Archive for the 'Freshwater Fish' Category

Creating Habitat for Freshwater Fish

Friday, March 30th, 2018
Creating a brush reef with dead trees.

Creating a brush reef with dead trees.

This is Passport to Texas

As we age, it’s natural to experience physical decline. That’s what’s happening to Texas’ reservoirs.

Many Texas reservoirs were formed years ago by constructing dams across rivers. As water filled the low lying areas it submerged trees and shrubs, which became fish habitat.

That organic matter’s been breaking down ever since—and has reached a breaking point in some reservoirs.

This past fall, with the help of local volunteers—and financial support from the Brazos River Authority (or BRA)—Inland Fisheries staff from TPWD completed several projects to improve fish habitat at Aquilla Lake, Lake Georgetown and Granger Lake.

Each water body received a different treatment, from replanting water willows and establishing new plant colonies, to creating artificial reefs, to sinking brush piles—all of which help to improve fishing.

These projects were completed with funding from the Brazos River Authority as part of a multi-year effort to improve all 11 BRA System reservoirs in the basin through 2020.

Learn about these habitat projects as well as others that have taken place in reservoirs across the state on the TPW website.

The Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series.

That’s our show…For Texas Parks and Wildlife, Cecilia Nasti.

TPW TV — Building Habitat for Fish

Friday, March 2nd, 2018
Creating fish habitat in aging reservoirs.

Creating fish habitat in aging reservoirs.

This is Passport to Texas

Most freshwater fishing in Texas happens in reservoirs.

So we want to make sure we conserve the reservoirs and these fishing opportunities by restoring habitat.

Marcos de Jesus is with For Texas Parks and Wildlife Inland Fisheries. On next  week’s For Texas Parks and Wildlife TV series on PBS, the agency and its partners renew underwater habitat in reservoirs for better angling.

We can always supplement the woody debris, the vegetation, or any type of cover that fish need by cutting something like cedar trees. We can also use artificial habitat that different commercial producers make. These things are put together to mimic trees, that creates cover.

Although TPW has the expertise…

These projects can become expensive and they are labor intensive so we need partnerships to actually get these great projects on the water.

Partnerships with groups like Friends of Reservoirs.

Friends of Reservoirs is a great group. And these groups are usually composed of stakeholders that have the common interest of conservation and fishing. So they team up with Texas Parks and Wildlife; we do some great projects around the state.

See reservoir renovation in action next week on the For Texas Parks and Wildlife TV series on PBS. Check your local listings.

If you want to get involved and help TPWD with conservation initiatives, feel free to call local district biologist. And get involved and help us in conservation. We can’t do it alone.

The Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series.

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

Reel in a Lunker and Get Some “Loot”

Friday, February 16th, 2018
angler with bass

Angler Larry Mosby with his 13.06 pound ShareLunker! Entry #567

 

This is Passport to Texas

This year, the Toyota Sharelunker program expanded to include largemouth bass eight pounds or more. Anglers may submit data year-round into one of four classes: Lunker, Lunker Elite, Lunker Legend and Lunker Legacy.

And anglers can submit a fish into one of those four classes through our mobile app or our web based form.

Kyle Brookshear oversees the program.

Our mobile app allows an angler to enter the data field, such as the date and time that it was caught—the weight the length. And then document those with a photograph and submit those to us. And once they’re reviewed and confirmed, they’ll be entered into the program.

Lunker Legacy class permits anglers to submit their data and loan 13+ pound lunkers caught during the January 1st—March 31st spawning window.

For entering, an angler in any of those categories receives a catch kit. In addition to that, everyone who enters into one of those four categories, is included in a grand prize drawing of a $5K shopping spree at the end of the year. Those anglers that enter the Legacy Class program are in an additional drawing for another $5K shopping spree.

Find details about the program changes as well as the items found in each catch kit, and how to submit your catch data at texassharelunker.com.

The Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series.

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

Changes to ShareLunker Program

Thursday, February 15th, 2018
 Toyota Texas ShareLunker program

Toyota Texas ShareLunker program

This is Passport to Texas

The ShareLunker Program is a promotion and enhancement program for Lunker bass fishing in Texas. It selectively breeds trophy largemouth bass donated by anglers.

[Starting] this year we expanded that program to include eight pound bass, nine pound bass, ten pound bass, etc.…all the way up and over thirteen pounds.

Kyle Brookshear oversees the Toyota Texas Sharelunker Program. Why the change?

We wanted to get involved with more anglers out there and begin to recognize them for their achievements. Because, really, a 13-pound bass is the fish of a lifetime, but so it an eight, nine, ten…. And so, we wanted to recognize anglers at other levels of achievement for their catches.

In addition, Brookshear says collecting data on bass 8lb+ helps Texas Parks and Wildlife better understand the influence of ShareLunker genetics in each public water body. He says they’ll continue to collect and spawn 13-pound bass, caught January 1st through March 31st.

And then, we’re not only stocking some of those fingerlings out into the lakes of Texas, but the new change is we are incorporating them into our brood stock development so that eventually, we’ll greatly increase the number of fingerlings that are direct sharelunker descendants that are stocked out in Texas public lakes.

Find details at texassharelunker.com.

The Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series.

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

Reel in a Rainbow Before They’re Gone

Thursday, January 18th, 2018
Take the kids fishing.

Take the kids fishing.

This is Passport to Texas

If you’re an angler who likes to eat what you catch, then now’s the time to reel in a rainbow trout.

We stock them at a catchable and eatable size. They are good fighting fish; they’re relatively easy to catch. We usually stock them in smaller bodies of water, so they’re a good fishing, catching opportunity and good eating opportunity as well.

Carl Kittel is a program director for Inland Fisheries, and oversees winter trout stocking in Texas, which began this month.

We’ve been stocking [rainbow] trout around Texas for almost 40 years. One interesting note about trout is that we often say there are no established populations of trout in Texas, but actually, way out west in the Davis Mountains there’s a small, tiny stream at high enough elevation that there is a reproducing population of rainbow trout.

That’s why we stock them in winter; most of Texas is too hot for the fish to survive. Inland fisheries will distribute more than 310-thousand rainbows in 160 locations.

And we have a special program; we actually stock somewhat larger trout in urban areas in our Neighborhood Fishin’ Program. And that’s something that you can specifically look for on our web page.

With the New Year here, it’s is a great time add fishing to your to-do list this year. Find the stocking schedule on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

The Sport fish restoration program supports our series and funds rainbow trout stocking in Texas…

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