Archive for February, 2010

Private Fishing Ponds

Friday, February 19th, 2010

This is Passport to Texas

The 2009 drought left private ponds throughout Texas low or bone dry—conditions that Todd Engeling says actually presented pond owners with an opportunity.

There was an opportunity for a number of folks to really go in and renovate those facilities and prepare them for the rains when they came.

Engeling is chief of inland hatcheries for Parks and Wildlife. With luck, ponds got a needed facelift when dry, and are returning to their former glory thanks to winter rains. The down side is—fish in those ponds probably didn’t survive the drought.

So, if you’re looking for an opportunity to get fish for your private pong, although the Parks and Wildlife department raises millions of fingerlings each year, we do not provide those to the general public. But, there are a number of commercial, private fish hatcheries that can provide you with what you need for stocking—including any advice on what you need and how many would be appropriate for you to stock in those areas. And on our webpage there is a link to the Texas Aquaculture Association, which maintains a list of their members who can provide that service for you.

In fact, the parks and wildlife website offers information on creating and maintaining private ponds…

Including how you can deal with some of that unwanted vegetation.

Visit the TPW website for information on ponds, stocking, and other landowner information.

That’s our show… with support from the Sport Fish Restoration program.

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

State Park Getaway: Goose Island State Park

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

This is Passport to Texas SP Getaways

Goose Island is the oldest of the Texas coastal state parks; Bryan Frazier takes us there this week for a state park getaway.

Goose Island SP is renowned and loved for lots of reasons, and a great place to go. It’s a smaller park; it’s only about 320 acres. But there’s still a lot to do. It has lots of hiking trails, there’s even biking along the roads inside the park. You’ve got a great place to see whooping cranes, right against the federal wildlife refuge there on the upper coast—and it’s beautiful as well. You’ve got this outcropping of big coastal live oak trees; and its home to the Big Tree, which is a thousand year old coastal live oak tree. It was the state champion in 1969, and it still remains to this day just a phenomenon of nature. But the fishing there…very popular species in Texas, whether you’re talking about flounder, redfish or speckled trout. Right there at the boat ramp, you can go right in. It’s also very popular with waterfowl hunters. It’s one of the few places to launch an airboat to duck hunt in that area. The camping there—even the tent camping—is really, really incredible. But you can camp right on the bay front. In fact, you can fish out of your campsite, and a lot of people do—and those campsites go fast. So, Goose Island SP is definitely a stop on the map.

Thanks, Bryan.

That’s our show…check out State Park videos on the TPW channel on YouTube…

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

Outdoor Story: A Game Warden’s Life

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

This is Passport to Texas

When I say Texas Game Warden, what image pops into your head? Is it someone in uniform, patrolling field and forest looking for poachers? You’d be right…but it doesn’t stop there. Texas game wardens have varied jobs—all of which help protect our state’s natural resources.

Eric Howard is a 19 year veteran in the department. He currently coordinates the Operation Game Thief Program—a type of crime-stoppers for wildlife. But his career path in the force has been varied and satisfying.

I spent 12 years in the field, and in about the 12th year, I was able to become an instructor at the Game warden Academy. And when you have the opportunity to make an impression on young men and women, you know, you’re shaping and molding them. And that’s certainly a highlight. Then about a year and a half ago, I had the opportunity to become the program coordinator for Operation Game Thief. It’s really been a blast. It’s totally a different avenue, from being at the academy and being a field game warden. This one, you get to meet a lot of people. It’s really been a blast.

You can find information on becoming a game warden when you log onto the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

That’s our show…thank you for joining us… we record our series in Austin at the Production Block Studios… Joel Block engineers our program.

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

Buffalo Soldiers, 2

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

This is Passport to Texas

Buffalo soldiers were heroes in their time; examples of courage and hard work. But their accomplishments, seldom taught in classrooms, leave many young African American students, like Greg McClanahan, with a limited sense of their history.

They didn’t teach us nothing in school but that we were slaves. They didn’t teach us that we were heroes or nothing. In history, all you ever heard about was slaves this, and slaves that. You didn’t hear about no black heroes.

McClanahan attends public school in Kerrville, where he met Buffalo Soldier reenactors from Parks and Wildlife.

What we are doing is taking the legacy of the Buffalo Soldier into the cities and into the schools. And we feel that sharing this story, that we can instill some pride and some resolve in them.

Ken Pollard coordinates Buffalo Soldiers Heritage & Community Outreach for Parks and Wildlife. He said he found out about the Buffalo Soldiers as an adult, but wished he’d known about them earlier.

My relatives and kinfolk were cowboys, man. We didn’t have any black cowboys or soldiers, you know, to really look up to. For me, to have the black heroes there when I was growing up, that sense of pride would have been instilled in me. But if I had grown up with that—they would have been my heroes.

Find information about Buffalo Soldiers Heritage & Community Outreach on the TPW website.

That’s our show… For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Buffalo Soldiers, 1

Monday, February 15th, 2010

This is Passport to Texas

[military maneuvers] Establish, fade, roll under actuality & script.

[singing] I was once a captured slave. Now I’m just a black man who came to be….[fade and play under script]

In the 19th Century, Black men who served in the 9th and 10th Regiments of Cavalry and 24th and 25th Regiments of Infantry of the United States Army were known as…

I am a Buffalo Soldier!

It’s said the Indians whom they fought during the Indian Wars gave troops the name because of their hair texture and their courage and ferocity in battle.

He feared and respected the buffalo. And he learned to fear and respect the black soldier as well.

That’s Buffalo Soldier reenactor, John Olivera, who says Buffalo soldiers played a major role in settling Texas.

Seventy-five percent of the soldiers that settled this area were Buffalo Soldiers. The only white men that were with them were the commanding officers. Almost all of the forts were manned and built by Buffalo Soldiers.

Texas Parks & Wildlife Department offers Texas Buffalo Soldier Outdoor Educational Programs. Find their schedule on the Parks and Wildlife website.

The Buffalo Soldiers fought not only the Indians, and outlaws, but racism and prejudice. We had a job to do, and we done it.

That’s our show… For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.