Archive for the 'Food' Category

Quail Conservation License Plate

Friday, June 29th, 2018

Conservation license plate supporting quail conservation in Texas.

This is Passport to Texas

As a teen, Kelly Thompson of Fort Worth, cherished time outdoors hunting quail with his friends. It usually involved walking with bird dogs through a variety of habitats, before ever seeing a bobwhite.

Sometimes you won’t see a quail all day.

Even when the young men never saw quail, Kelly says the fellowship and time in nature was worth it. As it is today.

Years ago, many people measured a successful hunt by how many birds you got in your bag. Today we measure success by how many birds you found—not at all how many you shot. As a matter of fact, we’re so much more thoughtful about the conservation aspects of quail than we are about the harvest of quail. It’s much more fun to find them than to shoot them.

Yet, quail are declining in Texas, and Kelly wants to reverse the trend. As a member of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Upland Game Bird Committee, he and others worked to get a quail license plate added to the conservation plate collection.

Specialty license plates cost $30; $22 would go to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation [through TPWD] for quail conservation efforts in Texas, including: habitat conservation, education and some small-scale habitat projects. The funds will be directed by a committee of representatives from quail-related organizations, and administered by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation.

View the new quail plate at conservationplates.org.

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

Crack Down on Illegal Fish Trade

Monday, June 25th, 2018

Texas Game Wardens are cracking down illegal fish trade in markets after nearly 20 area fish markets and restaurants were cited for buying illegal seafood. Image: KTRK

This is Passport to Texas

Houston has a dynamic culinary scene, where seafood is on the menu. In April, Texas Game Wardens wrapped up a two-year covert operation by issuing more than 150 citations to fish markets and restaurants in the Houston area that illegally purchased game fish from undercover officers.

Over the two year period, we approached approximately 40 businesses in the Houston area—restaurants and markets. And I think the final number was 19 purchased from us. So, about 50% purchased.

Captain Josh Koenig oversees the Game Warden’s Special Ops Criminal Investigations Division. During the two-year operation, wardens in plain clothes offered to sell more than a dozen different Texas saltwater species to seafood markets and restaurants along the upper Texas coast.

The black market fish market is definitely a global issue. The legal folks who are doing everything correct, it could put a damper on them; these illegal fish can change the market, and affect you then when you in turn go to buy fish. So, trying to slow down or stop the black market fish trade is a very high priority.

Wardens received tips from sources identifying businesses known to purchase fish under the table. They began approaching them using product seized from other cases. These covert investigations are ongoing.

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–Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame Honoree

Friday, June 15th, 2018

Texas Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame 2017 Honoree: Gulf States Toyota.

This is Passport to Texas

The Texas Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame honors individuals and organizations for their contributions to the sport. Gulf States Toyota is one such inductee.

Gulf States Toyota joined with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department in a private-public partnership to create the Toyota Texas Bass Classic, and also with the Toyota ShareLunker program.

Dave Terre, Texas Parks and Wildlife chief of fish management and research, says Gulf States Toyota, has been a boon to bass fishing…and not just in Texas.

The Toyota Texas bass Classic has been huge for Texas Parks and Wildlife. It’s provided us an opportunity to engage millions of people into fishing—all across Texas, and really across the United States of America.

The Guld State’s support helped double the neighborhood fishin’ lakes in Texas, thus making fishing accessible to more families in the urban core. And its long-term involvement in the ShareLunker program, is legend.

Gulf States Toyota supported the Sharelunker program since 2009. It’s really putting us on a path to create cutting edge science. It’s allowed us to be able to track these fish through DNA.

Gulf States Toyota is in the spotlight next week on the Texas Parks and Wildlife TV series on PBS. Check your local listings.

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

#GARWEEK: Gar in Texas

Monday, June 11th, 2018

A man and his gar. #GARWEEK

This is Passport to Texas

Alligator gar are Texas’ largest and most long-lived freshwater fish. People claim to see alligator gar just about everywhere in Texas, but they are one of the most misidentified species of fish around.

The main thing Texans need to know is that there are four species of gar in the state of Texas. And it seems like everybody thinks every gar they see is an alligator gar – and that’s not the case.

Michael Baird, a fisheries biologist for parks and wildlife, says even among the four species of gar that occur in Texas —spotted, longnose, shortnose and alligator gar — this species is unique. The easiest way to tell the difference between alligator gar and spotted gar is in the name.

The spotted gar are the only gar species that have spots all over their head and body.

Longnose gar are the most abundant gar species in the state, but the name of this species also clues anglers to the best way to tell them apart from an alligator gar.

The way you can tell the difference between an alligator gar and a longnose gar is from the top of the fish looking down on the head – if it’s alligator like it’s probably an alligator gar. If it has a really narrow snout it’s probably a longnose gar.

The fourth species – shortnose gar – can only be found in Texas on the Red River below Lake Texoma along the Oklahoma and Arkansas borders.

If you’re up there you might see a shortnose gar, if you’re not there you are not going to see one.

Tomorrow: where to find alligator gar in Texas.

The Sport Fish Restoration Program supports our series.

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

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 passporttotexas.org.

The Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti