Archive for January, 2016

TPW TV: Richland Creek

Friday, January 22nd, 2016
Richaland Creek WMA Team

Richaland Creek WMA Team

This is Passport to Texas

To work for twenty years on one project and see it go from a design on paper to over 2,000 acres of wetlands, functioning as designed is extremely rewarding.

Jeff Gunnels, with the Middle Trinity River Ecosystem Project, leads a Texas Parks and Wildlife team that reconstructed wetlands in the Richland Creek Wildlife management area; wildlife biologist, Matthew Symmank.

We pump water from the Trinity River into a series of sediment basins and then we flow it through a series of wetland cells. The wetland plant community and the wetlands themselves act as a filter, filtering out the nutrients.

Gunnels said algae blooms would occur if that water flowed directly into a reservoir.

So, we’re using those wetlands to take up those nutrients and clean this water, and that water is re-lifted into the Richland Chambers Reservoir and ultimately pumped back to the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex.

The ecosystem project provides clean drinking water to the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex and to wildlife. And that creates outstanding hunting opportunities, says wildlife technician Edwin Bowman.

For the average public hunter that comes in, they see it and they’re like, “Man, it looks amazing”. Just knowing how much time behind the scenes it takes to make it look amazing is pretty cool, how much work and sweat and dedication we have out here.

The Wildlife Restoration Program supports our series.

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

Borrowing Tackle via the Tackle Loaner Program

Thursday, January 21st, 2016
His first fish at Lake Arrowhead.

His first fish at Lake Arrowhead.

This is Passport to Texas

It’s winter, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go fishing. In fact, winter is the only time Texas Parks and Wildlife stocks rainbow trout. Plus, when you fish at Texas State Parks, fishing is free. You’re new to angling and don’t have tackle? No problem.

Many of our state parks that have water for fishing, have fishing poles that people can borrow.

Caleb Harris is an aquatic education training specialist. He says it’s easy to borrow rods, reels and tackle boxes with hooks, sinkers and bobbers.

 [Just] sign a paper that says they’ll bring the fishing poles back, and they can borrow the fishing poles for up to a week, sometimes, as they’re camping in the park. Or, if they just come for the day, they can borrow them and return them back to the park.

You are responsible for your own bait, but I hear rainbow trout bite on most anything; so load your hook with pieces of your picnic lunch. Nothing is easier than fishing for free in state parks with borrowed tackle.

 If people are interested in getting into fishing, we try to make that accessible as much as possible.

Find state parks with fishing opportunities, tackle loaner programs, and fishing classes when you log onto the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

This project and our show were funded in part by a grant from the Sport Fish Restoration Program.

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

Neighborhood Fishin’

Wednesday, January 20th, 2016
Neighborhood Fishin'

Reel in some fun with Neighborhood Fishin’

This is Passport to Texas

We think it’s a valuable thing for people to be connected with fishing and the outdoors, and we’d like to facilitate that connection.

Aquatic education training specialist, Caleb Harris, says the neighborhood fishin’ program is one of many ways Texas Parks and Wildlife facilitates that connection between people and nature.

Every metropolitan center has a neighborhood fihin’ pond. And all those locations are on the [Texas Parks and Wildlife] website.

He’s referring to the Texas Parks and Wildlife website. This time of year, the inland fisheries division stocks neighborhood fishin’ ponds with rainbow trout. Harris says although spending time with family and friends catching fish is fun, something deeper takes place among those who connect with the outdoors.

When people are connected to the outdoors in a way that they enjoy it – like fishing – they become stewards of it. They want to protect it. Conserve it. Be good users of it.

Find places to fish, as well as tackle loaner locations, learn to fish classes, and information on various species of fish when you log onto the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

This project and are show is funded in part by a grant from the Sport Fish Restoration Program.

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

History in the Franklin Mountains

Tuesday, January 19th, 2016
Sotol, yucca and other desert plants cover the hillsides at Mundy’s Gap.. Photo Credit: Chase Fountain

Sotol, yucca and other desert plants cover the hillsides at Mundy’s Gap. Photo Credit: Chase Fountain

This is Passport to Texas

When you think of mountains, do you think of El Paso?

Probably people don’t think of Texas as having mountains. And if they do, they think that they’re in Big Bend. But here, the Franklin Mountains are a pretty, sizable, impressive mountain range worth visiting. And, they’re right there in the city, and really easy to get to.

Melissa Gaskill visited El Paso and Franklin Mountains SP, and wrote about it for the current issue of Texas Parks and Wildlife magazine. The mountains have a rich geologic history—as mountains do—dating back to the Precambrian era; woven into that history… are the human stories.

 I do love the fact that there’s really rich history there. It’s not far from Hueco Tanks, which has that really cool rock art. There’s some rock art in this park as well, although it’s not as easy to find. El Paso is a pass between these mountains that people have been passing through for thousands of years. So, it’s also pretty cool people-history-wise.

Not everyone has mountains in their backyards, but El Pasoans do, and Gaskill hopes they explore them.

It’s literally looming over them. I don’t know how many of them take advantage of it, but I hope that maybe this article will encourage more of them to do so. Because it’s so close and it’s so cool. There’s so much there to offer, and they don’t have to drive too far to enjoy [it].

Read the article, Views Around Every Bend, by Melissa Gaskill in the January/February issue of Texas Parks and Wildlife magazine.

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

TPW Magazine: Franklin Mountains State Park

Monday, January 18th, 2016
Texas, Wyler Aerial Tramway State Park in the Franklin Mountains above El Paso, gondola. Photo credit: Laurence Parent

Wyler Aerial Tramway, Franklin Mountains above El Paso,  Photo credit: Laurence Parent

This is Passport to Texas

Franklin Mountains State Park shares similarities to the Big Bend region, minus the isolation.

It’s big, and it’s a desert type environment, and it’s mountains and it’s remote. If you hike into the basin and up into the mountains and get away from the city, you’re out in sort of a wilderness; you can really get away from it all. And within 30 minutes you can go get a soda at a drive-through. Or a hamburger. [laughs]

Melissa Gaskill wrote about the park for the current issue of Texas Parks and Wildlife magazine. She says the park’s Wyler Ariel Tramway gives visitors a four-minute trip past 600 million years of geologic history; including some very old rocks.

Precambrian rock—more than a billion year old—that’s from the formation of the earth, pretty much. And then uplifts and faults exposed these. If you’re into geology, it’s a definite must for your bucket list.

Gaskill says once on the mountain there are plenty of hiking trails from which to choose.

I was astonished to find out how much hiking there is in the park—and how big the park is. It’s 37 square miles. And there’s more than 125 miles of trails. I really only scratched the surface—I’d love to go back and do more. But given that, I felt that hiking was the thing to do there.

Melissa Gaskill is back tomorrow.

That’s our show for today… Funding provided in part by Ram Trucks. Guts. Glory. Ram

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