Archive for the 'river access' Category

TPW Magazine – Gently Down the Stream

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017
Paddling in  Texas

Paddling in Texas

This is Passport to Texas

Photo-journalist, Camille Wheeler, grew up in a farming and ranching family in West Texas, and remains a country girl at heart, despite living in the Capital City since the mid-1990s.

I didn’t grow up around very much water. So, while I was a country girl, I’ve always had a fascination with rivers and streams.

Given her fascination for flowing water, she wondered why she’d never explored Austin’s Lady Bird Lake.

So, about a year ago [in January], I went out—really for the first time by myself—on a kayak, on Lady Bird Lake. And the lake was just filled with all these wintering birds. And the double crested cormorant is one of my favorite birds in the world. There were so many of them, and I could paddle up close to them and take pictures. And I was like: Why have I not been doing this?

She discovered Lady Bird Lake is in Texas Parks and Wildlife’s Paddling Trails Program, which gave her an idea for an article. She shared the idea with TPW magazine’s editor, and the agency’s nature tourism manager.

We came up with this idea of me traveling around the state as a beginner [paddler] who has medium knowledge of birds, and putting the two things together for readers.

Read about it in the March issue of Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine. On tomorrow’s show: how Camille Wheeler found the middle of nowhere in the middle of everywhere on an urban paddling trail.

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.

Leasing Land for Angler Access

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016
Here's what river access can get you.

Here’s what river access can get you.

This is Passport to Texas

Texas Parks and Wildlife has expanded angler access to some of the state’s 191-thousand miles of rivers through a lease program.

We’re trying to bring in private landowners to help be a solution to open up angler access to rivers.

Tim Birdsong is chief of habitat conservation for Texas Parks and wildlife. Landowners who participate in the program receive monthly lease payments and even funds for site improvements.

Such as trails, or parking areas. If there’s an interest, we support habitat improvements…addressing, sometimes, erosion issues, or maybe loss of vegetation along the stream bank that’s resulting in some kind of bank instability. So, there are a lot of things we can do at these sites to help benefit not just their general management of the site, but also provide for a better user experience.

Birdsong says users ought not to expect a family-friendly parklike setting.

This is more about showcasing a natural, functional, healthy river system. This is for folks that are experienced paddlers, and anglers that really know how to [navigate and] fish a river. Rivers are inherently dangerous and somewhat unforgiving. But we do want to provide an opportunity for people to experience what a natural, flowing river is.

Find more information about the program and river ecosystems on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program supports our series.

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

Landowners Key to River Access for Angling

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016
Landowners are the key to river access for angling in Texas.

Landowners are the key to river access for angling in Texas.

This is Passport to Texas

As 95-percent of Texas land is privately owned, angler access to rivers is challenging.

Our laws are such that many of the larger rives in the state are publicly navigable, so anglers—the public—have a right to recreate in those river segments. But, accessing those rivers is very difficult, because you have to cross land; often that land is under private ownership.

Tim Birdsong is chief of habitat conservation for Texas Parks and wildlife. Through leases with landowners, Texas Parks and Wildlife has expanded angler access along the 191-thousand miles of rivers in Texas.

The program is intended to be a win-win scenario for landowners and for anglers. If they have a property that’s a good fit, and really does expand bank, wade and kayak fishing in the state, and they’re interested in making some money off of that, then what they do is participate in this lease program. We provide some funds for a monthly lease payment. We also provide funding for site improvements such as trails or parking areas. If there’s an interest, we will support habitat improvements.

Angler access improvements in Texas are funded primarily through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program.

Find additional information about angler river access and how to get involved in the program on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program supports our series.

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

Expanding River Access for Anglers

Monday, August 22nd, 2016
South Llano River

South Llano River

This is Passport to Texas

Looking for a serene, wilderness experience and a high-quality fishing opportunity? You can hardly do better than one of Texas’ scenic, wild and storied rivers—if you can access them, that is.

Land ownership issues in Texas make it challenging for anglers to be able to access rivers.

Ninety-five percent of land in our state is in private hands. Tim Birdsong is chief of habitat conservation for Texas Parks and wildlife.

We have some access adjacent to right-of-ways of bridge crossings. Some cities, counties and state parks have river access. But, in general, there is very limited access to rivers around the state.

Public land with the best access may end up in Texas’ paddling trails program.

So, these are defined launch areas for paddling in general—for [angling], birding and other sorts of wildlife oriented recreation that can be done in these river segments. But, even with around 70 paddling trails in the state, that still only provides access to a small fraction of the 191-thousand miles of river that we have in Texas.

Tomorrow: a new a public-private partnership that’s creating more river access for anglers.

Meanwhile, find paddling trail information and maps on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program supports our series.

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