Archive for February, 2013

Wildlife: The Great Texas Birding Classic, 2

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

The Great Texas Birding Classic 2013 Poster

The Great Texas Birding Classic 2013 Poster

This is Passport to Texas

Texas provides important habitat for species migrating throughout the US and North America. The annual Great Texas Birding Classic – April 15th through May 15th –raises money to conserve that habitat.

09—By paying entry fees, by getting a sponsor for your team, you are donating money to grants that we’re going to award for habitat projects here in our state.

Shelly Plant nature tourism manager for Texas Parks and Wildlife, says the tournament is statewide this year, with an expanded date range, creating new opportunities for birders.

30—We have made this so easy for anyone, anywhere in the state to participate by going statewide. You can now go in your backyard; you can go down the street to your favorite park. You could travel wherever you wanted and you can do this anywhere. In addition, by having it opened up from April 15 to May 15, and your pick whatever day you want to participate, it makes it very easy to blend with whatever your schedule is. So, hopefully, we’ll have more teams than ever before, which means more registration fees, which means larger grants than we’ve ever given, which is better for the birds.

There are tournaments for all ages, interests, and abilities…and registration fees are lower than they’ve ever been.

06—So, hopefully, by taking these steps, we’ve made this as easy as possible for anyone who likes biding or birds to get out here and participate in the birding classic.

The Great Texas Birding Classic is April 15 through May 15, and registration deadline is April 1st. Find details at

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

Birding: Great Texas Birding Classic

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

Birdwatching in Texas

Birdwatching in Texas

This is Passport to Texas

What started 17 years ago as a way for Texas Parks and Wildlife to promote its Coastal Birding Trails and fund conservation projects, the Great Texas Birding Classic has since become one of the country’s premier birding tournaments.

08—The birding classic allows you to test your skills and see how you rank against other birders here, in one of the best birding locations in the world.

Shelly Plante oversees nature tourism for the agency. Once held exclusively along the Texas coast, this year the tournament is statewide.

07—You can now go in your backyard; you can go down the street to your favorite park; you can travel wherever you wanted, and you can do this anywhere.

The Birding classic has also expanded the date range.

29—For the first time ever, we’re having a very long range of dates for the tournament: from April 15th through May 15th. You get to pick what day you participate. You can pick that based on the weather, on your team’s schedules –whatever works for you. In the past we designated specific days for a tournament, and everybody had to compete on those specific days regardless of weather. Well, now, you can watch weather patterns. And if there’s affront that going to ground some birds and make it a great day for birding, you can go out on that day.

More in the Birding Classic tomorrow.

That’s our show for today…with support from the Wildlife and Sport fish Restoration Program…providing funding for a variety of conservation projects throughout Texas.

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

50th Anniversary: Share Your Memories

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

This is Passport to Texas

Help Texas Parks and Wildlife celebrate 50 years of making life better outside by sharing your favorite Texas outdoor stories, as well as your outdoor photos and videos – from long ago or yesterday.

Everything is better when you share it; upload photos that show how Texas Parks and Wildlife has touched your life. It could be a special moment at a Texas State Park, your child’s first fish, or that 30-year-old snapshot of hunting with your granddad.

Tell us your story, from the past or present, and you could be featured on the Passport to Texas radio series, the PBS Television Show, and our YouTube channel. We’ll select the most compelling stories and send out a producer to capture them.

We’ll curate our favorite photos and share them on our website and social media outlets. We hope to end up with the biggest scrapbook of outdoor memories in Texas!

We have directions online describing how to label your photos, videos and stories when you send them to us.

All photographs must be your own work and you must own the right to distribute the image. You must have the consent of those whose faces are visible in the image, too.

Log onto…… forward slash…the number fifty … years…and start sharing your memories of the Great Texas outdoors today.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…Cecilia Nasti

Parks/Angling: Lake Raven for Bass Fishing

Monday, February 18th, 2013

Hunstville State Park's Lake Raven

Hunstville State Park’s Lake Raven

This is Passport to Texas

Largemouth bass fishing reigns supreme in Texas; while most anglers choose to cast in big lakes like Amistad, our SP Guide, Bryan Frazier tells us smaller State Park lakes, like Lake Raven, might surprise you.

53— Lake Raven, only 210 acres, inside Huntsville State Park – very scenic — was rated as the number one bass lake for bass in the 14 to 17-inch size. And one of the top overall lakes that was done in the study for all year. It gets overlooked a lot. Lake Raven is just one example. Bass fishing in Texas is legendary; it is maybe the model fishery for the rest of the United States. And the inland fisheries department here does a fantastic job with that. And it’s a good marriage with state parks, because of all the other recreation. And Huntsville SP, where Lake Raven is, has lots of other things to offer. From miles and miles of trails to horseback riding – you can rent horses there – and lots of different things. But the fishing…Lake Raven really is a shining star; smaller bodies of water can oftentimes have great fishing, too. And state parks – when you’re inside a state park, no one even needs a fishing license, with the free fishing in state parks, And Lake raven is one of them. But bass fishing in Texas is king, and Lake Raven is at the top of the list.

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.

Wildlife: Inventories and Surveys

Friday, February 15th, 2013

Sierra Diablo WMA, Image © Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

Sierra Diablo WMA, Image © Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

This is passport to Texas

Not all surveys are conducted over the telephone in the middle of your dinner hour. Baseline surveys conducted by wildlife biologists take place at wildlife management areas, over time.

13 – We conduct baseline inventories and surveys on the wildlife management areas, first of all so that we can understand and have a catalog of the different types of vegetation that grow there, the different types of animals that grow there, and what the habitat are that help support those animals.

Dennis Gissell is facilities coordinator for the state’s 49 Wildlife Management areas, or Wildlife management Areas.

10—After we do the baseline inventory we do regular follow-up monitoring of those populations to determine how they’re doing. And compare that to habitat conditions and what we can do to help make it better.

After the data is collected and analyzed, management recommendations for the Wildlife Management Areas are established and implemented. This type of active stewardship may include hunting to improve conditions.

14—Hunting provides a valuable tool in terms of population control for different wildlife species. Various game species can produce to the extent that their populations exceed the capacity of the habitat to support them. And so that’s why hunting is an important component.

That’s our show…funded by the Wildlife Restoration Program… helping to fund the operations and management of more than 49 wildlife management areas.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…Cecilia Nasti