District No. 1 this fall, a move expected to have little immediate affect on the visiting public.
The department’s State Parks Division has operated the fishing pier since 1967, after it was transferred to TPWD from the predecessor of today’s Texas Department of Transportation. The pier is actually the remnants of the old causeway bridge over the bay. After a hurricane damaged the causeway, the swing bridge in the middle was never replaced, leaving two sections of causeway sticking out into the bay. These later became the state fishing pier, in effect two piers, the 6,190-foot north pier and the 2,500-foot-long south pier. Two bait and tackle shops, one on either pier, have been operated as a leased concession by Danny Adams of Rockport since the piers opened as a public park.
The current transfer has been in the works for almost two years. It is one of the outcomes of HB 2108, a bill passed by the Texas Legislature several years ago that provides a process to transfer operation of state park sites that would be more appropriately managed by local entities. At the time, TPWD sent letters to local governments seeking possible transfer partners. The navigation district contacted the department in early 2004 about the possibility of transferring the pier.
At this point, the navigation district has sent a letter in which it formally agreed to the transfer, but the exact transfer date is pending the development of a new lease agreement between the concessionaire and the navigation district. The transfer is tentatively scheduled for this fall.