Archive for the 'Fishing' Category

Before Summer’s Truly Gone–Get Wet!

Wednesday, September 16th, 2015
Women on the water at a BOW Workshop.

Women on the water at a BOW Workshop.

This is Passport to Texas

Autumn is gaining on us…and no self-respecting Texan would allow an entire summer to go by without spending time in or on the water.

Fortunately, state parks provide opportunities for both.

Want to do a little canoeing, but don’t want to go it alone? This month you can join a ranger for a two-hour, three mile long guided canoe trip through the Martin Dies Jr.’s State park’s swampy marshes and the Neches River. Be on the lookout for wildlife such as bald eagles, belted kingfishers, herons, turtles and alligators. Find the schedule on the calendar at

Make tracks – or is that waves – to any Texas inland or coastal paddling trail. These trails provide well-mapped accessible day trips in a variety of settings, for all levels of paddling experience. Find trail maps online.

Anglers experience a new perspective on the sport by casting a line from a kayak or canoe. It’s simple to do, and you can find tips on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

There’s still time to get neck-deep in cool water, as the hot days are quite over. No matter where you live in Texas, there’s a state park with a pool, lake, river, creek, or even ocean just waiting for you to dive in.

Find information about all the wet and wild opportunities in Texas on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

For Texas parks and wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

We All Have a Coastal Connection

Monday, August 31st, 2015
Bill Balboa (and friend), Texas Sea Grant

Bill Balboa (and friend), Texas Sea Grant

This is Passport to Texas

I’ve always thought of Texas as a state with a coast. But Bill Balboa says it’s really a coastal state. And he’s making sure the next generation knows this.

13- I’m trying to bring coastal education inland so kids that don’t get a chance to get down there a lot learn some things about the Texas coast and maybe become better stewards of the environment here.

Balboa is the Matagorda County Marine Extension Agent. He says when we view Texas as a coastal state we recognize that our actions affect the Gulf no matter how
far inland we live. We spoke when he was in Austin to speak to a group of young people at the main library. He said his talks involve show and tell.

27- I talk to them about freshwater gradient, the different kinds of fish, invasive species. I bring sharks. And so, I just talk to them about the diversity that’s there on the Texas coast, and why it is important to be good stewards and for freshwater to make it down to the coast as well. I want to back up. You bring sharks? You know, I work with some of my parks and Wildlife folks–that I used to work with–and I bring some sharks that were caught in sampling, and I bring a lot of other fish. And it makes a lasting impression.

Bill Balboa did say the sharks and other gulf creatures he brings to his talks are not alive; they’re frozen. Sort of like fish sticks–but really–nothing like fish sticks.

Find links to information about the Gulf and the creatures that live in it at

The Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series.

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

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.