Museums’ 17th Annual Taste of the Laguna Madre Celebrates Coastal Culinary Traditions

Since the earliest times when Port Isabel was visited by wintering Karanqua Indians, fishing has been an important part of the Laguna Madre area lifestyle. A 1930s newspaper article listed the wide variety of fish caught including redfish, trout, pike, sheepshead, croaker, pompano and red snapper. Port Isabel was the first location in Texas to ship gutted and gilled fish.


This 1911 photo of the Champion building façade shows the fish painting for which the structure is widely known. The mural features dozens of species of locally found marine life.

In 1929, a cannery was constructed on the channel for the processing of locally caught shrimp. Big schooners hauled their catches to the dock where workers prepared the shrimp for shipment to other parts of the country. By the 1950s Port Isabel was known as the Shrimping Capitol of the World.


This picture postcard from the 1940s illustrates the abundance of shrimp caught in the waters off Port Isabel. In 1958, Port Isabel had 10 processing plants and 173 shrimp boats operating from local docks. During its heyday, Port Isabel’s shrimping industry was responsible for most of the local employment.

Local oysters were in such demand. They seldom made it beyond San Benito and Brownsville. The Port Isabel oyster was small but delicious and could be eaten year round.

On February 7, at 7:00 p.m., the Museums of Port Isabel will be celebrating all things coastal and culinary during their 17th Annual Taste of the Laguna Madre. The evening will feature all you can eat fish and shrimp and sides. Participating local restaurants will bring their best seafood dishes and sweets. This year’s event location will be the Plains Capital Bank, 115 Queen Isabella Blvd. Live music and silent auction will also be part of the evening’s festivities.

Tickets on sale at Plains Capital Bank, Port Isabel City Hall, Port Isabel Public Library, Port Isabel Chamber of Commerce, South Padre Island Chamber of Commerce and the Laguna Madre Art Gallery or by calling Museum Director Jeannie Flores at 956/943-7602. Tickets are $25 per person and include a combination ticket to the Museums of Port Isabel, a raffle ticket for the Grand Prize Basket, all you can eat and drink, live music, silent auction and sweet shoppe. See facebook event:
. Museum website:





Save the DATE! MoPI’s 17th Annual Taste of the Laguna Madre Fundraiser 2/7/14

posterThe 17th Annual TASTE of the LAGUNA MADRE features the best of what the Laguna Madre has to offer! Fresh FISH and fresh wild caught Gulf SHRIMP! Local restaurants will participate with their best fare! There will be a Sweet Shoppe! Silent Auction! Live Music! Door Prizes and a Raffle for a Grand Prize Basket! To participate as a donor or to reserve your tickets, please contact Museum Director, Jeannie Marie Flores at 956/943-7602 or email:

Museum Hosts Annual Open House! Gift Shop Sales! 12/14 10a-4p

Museum Open House! 12/14 10a-4p SALE Starts 11/29


December 14th, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the Museums of Port Isabel hosts their Annual Open House. Both the Treasures of the Gulf Museum and the Port Isabel Historical Museum will offer discounts in their gift shops from 10 – 50%, free admission and refreshments.

The Museum will also offer kid friendly activities during December. See full schedule below. For more information call the Museums of Port Isabel at 956/943-7602 or email:


Port Isabel High 2013 Christmas Literary Arts Celebration

Port Isabel High 2013 Christmas Literary Arts Celebration
December 11, 2013
6-8 pm
Treasures of the Gulf Museum
317 E. Railroad Ave.
Port Isabel, Texas

Come be a part of a Port Isabel Christmas tradition! The Museums of Port Isabel proudly presents a night of poems, stories, and music by Port Isabel High School students.

The public is invited to attend and be a part of this holiday community event. Snacks will be provided by the Museums of Port Isabel following the show. Let the power of words lift you!

For more information contact Museum Director, Jeannie Flores at 956/943-7602 or email See our event on Facebook:

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