GILCHRIST - KFDM News has learned the Galveston county judge is moving ahead with plans to seize land and help the state close rollover pass.
The Judge's office says it will use eminent domain to seize the land on the Bolivar Peninsula if property owners don't sell.
Every Monday Kerry Collier casts a line at rollover pass.
“Overall this place is the best,” said Kerry Collier.
Collier's fished here for a quarter century.
“It's a red, about 10 minutes to get him,” said Collier.
Fishermen come from all over the nation to rollover pass to catch trout, red fish and flounder. If the GLO fills in the pass, they may lose a hot spot for a good catch.
The Land Office wants to close rollover. It says the state is losing a never-ending struggle to stop erosion.
Now, Galveston County is joining the state in the effort. The county judge plans to use eminent domain to condemn land if homeowners don't agree to sell.
“We don't believe the county or the state of Texas has the right to take away private property from individual and use eminent domain where the state does not have the authority,” said Ted Vega.
Ted Vega is president of the Gilchrest Community Association. The association and the Gulf Coast Rod, Reel and Gun Club own the land on each side of the waterway.
Vega says members are trying to preserve this waterway for the people and the wildlife.
“No doubt in my mind the fish and the wildlife will be affected because the bay, the gulf and the pass are good harmony to bring the different species to come through here,” said Vega.
Kerry Collier says the magic that happens where those waterways come together has brought him to Rollover Pass for decades.
He doesn't always keep the fish he catches.
Collier wants to help boost their population and make sure rollover pass continues thriving no matter how the battle ends.
The groups that own the land promise to fight the closure until the end.
The Galveston county judge says once the state takes possession of the land and fills in the pass, the state plans to build a five million dollar fishing pier.