Archive for July, 2017

Summer Neighborhood Fishin’ Means Catfish

Monday, July 31st, 2017


This is Passport to Texas

It’s catfish stocking season in Texas, and thanks to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Neighborhood Fishin’ program families won’t have to travel outside of the city to catch them.

Parks and Wildlife’s Inland fisheries Department began stocking catchable-sized catfish this spring in 18 Neighborhood Fishin’ lakes in Texas’ metro areas.

The Neighborhood Fishin’ program encourages people to get involved in the outdoors by creating fun, convenient, and close-to-home opportunities where families can catch fish anytime they are ready to go.

Each of the lakes will receive continuous stockings of channel catfish every two weeks through early November—with a brief pause in August. The stocking schedule ensures families looking to spend quality time fishing together outdoors can do so conveniently.

These urban area parks are the easiest places in Texas for families to catch a fish close to home. Eighty-five percent of us live near one of these small lakes and ponds. By making fishing accessible, we’re helping create a whole new generation of anglers.

To find the Neighborhood Fishin’ pond near you or to sign up for email updates, visit

The Sportfish Restoration Program Supports our series.

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

Creel Surveys

Friday, July 28th, 2017
Creel Survey on Lake Conroe

Creel Survey on Lake Conroe

This is Passport to Texas

If you’re fishing on one of Texas many lakes, don’t be surprised if some friendly Texas Parks and Wildlife fisheries technicians greet you on the water.

Hi, I’m Mike, and this is Carl, and today we’re going to be doing a creel survey. [boat motor]

Mike Gore and Carl Vignali conduct creel surveys on Texas lakes. During a recent survey on Lake Conroe, they checked in with anglers regarding the length of time they’d been on the water, the fish they were targeting, as well as the number of fish they had caught.

[Mike] We’re just conducting an angler survey. [Carl] We’re with Parks and Wildlife. We’re doing some angler surveys. You mind answering some questions? [Mike] Our creels are four hours each. The sections of the lake and the time that the creels are done, are generated at random. We either go clockwise, or counter-clockwise that day. We do a flip of a coin to see which way we’re going to go—and that’s the way we go.

Mike and Carl continue going clockwise or counter clockwise per the coin flip decision for the remainder of the creel survey.

With all that data that we compile, we can come up with a management plan for the lake.

Including harvest regulations, size limits, and obtaining funding for boat ramps.

The sport fish restoration program supports our series, and provides funding for boat ramps in Texas.

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

Beach Makeover

Thursday, July 27th, 2017
Some makeovers just take heavier equipment than others.

Some makeovers just take heavier equipment than others.

This is Passport to Texas

People get makeovers to feel better about themselves. But when the beach at McFaddin National Wildlife Refuge got a makeover recently, it was to bring in sand to restore dunes to protect its freshwater marsh ecosystem.

The lack of a sand dune has allowed salt water to move up inside the marsh, here. And what we have now, with no dune, the water’s stacked and now it’s finding a way back out and eroding the bank here even more.

Refuge manager, Doug Head.

McFaddin Refuge is a 60,000 acre national wildlife refuge. Not only do we provide great hunting habitat, but we also provide sanctuaries for migratory birds that are moving south for the winter or coming back across the Gulf of Mexico for the springtime. [03 ambience]

Hurricane Rita in 2005 and Ike in 2008 wiped out McFaddin’s sand dunes, leaving miles of fragile marsh habitat unprotected. Texas General Land office Project Manager, Kelly Brooks.

So, we have freshwater wetlands right on top of beach. So now anytime we have any kind of tidal surges, they create wash over events into the marshes.

The reconstructed dunes will serve to protect the marsh at McFaddin National Wildlife Refuge from saltwater infiltration and degradation.

The Sport Fish restoration program supports our series.

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

Help Halt Aquatic Invasive Species

Wednesday, July 26th, 2017

This is Passport to Texas

You know how Smokey Bear says:

[Smokey Bear] Remember: only you can prevent forest fires.

He’s reminding us of our personal responsibility when we’re outdoors. It’s as true on the water as it is on the land.

Aquatic invasive species can quickly infect water bodies unless we take preventive measures. With summer boating season underway, Texas Parks and Wildlife asks boaters to help to stop the spread giant salvinia and zebra mussels which can travel from lake to lake on boats and trailers.

Boaters: “Clean, Drain and Dry” you boats, trailers, and gear every time you travel from one waterbody to another. A video on the TPW YouTube channel demonstrates the proper steps.

First, inspect the boat, trailer and gear. Clean off any vegetation, mud or foreign objects that you find. Second, pull the plug and drain all the water from the boat, including the motor, the bilge, live wells, and bait buckets before leaving the lake. Third, open all compartments and live wells and allow your boat, trailer and gear to completely dry for a week or more before entering another water body.

For complete instructions on how to clean, drain and dry your boat and trailer to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species, go to

The Sportfish Restoration Program Supports our series.

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

The Chaplain is In

Tuesday, July 25th, 2017


This is Passport to Texas

Scott McIntosh is Lead Chaplain for Texas Parks and Wildlife’s LE Division. He says game wardens reach out to him via email, text, phone calls and face-to-face.

The issues vary between family issues, stress issues, Interpersonal issues, peer-to-peer… It can be anything. And has been.

These peace officers, who refer to themselves as law enforcement off the pavement, have jobs that can put them in emotionally charged and dangerous situations.

Most of the time people that they run into are as armed, or even more armed, than they are. And so, they are trained and taught at dealing with these people. You don’t rush up on someone with a deer rifle while waving a gun.

No matter how well trained and composed they remain, exposure to daily tense situations can stay with a person; that’s why it’s good to have someone to talk to.

Although I don’t celebrate the fact that people have difficulties in life, I celebrate the fact tht they now have someone that they can call; I’m grateful that I’m that person.

Scott oversees five volunteer chaplains around the state who help game wardens who need it…to work through their difficulties.

I don’t have all the answers. But I’ve got plenty of care and love in my heart to deal with any many people as I can.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation supports our series and helps keep Texas wild with support of proud members across the state. Find out more at

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti