Archive for the 'Boating' Category

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.

Boat | Fish: New Regulation — Drain That Boat

Friday, August 1st, 2014

Places where invasive zebra mussels hitch a ride.

Places where invasive zebra mussels hitch a ride.

This is Passport to Texas

By now you’re aware of the zebra mussel; it’s an invasive freshwater species first detected in North America more than 25 years ago in the Great Lakes. By 2009 the species made its way to Texas Lakes.

08—Texoma was first, and now we’ve got them in five other reservoirs around the state. And now we’re trying to slow or prevent the zebra mussels from getting into the other public water bodies.

Ken Kurzawski oversees regulations for inland fisheries. Zebra mussels reproduce quickly and outcompete native freshwater species – like sport fish – for food.

12— And on top of that, they have a way to attach to structures—boats and things—that cause billions of dollars of damage in other parts of the country where they get into [municipal] water pipes and on structures where they have to be cleaned off.

Those are the kinds of outcomes Texas Parks and Wildlife and its partners want to avoid in Texas. On July 1 (2014) a new regulation went into effect mandating all boaters drain their boats before leaving public waters.

10—Any water that you uptake in your bilges, live wells, has to be drained from your vessel when you’re leaving those waters, or approaching another public water. And that’s statewide in all fresh waters.

Find additional information about this regulation, including how it pertains to transporting live fish while angling, and how to correctly clean, drain and dry your boat at

The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series… and receives funds from your purchase of fishing and hunting equipment and motor boat fuel.

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

Boating Safety: A Cautionary Tale

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

Justin Crawford shares his story.

Justin Crawford shares his story.

This is Passport to Texas

On November 29, 2008, as the sun began to set on Lake Ray Hubbard near Dallas, Justin Crawford, Taylor Savant and his cousin Brandon Fugate set off in Justin’s boat, which lacked both a kill switch and life jackets.

A strong front blew in, and the combination of a big wave and a 40 MPH wind gust knocked the 18-year-olds into the 42-degree water. Without a kill switch, the boat kept going.

Brandon decided to swim to shore while Taylor and Justin treaded water in place. Justin picks up the story.

40— Brandon started…kind of getting away from us. And, uh, I just remember Taylor and me looking at each other, and knowing we’d really messed up. We couldn’t…couldn’t find him. He was already gone. Then it was after that, it was, you know –fight for yourself, you know. It was, you know, no longer, where’s Brandon. It’s like, oh man, what am I going to do to save myself? And this boat with two gentlemen came over to me, and they threw me a rope. He pulled us both onto the boat, and uh, we sat there for a second, and then we said Brandon’s name. And they said: “There’s somebody else?” And we said: “Yes sir.” We looked for him for 29 days; we finally found him thanks to a lot of help. It was the worst day of my life by far, and I’ll never forget it.

It’s National Safe Boating Week. Learn how to stay safe on the water by logging onto Boating section of the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

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

Safety: National Safe Boating Week

Monday, May 19th, 2014

Teaching children about PFDs.

Teaching children about PFDs.

This is Passport to Texas

It’s National Safe Boating Week, and we want to share a cautionary tale. This is part one. Justin Crawford and his High School buddies, Taylor and Brandon set off on Lake Ray Hubbard near Dallas one November evening in 2008.

04— My dad was bringing me out here in diapers before I could walk – I know it like the back of my hand.

It was nearly dark when they left the dock. Because 18-year old Justin didn’t grow up using life jackets, he didn’t have them on his boat when they set out to check trot lines they’d strung earlier.

06— I didn’t think that I would ever be in the situation where I would necessarily need one to save my life. Or, to save somebody that I was with life.

A front blew in creating choppy waters; leaving the fish behind, they attempted a hasty retreat to shore when both a large wave and 40 mph wind gust hit the boat.

06— Mother Nature can just rock your world so fast; there’s nothing you can do. It’s like fighting a thousand people at one time – you know you don’t stand a chance.

Justin, Taylor and Brandon ended up in the icy 42-degree waters of Lake Ray Hubbard… without life jackets. And without a “kill switch” the boat kept going.

06— And the whole time we’re just screaming; screaming as loud as we can, hoping somebody will hear us. And nobody can hear us. No one’s around.

No one was nearby. It was dark, and the water was deathly cold. Find out what happened next on tomorrow’s show.

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

Nature: Outdoor Resolutions for the New Year

Wednesday, January 1st, 2014

Camping at Inks Lake

Camping at Inks Lake

This is Passport to Texas

Don’t you love the start of a new year? It‘s totally fresh and filled with possibilities. So, take a few minutes to consider how you’re going to make this year better for you and your family.

One way would be to get outside more, because—as we like to say: life’s better outside.

Spending time in the natural world has a way of resetting the brain and giving you a fresh perspective. Researchers have discovered that children who spend time in nature do better on exams, and are less disruptive in the classroom.

Bring a pair of walking shoes to the office, and during your lunch hour, stroll outdoors in the fresh air. Even if you’re in a city, you can still observe the varied wildlife and plant life you see along the way. It’s amazing how much nature you can actually find in a concrete jungle.

Spend time with friends or family at one of our many state parks. Most folks are within 90 minutes of a state park or natural area; many are much closer. Take a nature hike, ride a bike. Pitch a tent and sleep under the stars, or find a park with cabins and rough it indoors.

Commit to learning something new about Texas history by visiting one of the state’s incredible historic sites.

There’s a world of wonder out there, and once you spend more time outdoors, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner.

That’s our show…Funding provided in part by Ram Trucks. Guts. Glory. Ram…For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti