Archive for April, 2011

Become an Angler Education Instructor

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

This is Passport to Texas

Whether you’re an avid angler… or someone who enjoys working with kids… becoming a Volunteer Angler Education Instructor is fun and rewarding.

09—In the instructor class, we give them all of the tools and the knowledge and skills they would need to teach kids the junior angler program.

Ann Miller oversees the program. She says anglers who become instructors get to share their love of fishing with kids…as well teach them how to fish safely and responsibly.

24—Many adults out there are anglers themselves, and really want to share that love of fishing with the younger generation. And this gives them the opportunity to do that. Many adults also are working already with different youth groups and our junior angler program is just a wonderful addition to their potpourri of things that they can do with kids.

Miller says she finds youth group leaders attracted to the Junior Angler program because of the positive on the children they mentor.

11—They do want to have a positive outlet for their energies and enthusiasm and, kids just love it. So, this is something that they can do to steer kids in the right direction.

The Sport Fish Restoration Program supports our series and works to increase fishing and boating opportunities in Texas.

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

Accessible Coastal Angling

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

This is Passport to Texas

All Texans deserve reasonable access to coastal fishing opportunities, regardless of their physical abilities.

04—This is Texas and Texans love to fish; and we want to make sure that everybody can fish.

Jim Suydam (sue-DAM) press secretary at the Texas General Land Office, says mobility impaired Texas anglers shouldn’t let concern over beach access stop them from casting a line in Gulf waters.

16—I think people would be amazed to find how easy it really is. Some people may be intimidated to think that it would be harder to access the beach if they have a disability. But I think if they look at how most Texans go to the beach, that you can just drive up and find a nice spot– it’s really very easy.

Although the ADA doesn’t apply to the coast, the state follows its accessibility guidelines because it’s the right thing to do.

25—It’s important in the mix for us when we’re looking at a city’s beach access plan, that we make sure that there is adequate vehicular access as well as pedestrian access. Also, we work to funnel grant monies to areas that will provide special ADA dune walkovers; that’s an important part of the mix. And we’ve put those in, in surfside and in Sea Rim State Park – some of the most popular parks in Texas for fishers.

Find information at

The Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program support our series… providing funding for the operations and management of Sea Center Texas.

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

Safety In Snake Country

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

This is Passport to Texas

Now that spring has arrived, you’ll spend more time outdoors. When you do, my advice is to literally watch your step.

:07—Probably most people who spend any amount of time hiking in Texas have been within arm’s reach of a diamondback and never knew it.

Andy Gluesenkamp is a herpetologist with Texas Parks and Wildlife. Don’t let what he just said about the big, scary venomous Western Diamondback Rattlesnake, which happens to be deadliest snake in North America, keep you locked up indoors.

:07—Diamondbacks would by and large much prefer to avoid contact than get in some sort of fisticuffs with a large animal like a human.

These snakes play defense. They usually hang out in the vicinity of fallen logs, brush piles, and rocks. If they think you don’t see them, they’ll lie perfectly still and let you do a Dionne Warwick and walk on by.

:14—If they feel threatened by you, the first thing that they’ll do is buzz that rattle. [SFX—western Diamondback Rattling]. On rare occasions when somebody reaches their hands into a crevice, or is picking up firewood and grabs a snake or steps on a snake—then they’re going to react violently. And that’s when people tend to get bitten.

So, avoid doing what he said. You’ll be glad you did, or rather, didn’t. Find more information about snakes on the Texas Parks and Wildlife Website.

Support for Passport to Texas comes from the Wildlife Restoration program…working to restore native habitat in Texas.

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

State Parks: Safe Camping in Spring

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

This is Passport to Texas

Spring is here, wildflowers are blooming, and you are ready to spend some serious time outside—and we encourage you to do so as often possible. Before you head out the door, our State Park Guide, Bryan Frazier offers the following advice:

61—A little bit of precaution might be in order, because you’re not the only residents of Texas who are anxious to get out and around. And even though we don’t have a large population of bears in Texas that would hibernate, we do have things like snakes that will be moving around for the first time in along, long, time as well—so keep that in mind. Basically, that translates into some common sense safety. When you pitch your tent—look around—see if there’s any debris. If there is, move it and move it carefully so you’re not exposing yourself [to problems] when you lift up big rocks or big logs or things like that. Same thing on the trail. Exercise some caution. Clean up your campsite. Don’t leave food scraps around. Don’t leave piles of laundry [lying around] or your tent open, and allow these things to get in there. Because they’re going to look for places for cover for when it gets maybe a little cooler at night. So use some basic campground safety, hiking safety so that those other critters that are out in the woods for the first time now, can know you’re

Thanks, Bryan.

That’s our show for today…with funding provided by Chevrolet…building dependable, reliable trucks for more than 90 years.

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

Paying Fines and Restitution

Monday, April 18th, 2011

This is Passport to Texas

Civil Restitution laws were passed by Texas legislature to make individuals accountable for illegally injuring, killing, or possessing a wildlife resource.

If someone’s convicted of illegally taking one of these resources, we ask them to pay for it. We even offer them a discount if they pay it early.

Kris Bishop, Assistant Chief of Fisheries Enforcement for Law Enforcement.

If they don’t pay it, they passed a law in 1998 that anybody that was in arrears to the state that they would not be able to get a hunting of fishing license, and thereby punishing them. If you don’t pay, then you can’t play anymore. If they don’t pay, then we’ll put a hold on their license and they’re not able to buy a license to go hunting or fishing.

These laws were put in effect conserve animals and create collective consciousness among the citizens of Texas. Of course, there are consequences for those who hunt without a license or have outstanding unpaid fines.

To kinda give that law a little bit of teeth, because a lot of people just say ‘Well then I don’t buy a license- what’s the worse that’s going to happen to me?’ Well, instead of having just your regular Class C misdemeanor, which is a fine of $25-$500, it’s been moved up to a Class A. So it’s a lot more severe penalty for doing that if you’ve had your license suspended already.

Details about Civil Restitution can be found on the Texas Parks & Wildlife website.

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