Archive for the 'Fishing' Category

Stocking Lakes After the Floods

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015
Largemouth bass fingerlings

Florida largemouth bass fingerlings

This is Passport to Texas

With so many reservoirs catching water from late spring rains, fishing in Texas is going to be better than ever in both the short and long term.

10- Texas was blessed with an abundance of water. And thanks to good, creative planning, we were able to redirect many thousands of fish to our lakes of greatest need.

Dave Terre, with Inland Fisheries, says lakes with increased water offer improved stocking survival…

08- …because of all this additional habitat. So, we’re able to divert those resources to those lakes to ensure that we have quality fishing for years to come.

This year, Texas Parks and Wildlife plans to stock between 6 and 8 million Florida largemouth bass.

17- A lot of those fish are going to the lakes that need it the worst. For those lakes that we can’t get to this year, we’re going to go ahead and get to them next year, or the year after next. Texas has about a thousand public reservoirs in the state, and four fish hatcheries to supply fisheries resources to those
reservoirs and rivers.

Find which species Texas Parks and Wildlife plans to stock, and where they plan to stock them when you log onto the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

The Sport Fish restoration supports our series.

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

Don’t Blame the Cormorants

Monday, August 24th, 2015
Cormorants waiting around to steal your fish. Not really.

Cormorants waiting around to steal your fish. Not really.

This is Passport to Texas

When we have bad luck, it’s human nature to blame a scapegoat. Some freshwater anglers do this when the fish aren’t biting by blaming the double-crested cormorant.

08-And what they do is they look to their side, and they see a bunch of these dark colored birds fishing, and they’re successful, and the angler’s not.

Naturally, the cormorants must be eating all the sport fish, right? Wrong, says ornithologist, Cliff Shackelford.

17-Our decline in fishes are not because of cormorants, it’s probably because of drought–and also golden algae is another cause for fish declines. So, there have been studies on the cormorant, and they found that most of the cormorant’s diet is non-game fish [like gizzard shad].

No offense, but some cormorant haters may need to step up their games.

06-Let’s not blame the cormorant on fish declines. It could be your equipment. Maybe you’re not doing the right thing. (chuckles)

Unconvinced of cormorants’ culpability regarding creel contents? Then shift your fishing forays to the warmer months only.

16-Our biggest numbers of double-crested cormorants in Texas is in the colder months. They start arriving in October and stay into March-April. They’re wherever there’s open water: stock tanks, stock ponds, aquaculture facilities.

Remember: a bad day of fishing is better than a good day at the office…even when the cormorants catch more fish than you do.

Funding provided in part by Ram Trucks. Guts. Glory. Ram

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

Drought Improves Fishing. What?

Friday, August 14th, 2015
Lake Travis at 46.52 feet below normal.

Lake Travis at 46.52 feet below normal.

This is Passport to Texas

By 2011, Texas was in a record drought. And just when we were about to cry “uncle”…we got rain… lots of rain.

05— In Texas we talk about a state of constant drought periodically broken by floods.

Cindy Loeffler is water resources branch chief at TPW. The Memorial Day storms caused flooding, but they also brought lakes back to life.

09— This recent heavy rainfall really revitalized many lakes across the state. Not only the lakes themselves and the fisheries, but also access to our lakes.

Dave Terre, with Inland fisheries, says most boat ramps are accessible again, and stocking is back on track.

15— As a matter of fact, in 2011 at the peak of the drought, about 35% of Texas reservoirs, large reservoirs, in the state had little to no boat access. Now, today, we’ve regained most of that boat access back, so people can not only get on the water, we’re also going to have great fish populations in a couple of years.

Ironically, fishing will be great because of the drought.

30— When lake levels get really low, generally lakes lose habitat. And what we need is—we need habitat in the lakes to ensure fish that are spawned every year survive to a larger size to eventually be caught by anglers one day. TPW actually did some plantings of terrestrial plants in the dry lakebeds in anticipation of these lakes coming up to provide fish habitat. So when lakes rise, they inundate all sorts of terrestrial vegetation that grew in the lakebed when the lake was dry; when the lake comes up, we have an abundance of fish habitat.

Thanks drought!

The Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series.

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

TPW TV: Spice on Fish

Monday, August 10th, 2015
Cooking Crappie at Camp

Cooking Crappie at Camp

This is Passport to Texas (Aug 10)

Next week, Texas Parks and Wildlife’s Tim Spice takes viewers from pole to platter, when he cooks up crappie filets outdoors on the Texas Parks and Wildlife PBS TV series.

After cleaning, deboning, skinning and drying the fish…

11- We’re going to lightly prep it with a little bit of salt and a little bit of fresh pepper [grinding pepper]. Just a little bit of pepper, though, because crappies are really nice delicate fish, and you don’t want to overpower it.

Next, he dredges the fish in plain cornmeal.

05- I was raised with simple cornmeal; and you’ll get a great fish flavor just this way.

Buttermilk added to the cornmeal makes a thick batter, but if you want to taste the fish, Spice says: less is more. A camp stove supports a cast iron skillet with hot oil.

15- Alright. We’ve got that temperature right where we like it– about 275. Now, we’re just going to take our fish and put ’em right in the oil. Watch your fingers so you don’t splatter that hot grease. We want to cook the crappie for about two minutes on each side. Nice light brown; that keeps it nice, moist, and tender on the inside.

The filets are done and ready to serve in no time.

08– You want to know how your fish are done? Here’s a simple test: take a fork, and if you can break apart the flakes–that means your fish is done.

For an even lighter dish, Tim Spice demonstrates a pan seared, herb rubbed fish recipe the week of Aug. 17 on the TPW PBS TV series. Check your local listings.

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

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

Invasive Tilapia: Defeating by Eating

Thursday, July 30th, 2015
Blue Tilapia

Blue Tilapia

This is Passport to Texas

When you hear the word tilapia, you may think of a savory meal with lemon and butter sauce, but you probably don’t think of the term “invasive species.”

11—The tilapia are great to eat. They’re raised as a food fish, and they’re quite tasty. They’re quite popular in restaurants. But the problem is when they’re in our natural waters they are upsetting the ecosystem.

Tilapia, found in Texas for decades, originally came here as a food source, and raised in fish farms. Eventually the fish ended up living wild in Texas waters.

What makes them invasive? Gary Garrett, former inland fisheries biologist with TPW, said tilapia pose a potential threat to largemouth bass and other native species.

16—They build big pit nests and in doing that they stir up a lot of the settlement. And it’s been shown, for example, with large mouth bass, all that sediment stirred up and settling back down will often kill largemouth bass eggs.

When the tilapia does this, they can potentially damage the entire ecosystem because of the intricate nature of the food chain.

Parks and Wildlife has state regulations for tilapia, but because they exist throughout Texas, they are difficult to control. But if you like to fish, Garrett says there is a way you can help.

03—Don’t throw them back. If you catch them, keep them.

Next time you catch a tilapia, turn on the grill and get cooking. You’ll be doing yourself and the Texas ecosystem a flavor.

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