Archive for May, 2018

Humane Handling of Caught Fish

Thursday, May 31st, 2018

How to handle fish once you get them home.

This is Passport to Texas

Like to fish? Then you should know this Saturday, June second, is Free Fishing Day in Texas.

People don’t need a fishing license to fish on that first Saturday in June.

Great news, right? Former Texas Parks and Wildlife aquatic training specialist, Caleb Harris, says when you reel in a fish you intend to keep, there is a humane way to dispatch your catch before it becomes dinner.

Most people say that the kindest way to care for a fish that you want to keep [for dinner] is to put it on ice as fast as possible.

The cold temperature, says Harris, causes the fish’s bodily functions to slow down…way down.

The ice will anesthetize it; it’ll be virtually painless at that cold temperature; the fish will get cold and will slowly pass. So, yeah. If you have a boat, and you have the ability to bring an ice chest, you know—catch the fish—if you intend to keep it, make sure it’s a legal size, and put it right on ice.

When you get the fish home, you’ll want to immediately filet it and either cook it up right away, or freeze it.

Find a video on how to filet fish, and a link to information on the best way to freeze fish at

The Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti

Free Fishing Day: Cost Effective Family Fun

Wednesday, May 30th, 2018

Family Fishing Fun on Free Fishing Day, June 2, 2018

This is Passport to Texas

Karen Marks says Free Fishing Day on June 2nd lets you try fishing before spending money on a license and gear.

So, this is a great day, because you don’t have to invest in a fishing license. And, if you go to one of our site that has a tackle loaner program—we have over 90 sites across the state. So you can go fishing without making the big investment of a license or gear. Try it out. See if you like it. And, hopefully you do. And then you’ll come back and buy a fishing license and go out and buy some gear.

Marks, aquatic education manager for Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, says manufacturers collect a 10 percent excise tax on fishing gear that’s earmarked for conservation programs, including fish stocking. On June 1st, neighborhood fishin’ ponds will be stocked with catfish for you to reel in and take home on June 2.

The neighborhood fishing parks do have different bag limits, so you’ll have to look at the signs in the park and see what those are. And then check your outdoor annual—you can look at the book or look at the online app—and check out what the regulations are for where you’re fishing. Because there are length limits and bag limits that apply. Well, fingers crossed we get some new anglers out of this. Yes, I hope so; that would be great.

All the fun without all the expense. Free Fishing Day is June 2. Learn more on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

The Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife, Cecilia Nasti.

Start Summer with Free Fishing Day June 2nd

Tuesday, May 29th, 2018

Take the family fishing on Free Fishing Day June 2, 2018.

This is Passport to Texas

What better way to celebrate the beginning of summer break than to take the family fishing. And there’s no better day than Saturday June 2nd: Free Fishing Day.

Free fishing day is a day when no one needs a license on any public waters.

Karen Marks is the aquatic education manager for Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

A lot of our state parks already have free fishing in the parks any time of the year. But this Free Fishing Day, Saturday June 2nd is a day where you can go anywhere in the state of Texas, and go fishing without a license. [Cecilia] So, are we talking freshwater and saltwater, Karen?  [Karen] That’s correct: freshwater and saltwater.

The timing of Free Fishing Day couldn’t be better this year. Karen explains.

I was looking at our stocking schedule –so you can check the fishing reports and the stocking schedules online—but, I noticed that at our neighborhood fishing parks that are regularly stocked, April through November with Catfish, one of the stocking dates is June first—which is the day before the Free Fishing Day—so your catch rate ought to be pretty good.

Find information on free Fishing Day and Neighborhood Fishin’ ponds on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

The Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife, Cecilia Nasti.

Equitable Access to Nature for Everyone

Monday, May 28th, 2018
AmeriCorps VISTA, Carli Herz

AmeriCorps VISTA, Carli Herz

This is Passport to Texas

Carli Herz received her Masters’ degree from the School for International Training based in Brattleboro Vermont while working as a Texas Parks and Wildlife Americorps VISTA Volunteer.

I’m in the second year of my program, and I was looking for a hands on practical experience to fulfill the field work portion of my grad program. I was focusing on sustainable development and training. When I was looking for jobs, the Texas Children in Nature position came up, and it fit really well with my long-term career goals and then my short-term goal of finishing grad school. And it [dovetailed] with my personal and philosophical goals of connecting kids to nature; so I ended up down here in Texas.

She’s working with the Texas Children in Nature program to create equitable access to nature for everyone—no matter their socioeconomic status or where they live.

Because we’re finding families that are in the urban core don’t have [easy] access to green spaces like some people might who live in the country, or Hill Country. And it’s not just the access to nature, either. It’s access to the knowledge of nature; being comfortable and confident in going out into nature. So, it’s creating that access not only to being able to get out to these green spaces, but it’s also getting equitable access to the knowledge and the resources so parents and teachers also feel comfortable leading their kinds in these nature experiences.

Find information about the Texas Children in Nature program on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

That’s our show…. brought to you in part by Ram trucks: built to serve.

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

TPW TV — Hands on Habitat

Friday, May 25th, 2018

TPW TV Preview — Hands on Habitat

This is Passport to Texas

Healthy aquatic habitat means good fishing.

We are at Lake Cypress Springs to construct some artificial fish habitat structures.

Fisheries biologist Tim Bister works to enhance declining aquatic habitat.

There is not a lot of structure for fish like largemouth bass or sunfish to relate to underneath the water. And fish need habitat structure in general. Even in reservoirs that left timber standing, over time that timber in the water breaks down and the habitat for fish declines, so we’re at a point where we really need to start doing something with these reservoirs to improve fish habitat.

With supervision from Texas Parks and Wildlife, anglers Kody Corrin and Calvin Lamont, installed artificial habitat of PVC pipes in the lake.

We love fishing, but we both understand that without conservation of the lakes, we are not going to be able to do that. So it is on our part to make sure we help take care of that, take care of the resource that provides our recreation.

Structure is important, but so is food. Rick Ott manages a native aquatic plant nursery at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center.

The vegetation is producing food that invertebrates consume, small fish consume the invertebrates, bigger fish eat the smaller fish, and we eat the bigger fish.

Learn about artificial fish habitat next week on the Texas Parks and Wildlife TV series on PBS.

Check your local listings.

The Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife, Cecilia Nasti.