Archive for January, 2013

Angling: Using the Fishing Forecast

Thursday, January 24th, 2013

Neighborhood Fishing

Neighborhood Fishing

This is Passport to Texas

Texas Parks and Wildlife magazine’s February digital fishing special offers freshwater and saltwater fishing forecasts compiled by Steve Lightfoot.

07— You won’t catch anything if you don’t go. The only way you can determine for certain that you will or will not catch anything is by casting a line.

Lightfoot, a wildlife & fisheries information specialist, used input from fisheries biologists to craft the forecast. He said for the best success — you can’t go wrong with rainbow trout.

16— Our community fishing lakes and some of the other hot spots around the state that we stock in winter with rainbow trout, offer a wonderful opportunity to take novices out… children… families…. These fish are stocked with the purpose and intent for people to go catch them, take them home, and eat them.

Lightfoot recommends using the fishing forecast as a planning guide…especially for coastal angling.

22— If you’re planning a trip to the coast, you want to make sure that you’ve got as much information as you can so that you can prepare for what species are most abundant. For example, our biologists are seeing a lot of black drum, a lot of sand trout showing up in our bay systems. So, these are overlooked species
that anglers should possibly try and target if they’re planning a trip to the coast.

Find the forecast in Texas Parks and Wildlife magazine’s digital fishing special online this month at

The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series…and funds rainbow trout stocking in Texas… For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Angling: Fishing Forecast 2013

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

Largemouth Bass

Largemouth Bass

This is Passport to Texas

Anglers may not have a crystal ball to tell them where the best fishing is, but they have the next best thing.

02—Our fisheries biologists are a great deal of help.

Steve Lightfoot is a wildlife & fisheries information specialist with Parks and Wildlife; his article on the late winter/early spring fishing forecast appears in TPW magazine’s February digital fishing issue. He says fisheries biologists assess three areas when making their predictions.

29— One are the creel surveys they conduct at boat launches and around fishing areas where they talk to anglers and ask them what their catches were. The other is their own surveys, using mostly gill netting and other nets that they collect out in the water. They identify the fish and they go through algorithms and so forth, and come up something called a biomass. And a biomass is how healthy the fish populations [are] and what types of fish are at each lake.
The third element is their knowledge and experience. Most of these guys are anglers, too, so they have some input as well.

Lightfoot adds there’s good news for anglers.

10— The good news is most of our fish populations are in healthy condition. There are over a hundred lakes where you can go out and expect to have a reasonably good opportunity to catch a variety of different species.

But you’ll never know unless you go. How to use the fishing forecast to your best advantage on tomorrow’s show.

The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series… For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

TPW Magazine: Digital Fishing Issue 2013

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

Lake Walter E. Long, from

Lake Walter E. Long, from

This is Passport to Texas supported by the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program

It’s a New Year, and with it comes new opportunities to go fishing. You’re in luck, too, because Texas Parks and Wildlife magazine’s February Digital Fishing Special is available online now. Editor Louie Bond.

63—Last year we tried out a brand new product: a digital fishing special. We had such great success with it that we went on to do a hunting one last fall. So, now as we come around again to February, where we don’t have a print edition, we’ve got another special treat for everyone out there, which is our spring fishing guide. And it’s both saltwater and freshwater this year, and it’s available to everyone – not just magazine subscribers. So, if you come to you can read it there for free. And this year it will include a forecast by our own Steve Lightfoot on those saltwater and freshwater fish. He’s talked to all of our biologists who spend all their time figuring this stuff out. So, it’s really good info from our experts. Larry Hodge will take us out on the hot spot for winter fishing – power plant lakes. He’ll also take us fishing for crappie on Lake Conroe. John Jefferson is going to follow the white bass spawn upstream for some really hot fishing there – and there’s a stream-by-stream report with that. And Karl Wolfshohl is going to take us down to the coast for some surf fishing for trout. And on top of all that we’ll have some great recipes to cook up all those fish to enjoy all year long.

Thanks, Louie.

The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program Program supports our series and is funded by your purchase of fishing and hunting equipment and motor boat fuels.

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

State Parks: Hiking in Parks

Monday, January 21st, 2013

Hiking in State Parks

This is Passport to Texas

More people are heading to state parks to hike. And our state park Guide Bryan Frazier says, that’s a good thing, because Texas state parks do not disappoint.

44— Our state park visitor surveys say that hiking and hiking trails is the number one amenity and activity sought after when people show up at a state park. That’s what they want to do. And by hiking that can be whatever outdoor recreation is to you: a leisurely walk with your children on a paved hiking trail that has no slope – we have that. We also have more challenging hikes that go into the mile high mountain ranges in far west Texas – like the Davis Mountains State Park, and those kinds of hikes. So, whether it’s a leisurely, relaxing hike, whether it’s a challenging hike – you can find it in a state park. The unique thing about a state park system is – it’s for the people. Get out and see the beauty, the serenity, and hiking might just be the best way to do that.

Thanks, Bryan.

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.

The Next 50 Years at TPWD

Friday, January 18th, 2013

Carter Smith © Lynn McBride, the Nature Conservancy

Carter Smith © Lynn McBride, the Nature Conservancy

This is Passport to Texas

When the State Parks Board and the Texas Game and Fish Commission merged fifty years ago, hope and anxiety ran high. Today, the wisdom of that union is certain, as are the challenges ahead.

08— We’re going to have many challenges ahead in the next fifty years, just as we have had them in the past fifty years. We’ve tackled them all head on, and this will be no different.

Carter Smith, Texas Parks and Wildlife Executive Director, says the agency will continue to deal with the day-to-day and the crises as they arise.

31—None of that’s going to change. But the real battle…the real fight for us is going to be for the hearts and minds of Texans that aren’t even born yet. We serve a state that’s been urban for sixty years, but in the future it’s going to be even more urban, even more diverse, and it’s going to be ever more populated by fellow citizens who have even less of a direct connection to the places that we steward on their behalf.

The agency’s challenge is to make support of Texas’ environmental and cultural legacy meaningful.

08— And to establish connections to help foster that desire to get out and explore the wonders and beauties of our lands and waters.

Connect with the outdoors, and share it with others. Get started on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

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