Handling Fish at Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest

April 28th, 2017
Largemouth bass are the stars of the show at the Toyota Texas Bass Classic, which this year has become the Toyota Bassmater Texas Fest.

Largemouth bass are the stars of the show at the Toyota Texas Bass Classic, which this year has become the Toyota Bassmater Texas Fest.

This is Passport to Texas

During the Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest, May 17 through 21st, Texas Parks and Wildlife will ensure the health of the fish professional anglers reel in from Lake Sam Rayburn. It begins with a judge on each boat.

As professional anglers catch these fish, a judge is going to weigh and measure them and record each one. And then these fish are going to be immediately released instead of going to the scales as in staged-type weigh-ins.

Dave Terre with inland fisheries says one-hundred-nine professional bass anglers will be competing in this year’s tournament. Immediately releasing the fish is good for the fish and for fishing.

Releasing these fish immediately helps in the survival of these fish. There’s less stress on these fish, so these fish will survive again to be caught another day.

And gives them more time to breed and potentially spawn even bigger bass. While the majority of the bass go right back in the water…

We are going to allow the anglers to bring in one fish per day, over 21-inches in size to showcase these large fish that Sam Rayburn is famous for, so the audience can see some of these big fish up on stage. But 99% of the fish that are caught in this tournament are going to be released.

The Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest—May 17-21 at Lake Sam Rayburn, is free to attend, and includes a family-friendly Expo in Lufkin. Find more information at Bassmaster.com. The Sport Fish Restoration Program Supports our series and helps funds fisheries management in Texas.

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

Big Bass Make a Splash at Lake Sam Rayburn

April 27th, 2017

Lake Sam Rayburn [reservoir], site of the Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest

Lake Sam Rayburn [reservoir], site of the Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest

This is Passport to Texas

Texas receives high praise and recognition for its world class bass fisheries, like Lake Sam Rayburn in East Texas.

Absolutely. Sam Rayburn has a long history of good fisheries management and production of huge largemouth bass.

One-hundred-nine professional bass anglers will be competing at Sam Rayburn during the Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest May 17—21. It’s a reimagining of Toyota Texas Bass Classic. Dave Terre is with Inland Fisheries and coordinates the event for the agency.

Instead of a three day event that the Toyota Texas Bass Classic was famous for, this is actually going to be a four-day event. It’s going to start on May 17and it’s going to be on a Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. And then the anglers are going to take off on Saturday to spend with the crowd, at our Expo in Lufkin. And then they’re going to have a final round on Sunday.

The Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest is a fundraiser for Texas Parks and Wildlife youth fishing programs. In addition to the competition, there’s a family-friendly Expo.

Learn all about fishing on Saturday. On Sunday, you’ll get to meet your favorite pro anglers—the ones that are most famous in the tournament fishing world. And come down and interact with Texas Parks and Wildlife staff, and learn all about fishing and the outdoors. It’s going to be a really exciting time.

The Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest is free, and runs May 17th through 21st at Lake Sam Rayburn, with a family-friendly expo in Lufkin. The Sport Fish Restoration Program Supports our series and helps funds fisheries management in Texas.

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

Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest

April 26th, 2017

bassfest33

This is Passport to Texas

For a decade, The Toyota Texas Bass Classic shined a light on Texas’ world-class bass fisheries while raising funds for youth fishing programs. But that changes this year—sort of.

The Toyota Texas Bass Classic, merged with a longstanding event called Bass Fest become the Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest.

Dave Terre, with Inland Fisheries coordinates the event for the agency. He says despite the name change, the goal remains the same.

This is a benefit event for Texas Parks and Wildlife at its very core. We expect the event will generate about $250-thousand dollars this year to support Texas Parks and Wildlife—and specifically youth outreach programs tied to fishing.

While The Bass Classic took place at Lake Fork with about 45 professional bass anglers, Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest heads to Lake Sam Rayburn, and more than doubles the number of participants.

This new event is special in that it is going to be down at Sam Rayburn with 109 of the best bass anglers of the world. It is going to showcase our catch, weigh and immediately release format that was born at the Toyota Texas Bass Classic in 2007. And, it’s going to be an exciting thing to see.

The Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest is a free event, May 17th through 21st at Lake Sam Rayburn, east of Lufkin. And we have more about the event coming up tomorrow.

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

Gardening with Natives

April 25th, 2017
Native plants attract pollinators.

Native plants attract pollinators.

This is Passport to Texas

Everyone loves instant color when planting flowers and shrubs, but plants provide more than visual appeal.

Usually they are producing fruits or nectar, some kind of food source that’s desirable.

Botanist, Dana Price, says our choice of plants can affect Texas wildlife that depends on them.

A lot of them are host plants for our native butterflies and monarchs; some of them are good hummingbird nectar sources. Many of them have berries that are good for birds. Native trees are hosts for all kinds of insects that are in turn food for our native birds.

Native plants also serve us by providing low-maintenance upkeep, even in the harshest conditions—such as last year’s heat wave and drought.

Our native plants are very well adapted to the climate in Texas, which yes is very extreme a lot of times.

Planting and maintaining native vegetation for wildlife is called Wildscaping. The goal is to provide places for birds, small mammals, and other wildlife to feed and drink, and escape from predators, as well as raise their young.

Find more information on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

The Wildlife Restoration program supports our series, and funds conservation work in Texas.

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

The Dark Skies of Texas

April 24th, 2017
South Llano River Light Pollution Map. The park is at the crosshairs.

South Llano River Light Pollution Map. The park is at the crosshairs.


This is Passport to Texas

An International Dark Sky Park is similar to a wildlife refuge. But instead of providing protection and habitat for animal species to thrive, these parks and surrounding communities protect the ebony backdrop of the night sky so stars can shine bright for our enjoyment.

Texas welcomed South Llano State Park, located outside of Junction, as its third International Dark Sky Park. It joins Copper Breaks State Park in the Panhandle and Enchanted Rock State Natural Area in the Hill Country.

Five miles from the nearest town, South Llano River State Park ranks as a “3” on the Bortle [Dark Sky] Scale, which ranks skies from 1 to 9. One includes the darkest skies and nine the least dark. The darkness at South Llano River State Park provides visitors with a spectacular view of the stars.

Regular Dark Sky programming, such as star parties will be hosted throughout the year at the park. It’s where visitors can learn about the importance of dark skies to wildlife and people. It also allows the public to view the night sky, celestial objects and constellations free from light pollution.

For more information on the dark skies at Texas State Parks, visit the dark skies program page on the Texas parks and Wildlife website.

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.