Archive for the 'Boating' Category

Life Jackets Save Lives

Monday, May 21st, 2018

Everyone who goes on the water should wear a life jacket.

This is Passport to Texas

We’re on the threshold of summer; and what goes well with summer in Texas? Boating, of course. But before you get on the water, Tim Spice says: put on a life jacket.

A life jacket is something you wear that provides buoyancy if you jumped in the water or fell in the water.

Spice oversees boater education for Texas Parks and Wildlife. People make excuses to avoid wearing life jackets—including that they’re ugly—says Spice. But ask yourself this: is your street cred as a fashionista really more important than your life?

It’s one of the key components of drowning prevention. The Coast Guard estimates that 70% to 80% of the people who drown would be alive if they just wore a life jacket.

Tim Spice says, today’s life jackets are not the awkward, ill-fitting, boxy garments of a generation ago.

There are lots of new life jacket designs out there now. They don’t get in the way; they’re lightweight. Just really neat technology used today. Inflatable life jackets. And if you get into an emergency, or you’re not familiar with your surroundings—a lifejacket will be there to save your life.

“Life” is in the name, for goodness sake. Find information on choosing the right lifejacket for you and your family on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

The Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife, Cecilia Nasti.

TPW TV- Goliad Paddling Trail

Friday, May 11th, 2018

Enjoying time on the Goliad Paddling Trail

This is Passport to Texas

Goliad State Park and Historic Site was the first park to host an inland paddling trail. The trail meanders along the San Antonio River.

It’s about 6.1 miles of beautiful pristine river. The site here in our park is the take out site. The other developed areas to get on the paddling trail is north of our park. So once you get to the park people have to get off the river unless they want to continue to float with no easy access to get off.

Brenda Justice is park superintendent. Next week the Texas Parks and Wildlife TV series on PBS features the trail and the folks who love it, including Charles Clapsaddle.

The six and a half miles current trail I can make in about an hour and a half, most people take a little over two hours. We will go pretty close to downtown Goliad, a couple of blocks from the courthouse and you wouldn’t know you were near a town. You hear crickets and cicadas and birds, nothing that sounds like humans. It’s a nice friendly river.

Even people new to paddling will enjoy the Goliad Trail.

It’s a coastal stream so it has muddy banks. Grass and trees grow right down to the bank. You usually see a lot of wildlife because of that. It’s good for families. You don’t have to be a skilled canoeist or a kayaker to enjoy the river. Right now we’re just drifting, we’re floating on the current.
Get a sense of the Goliad paddling trail’s serene beauty next week on the Texas Parks and Wildlife TV series on PBS. Check your local listings.

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

Texas Boaters: Time to Clean, Drain & Dry

Thursday, May 10th, 2018

Zebra mussels on a boat motor.

This is Passport to Texas

Texans can help to protect their lakes this summer by properly cleaning, draining and drying boats and equipment every time they leave the water.

The threats to Texas’ aquatic ecosystems are many. In East Texas, the primary threat is giant salvinia – a highly invasive, free-floating aquatic fern that can make fishing, boating, swimming and other water recreation nearly impossible.

Another threat, Zebra mussels, have spread from North Texas to other lakes in East and Central Texas. These mussels can ruin shorelines with sharp shells, impact recreation, hurt native aquatic life, damage boats and clog water intakes.

If boaters take a few minutes to properly clean, drain and dry everything that touches the water before they leave, they become part of the solution. These simple steps can make a huge difference in our efforts to protect and preserve Texas lakes for future generations.

If you need incentive: the transport of aquatic invasive species can result in legal trouble for boaters, and it is punishable by a fine of up to $500 per violation.

Learn more about giant salvinia, zebra mussels and other invasive species in Texas at texasinvasives.org.

The Sport Fish restoration Program supports our series.

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

Finding Your Resolve for 2018

Monday, December 25th, 2017
Family hike at Inks Lake State Park.

Family hike at Inks Lake State Park.

This is Passport to Texas Resolutions Week

As we approach the New Year we consider ways to improve our lives in the 12 months ahead.

More time outdoors often ranks near the top of everyone’s list. Thirty minutes a day outdoors for adults, and an hour for children, improves overall physical and mental wellbeing.

Consider a daily walk ‘round your neighborhood, or explore your own backyard. Discover what critters make their homes there. Create a game of counting the species you see. Do this every day to see if something new has arrived. Keep a list and compare the seasons.

Perhaps this New Year you’ll become a citizen scientist. Texas Nature Tracker Programs can help. Sign up for Nature Trackers, choose from the rare species they’re tracking, and share your observations on iNaturalist. Biologists use your data to broaden their knowledge, and improve the support they provide these species.

Perhaps this is the year you volunteer with one of the friends groups at a nearby Texas state park, or become a master naturalist, or even a certified Texas Wasters Specialist.

The New Year holds so much promise for you, your family, friends and community. Enrich your life when you spend time in nature solo or with others, because Life’s Better Outside.

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.

Preventing the Spread of Zebra Mussels

Thursday, July 6th, 2017
Places where invasive zebra mussels hitch a ride.

Places where invasive zebra mussels hitch a ride.

This is Passport to Texas

Last month we discovered zebra mussels in Canyon Lake.

Every time you get a new infestation it’s discouraging – it just really is. It just gets you down. And it’s frustrating, because you know that if boaters and people who we know care about the lakes and rivers in this state, if they would just take some time, and be a little careful and make sure that they just clean, drain and dry their boat before they leave the lake every single time, that will go a long time towards preventing their spread.

Fisheries biologist Brian Van Zee says zebra mussels can clog public water intakes, and damage boats and motors left in infested waters.

You know, if boats are stored on the water in the marina, those are the ones where we’re going to have colonies of adult zebra mussels attached to them. Those are the ones that boat owners need to take the time to have that boat fully cleaned and decontaminated; have it inspected by Parks and Wildlife before you go ahead and move it to a different lake.

Once in a river basin, zebra mussels are there to stay.

But, what we can do is we can prevent them from being spread to a new river basin. If we can get the word out to these boat owners and public and transporters in the state, and let them know we’re trying to stop this spread, and prevent new infestations within new river basins – then we have a chance.

Find procedures to clean, drain and dry your boat on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series.

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