Archive for the 'Boating' Category

Flooding and Aquatic Invasive Species

Thursday, August 20th, 2015
Zebra Mussels

Zebra Mussels

This is Passport to Texas

Texas lakes and rivers are full and flowing again thanks to an influx of water brought on by heavy spring rains. The downside is we could see the spread of invasive species as a result.

06- We always have to be vigilant about invasive species: zebra mussels…giant salvinia…water hyacinths…

Inland fisheries’ Dave Terre says improved water levels and boat ramp accessibility means more boaters on the water. He adds everyone must do what is in their control to prevent the spread of these species.

09- Make sure that you clean your boats and trailers; and dry your boats–and drain your boats–before going onto other water bodies. It’s the law.

Cleaning, draining and drying boats–that’s within our control. Mother Nature is not. When she soaked Texas, it’s possible she also flushed zebra mussels downstream.

25- Certainly, we’ll be monitoring that situation through time, but at this point it’s really unknown what impact these floods will have on the spread of zebra mussels across our state. But, anglers and boaters still need to be mindful about spreading these species by boat. [Clean, drain & dry] is the one thing we do have control over, and one thing that we can do. We’re always concerned about invasive species trying to keep them out of our water bodies. So we need to control what we can control.

Find information about invasive species at texasinvasives.org.

The Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife, I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Sight Casting

Friday, June 5th, 2015
Bay fishing success.

Bay fishing success.


This is Passport to Texas

Fishing isn’t the passive activity people make it out to be.

09- You know, people picture this guy sitting on a bucket beside a lake or a river, watching a red and white bobber floating in the water. That is so far from the truth. Heh!

David Sikes is the outdoors writer for the Corpus Christi Caller Times, and says he and his coastal compadres prefer sight casting, which is active angling.

03-And we don’t cast until we see a fish, oftentimes.

Due to the skill level required, beginners may not catch fish, but then again, said Sikes, they may.

09-I’ve introduced several of my friends to sight casting. And during the very first trip, they saw–and caught–the fish that they saw. And, it’s pretty cool to watch.

When sight casting from a boat, you need at least two people–one to spot the fish and one to catch them. Anglers never sit when sight casting and they use lightweight flies as lures.

15- And I would really recommend that they at least, for the first time, get indoctrinated by going out with an actual, professional guide. I can recommend several down here who are really good. And, it might seem a little pricey at first, but the lessons are very valuable.

David Sikes wrote an article on Sight Casting for Redfish for the June issue of Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine. The Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

How to Remain Safe While Boating

Thursday, May 21st, 2015


This is Passport to Texas

If you plan on operating a boat get to know items important to keep on board for your safety.

13-You should have a sound producing device, and you should have a life jacket for person that’s on board. If you’re boating at night, you should have the proper lights–that are working–and we suggest a first aid kit.

Tim Spice, manager of boater education for Parks and Wildlife, says anyone born on or after September 1, 1993 is required to take boater education.

21-We cover lots of different things, including safety aspects of boating; the different types of vessel you may have; the rules of the road; the required equipment. Again, everyone on board a vessel needs to have a life jacket that’s accessible. We define what accessible means by law so that you don’t get in trouble when you’re on the water and a game warden stops to give you a boating safety check.

In addition, filing a float plan that tells folks on shore where you’ll be and when you plan to return will be vital if an emergency occurs while you’re on the water. Operating a boat has a different set of rules than driving a vehicle.

10-There’s no lines on the road; there’s no speed limits, per se. There are different signs and things you have to look out for that are very different than you would in your car.

By taking a boating safety course–online or in a classroom–you’ll learn those rules.

That’s our show for today… Funding provided in part by Ram Trucks. Guts. Glory. Ram

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Boating Safety Memorial Day and Every Day

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015
Everyone on your boat should wear a life jacket.

Everyone on your boat should wear a life jacket.

This is Passport to Texas

Over the past couple of years, low lake levels from the drought kept boats and other watercraft in dry dock most of the summer— but thanks to late winter and early spring rains…

02-We have a lot more water now, so the lakes have changed.

That’s good news as we approach Memorial Day weekend–the unofficial start of summer boating season. More water means easier, safer navigation of lakes, says Tim Spice, manager of boater education for Parks and Wildlife. Being savvy about safety also keeps everyone protected when on the water.

31-We can identify two major factors that you as a boater can affect in how you operate a vessel, and the things that you do in and around the water. One is wear a life jacket. Eighty percent of those people that die from falling in the water would be alive if they had a life jacket on. And then the second thin you can do is to not drink alcohol. Alcohol affects your judgment, and you can lose your driver’s license–your vehicle driver’s license–the court can take that away from you if you are found guilty of boating while intoxicated.

On tomorrow’s show the rules of the road as they pertain to boating, and what items you need to have on board before setting sail.

07–The rules on the road are all designed based on the type of vessel and the maneuverability of the vessel.

The Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series and works increase fishing and boating opportunities in Texas.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Beating Down Zebra Mussels in Lake Waco

Thursday, May 14th, 2015
Zebra mussels

Zebra mussels

This is Passport to Texas

In September 2014, when City of Waco employees found zebra mussels near a boat ramp in Lake Waco, Texas Parks and Wildlife, the City of Waco, and Texas Army Corps of Engineers moved quickly to stop this non-native aquatic invasive in its tracks.

06-The City of Waco ordered up tarps, they hired commercial divers, set the plan, and last fall we put ’em all in place.

Brian Van Zee, Inland Fisheries Regional Director, says there wasn’t time to obtain permits for chemical treatments, so divers and staff positioned the eight thick, rubber tarps on the lake bottom over the infested area to block sunlight and oxygen below.

15- We just recently pulled those tarps from lake Waco, and it was really looking very good; we could tell by the condition of the tarps– underneath them–that we had reached anoxic conditions. You could smell the hydrogen sulfide smell and these black conditions you typically see when you have anoxic conditions.

Although divers found two live zebra mussels on rocks they brought up, Van Zee is optimistic.

14-Maybe we knocked back the number of zebra mussels that were in that area, far enough to where they cannot create a viable, reproducing population. We don’t know if that’s the case or not. We really won’t know probably until this spring or summer, actually; maybe even next fall.

Until then, all partners will continue to monitor the lake and enforce the clean, drain and dry law for all boaters. Learn more on the TPW website.

The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series. Learn about combating zebra mussels and other aquatic invasives at texasinvasives.org.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.