Archive for May, 2012

Boat Ramps

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

This is Passport to Texas

Safely getting your boat into the water is just as important as navigating it once on the water. The Sport Fish Restoration Act levies federal taxes on fishing equipment, which in turn is used, in part, to provide boaters easier access to Texas waters.

As a person shops for boating equipment, the agency is reinvesting that tax investment that the consumer made back into facilities that they can use to enjoy recreational boating.

SF restoration funds totaling in the millions of dollars, have helped build and maintain public launching ramps throughout the state.

The way that’s accomplished is Texas Parks and Wildlife has a program that provides local assistance to local governments for the construction of new ramps. This program provides a 75% matching assistance to local governments for the construction of public boat ramps.

Sponsors must provide the land, legal access, a 25% match share, and accept operation and maintenance responsibility for at least 25 years.

And for the investment—everyone has better, safer access and more fun on Texas waters.

That’s our show for today: Made possible by the Wildlife and Sport fish Restoration program in Texas. It’s funded by your purchase of fishing and hunting equipment and motorboat fuels.

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

Staying Safe on the Water

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

This is Passport to Texas

If you plan on operating a boat this summer—or any time—get to know items important to keep on board for safety while underway.

13—You should have a sound producing device, and you should have a life jacket for person that’s on board. If you’re boating at night, you should have the proper lights—that are working—and we suggest a first aid kit.

Tim Spice, manager of boater education for Parks and Wildlife, says anyone born on or after September 1, 1993 is required to take boater education.

21—We cover lots of different things, including safety aspects of boating; the different types of vessel you may have; the rules of the road; the required equipment. Again, everyone on board a vessel needs to have a life jacket that’s accessible. We define what accessible means by law so that you don’t get in trouble when you’re on the water and a game warden stops to give you a boating safety check.

In addition, filing a float plan that tells folks on shore where you’ll be and when you plan to return will be vital if an emergency occurs while you’re on the water. Operating a boat has a different set of rules than driving a vehicle.

10—There’s no lines on the road; there’s no speed limits, per se. There are different signs and things you have to look out for that are very different than you would in your car.

By taking a boating safety course—which you can do online or in a classroom setting—you’ll learn what those rules.

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.

Know Boating Rules

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

This is Passport to Texas

Last year, low lake levels from the drought kept boats and other watercraft in dry dock most of the summer… but thanks to spring rains…

02—We have a lot more water now, so the lakes have changed.

That’s good news as we approach Memorial Day weekend —the unofficial start of summer boating season.

More water means easier, safer navigation of lakes, says Tim Spice, manager of boater education for Parks and Wildlife. Being savvy about safety also keeps everyone protected when on the water.

31—We can identify two major factors that you as a boater can affect in how you operate a vessel, and the things that you do in and around the water. One is wear a life jacket. Eighty percent of those people that die from falling in the water would be alive if they had a life jacket on. And then the second thin you can do is to not drink alcohol. Alcohol affects your judgment, and you can lose your driver’s license—your vehicle driver’s license—the court can take that away from you if you are found guilty of boating while intoxicated.

On tomorrow’s show the rules of the road as they pertain to boating, and what items you need to have on board before setting sail.

07—The rules on the road are all designed based on the type of vessel and the maneuverability of the vessel.

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

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

TPW Magazine June Preview

Monday, May 21st, 2012

This is Passport to Texas

Summer has arrived—at least when it comes to the June edition of Texas Parks and Wildlife magazine. Editor Louie Bond is here to offer a peek inside the issue, and offers a glimpse of ten state park hidden gems and a boatload of coastal fishing fun.

51—We’re going to go out fishing with one of our favorite newspaper columnists, David Sykes. He’s going to take us out in search of flounder. And along the way, tell us how flounder are doing. We’re also going to take a look at sea turtles. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love sea turtles—and certainly we do, too. And Rusty Middleton is going to take a look at how sea turtles are doing these days. And then our own Rob McCorkle, is going to take a look ten hidden gems—parks that aren’t as iconic and maybe aren’t as well knows as Garner, Palo Duro, or Enchanted Rock, but these are wonderful places where it might be easier to get reservations. You may be able to participate in things that you had no idea even occurred. They may even be in your own backyard. So we want to shine the light on some great parks that you might now have heard of. But the main thing in June is just to get outside; the kids are out of school, so it’s time to go out and explore Texas State Parks.

Thanks, Louie.

Find more stories about the great Texas outdoors at

The Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program supports our series.

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

Bastrop State Park is Open Again!

Friday, May 18th, 2012

This is Passport to Texas

Nobody will forget the Central Texas wildfires of 2011; they burned tens of thousands of acres of land including nearly all of Bastrop State Park, in the Lost Pines region. Our state park guide, Bryan Frasier says, you can’t keep a good park down.

57—Everything in Bastrop State park is open again, and it’s ahead of schedule. All of the CCC built cabins, the dining hall and refectory and the swimming pool. The campgrounds are also open, because the utility lines, the water, electric and sewer hookups—those were all saved. And so, we’re able to get those back online. Those campgrounds are open; the trails are open. And we’re planning a grand opening and celebration, about the anniversary for the fire for Labor Day, so we want people to stay tuned for that. We’ll do a big ribbon cutting and a grand re-opening of the park. But right now we want to let people know that Bastrop State Park is open and it looks great! The staff out there has done a great job—it’s taken a lot of state park volunteers to make that park look good. And people can hike on the trails and stay in the cabins and bring their RVs to our full hook-up campsites out there, and once again enjoy the incredible destination that is Bastrop State park.

Thanks Bryan. Make reservations when you log onto

That’s our show for today…with funding provided by Chevrolet, supporting outdoor recreation in Texas; because there’s life to be done.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife I’m Cecilia Nasti.