Archive for the 'Boating' Category

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.

Combating Zebra Mussels in Lake Waco

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015
Clean, drain and dry your boats to prevent the spread of zebra mussels.

Clean, drain and dry your boats to prevent the spread of zebra mussels.


This is Passport to Texas

Before zebra mussels appeared in Lake Waco, Texas Parks and Wildlife, the City of Waco and the Army Corps of Engineers worked on ways to prevent an infestation, which involved close monitoring of arriving vessels.

06–They city hired summer interns to conduct boater education and boater surveys and inspections, in an effort to try and prevent the introduction [of zebra mussels] to Lake Waco.

Brian Van Zee, Texas Parks and Wildlife Inland Fisheries Regional Director, says despite their best efforts, in the summer of 2014, a vessel previously in zebra mussel infested Lake Belton evaded their scrutiny and launched in Lake Waco. In September, City of Waco employees found zebra mussels near the boat ramp. And everyone mobilized.

27– [We thought] if we can act quickly, before the water temperature begins cooling down in the fall again, we might be able to get on top of these things. And, we had heard and seen studies where they had used these big, heavy, thick pond liners and covered an area; and you can suffocate them [zebra mussels]. So, we knew that we could get approval from the Corps of Engineers to install those and get that done pretty quickly, So, the City of Waco ordered up the tarps, they hired commercial divers, set the plan, and last fall we put ‘em all in place.

Brian Van Zee shares the results of their efforts tomorrow.

The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series. Get  more information about zebra mussels at texasinvasives.org.

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

Recreation: Texas Paddling Trails

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

Family enjoying paddling on Texas paddling trail.

Family enjoying paddling on Texas paddling trail.



This is Passport to Texas

There’s nothing like being on the water, close to nature, in a kayak or canoe.

17— Our feeling is that if we can get people on the water, they will see what Texas is all about. Then they’ll start to get on board with the conservation, and the athleticism of paddling, and fall in love more with Texas and what we do here at Texas Parks and Wildlife.

Ron Smith, with Inland Fisheries, says Texas communities recognize the value of developing paddling opportunities with the Texas Paddling Trails Program. Trails benefit residents and visitors, but also the communities in which they exist.

21— We go back to the communities, and the communities report back to us, that there’s a stronger economic impact in their area because of the trails. They’re starting to see boats on top of cars going through town. People are cleaning up the waterways. [There are] just many, many indicators that the program is working.

Think your community could be the next great paddling destination? First, you need a community partner…

12— And organize it on a local level, and then submit an application to us. And that application is on our website; they can dill it out and submit it to us, and we’ll be happy to take a look at their trail.

A new trail opens this week in the Big Thicket…that’s tomorrow.

Funding for our show is provided in part by Ram Trucks. Guts. Glory. Ram

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