AUSTIN — Two serious fishermen today won exclusive rights to a couple of the hottest fishing spots along the Texas coast, earning the school children of Texas an easy $68,651 in the process.
The School Land Board voted to accept the top two bids for two General Land Office fishing cabin sites along the Texas coast. The cabins, located on islands built by dredge materials, are known among coastal outdoorsmen as some of the finest, most secluded fishing spots anywhere along the Texas coast.
By law, the number of available sites is strictly limited, making opportunities to bid on them a rare treat.
“Serious fishermen and duck hunters know the value of these sites and the bids can get pretty high — little bits of paradise like this don’t become available every day,” said Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson. “But the school kids of Texas are the real winners today.”
One permit site — on the upper Texas coast on Moody’s Island, just between Christmas Bay and West Bay — went for $16,000. The site is only accessible by boat via Titlum Tatlum Bayou. The winning bidder must tear down and haul off an old and decrepit cabin on the site and even then won’t own the cabin he will have to build.
The other permit site — located in Kenedy County in the Land Cut area of the Laguna Madre — went for a whopping $52,651. It also is only accessible by boat. The permit site is located on uplands originally created by the dredging of the Intracoastal Waterway. The area is still an active dredge disposal site if needed by the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers.
This is only the fourth time the General Land Office has offered cabin permits on a sealed bid basis. The permits were initially awarded to those occupying the cabins in 1973 when the School Land Board and General Land Office were granted regulatory authority over the structures on state lands.
Since then, the permits have either expired, relocated, or have been transferred to other interested parties with School Land Board approval. The permits will be issued for five years, and can be renewed in five-year increments if all conditions of the contract have been observed. Anything built on the sites will belong to the state of Texas and the cabins can only be used for recreational purposes — no commercial activity is allowed.