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Texas closes Gulf Coast spots to protect fish during freeze

(MGN Online)

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Texas is suspending saltwater fishing along parts of the Gulf Coast to protect coastal species amid plunging temperatures.

The decision Monday adds to the precautions for a cold front that has dropped temperatures into the 20s and teens. Texas Department of Transportation workers last week pre-treated 10,000 miles of roads to keep ice from sticking, but accidents have still racked up on slick highways.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department says the state has roughly 2 million acres of bays and estuaries vulnerable to freeze. It's closing some fishing spots in deeper waters, where wildlife officials say surviving fish could become prone to capture.

Those areas will be closed early Tuesday through Wednesday night. State wildlife officials say one hard freeze event in 1989 killed an estimated 11 million fish.

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