Archive for the 'Events' Category

Small Town, Big Fun — Texas Bison Fest

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017
Music, food and fun -- to support bison restoration.

Music, food and fun — to support bison restoration.

This is Passport to Texas

On Saturday September 23 part of downtown Quitaque, Texas will be shut down…for the love of bison.

This is [for] the seventh annual Texas State Bison Music Festival.

Donald Beard is superintendent of Caprock Canyons State Park, home to the official state bison herd. The festival raises awareness and funds for continued restoration of the animals and their habitat.

This year’s event will be held in downtown Quitaque; the food and arts and crafts vendors will start at around nine o’clock. So, you can come do some shopping, buy some local goods, get some great food. We’ll have some historical reenactors so you can see what life was like in this area a couple of hundred years ago. Then, the music starts about three o’clock.

With five bands on the bill attendees will have plenty of opportunity for boot scooting. While the fun seems limitless, the tickets are not.

It’s actually a small festival by festival standards. We don’t want it to get real big. The max number of tickets we’re selling is 12-hundred. And, last year we had a thousand or so people. So, we’re getting to the point where we’re almost getting ready to start selling out.

Find complete details and ticket prices for the September 23rd Texas State Bison Music Festival at bisonfest.org.

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

Texas State Bison Music Fest

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017
Bison making plans to attend Bison Fest September 23.

Bison making plans to attend Bison Fest September 23.

This is Passport to Texas

Caprock Canyon State Park is home to the official state bison herd, comprised of descendants of the original southern plains bison that wandered the Great Plains.

We think we’re at about 150 [bison], plus this year’s calf crop, which should be about 30 or so.

Superintendent Donald Beard oversees this growing, free-roaming herd. Restoration efforts of the animals and their native habitat takes time and money. That’s where the Texas State Bison Music Festival comes in.

We were just looking for a fun fundraiser, and we decided that this would be pretty fun. And by all means it is. This year we’re headlining it with the Randy Rogers Band. But we also have Mark Powell, Zach Wilkerson, Sarah Hobbs, and Kevin Deal. It’s a street dance; we close off part of the town. The festival is held in the town of Quitiquae. We have all kinds of live music. Food vendors. Arts and crafts – and all day fun on a Saturday. This year it’s going to be September 23rd.

Proceeds from The Texas State Bison Music Festival on September 23, go directly to bison research and habitat restoration at Caprock Canyons SP. Find compete details and ticket prices at bisonfest.com.

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

Caring for Tournament Caught Bass

Friday, May 19th, 2017
Todd Driscoll with a big bass

Todd Driscoll with a big bass

This is Passport to Texas

During the Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest Tournament each professional angler has a judge onboard to weigh and immediately release their catch.

During a typical tournament, you know, anglers are allowed to keep five legal fish per person in a live well in the boat.

Inland fisheries district biologist, Todd Driscoll says immediately releasing them back into the lake reduces stress to the bass and the risk of livewell-related mortality.

Study after study have shown that you can pretty much average that at about five percent. So, during one of these tournaments, if there’s a hundred bass that are caught, weighed and immediately released, ninety-five of those bass are going to be plum fine and in great shape. Whereas, with a traditional tournament—bass held in live wells and taken to the scales—around 25 percent die. So, it’s five percent versus twenty five percent. And that’s what makes the catch, weigh and immediate release format so much better.

Texas Parks and Wildlife perfected the format over 10 years of the Toyota Texas Bass Classic, where it was first implemented in a large, professional-level tournament—with only minor hesitation from pro anglers.

When you implement that catch, weigh and immediate release format, the entire tournament results are predicated on what that judge does. So, they’re highly trained; they absolutely know what they’re doing. And after one event, nearly all the tournament anglers were behind that process.

The Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series.

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

Will the Pros Reel in a ShareLunker This Week?

Wednesday, May 17th, 2017

Mike Iaconelli during the 2006 season. [Image from www.bassmasters.com]

Mike Iaconelli during the 2006 season. [Image from www.bassmasters.com]

This is Passport to Texas

When more than 100 professional bass anglers converge on one lake for a tournament, excitement runs high. And when the Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest kicks off today at Lake Sam Rayburn, east of Lufkin, the excitement amps up with the possibility of reeling in a lunker.

Well, it would be just awesome for our program.

Dave Terre, with Inland Fisheries coordinates the tournament for the agency. A lunker is a largemouth bass that tips the scales at 13 or more pounds.

For a lunker to be caught as part of this nationally broadcast TV program and this benefit event for Texas Parks and Wildlife, you know, it would be huge.

The Toyota Sharelunker program works with anglers to promote the conservation and management of trophy bass fishing in Texas.

Sam Rayburn has produced numerous Toyota ShareLunkers in the past. It would be an awesome thing [to reel one in during the Bassmaster]. But, you know what? I’ve made promises about catching a lunker for the past 10 years [of the Toyota Texas Bass Classic] and it has not happened. We’ve gotten close. And so, I’ve got my fingers crossed, and I’m a positive thinker—so it might happen.

Let’s cross our fingers and hope for the bass-t. The Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest is a free event that begins today and runs through May 21st at Lake Sam Rayburn. Details at bassmaster.com.

The Sport Fish restoration Program supports our series.

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

Handling Fish at Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest

Friday, April 28th, 2017
Largemouth bass are the stars of the show at the Toyota Texas Bass Classic, which this year has become the Toyota Bassmater Texas Fest.

Largemouth bass are the stars of the show at the Toyota Texas Bass Classic, which this year has become the Toyota Bassmater Texas Fest.

This is Passport to Texas

During the Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest, May 17 through 21st, Texas Parks and Wildlife will ensure the health of the fish professional anglers reel in from Lake Sam Rayburn. It begins with a judge on each boat.

As professional anglers catch these fish, a judge is going to weigh and measure them and record each one. And then these fish are going to be immediately released instead of going to the scales as in staged-type weigh-ins.

Dave Terre with inland fisheries says one-hundred-nine professional bass anglers will be competing in this year’s tournament. Immediately releasing the fish is good for the fish and for fishing.

Releasing these fish immediately helps in the survival of these fish. There’s less stress on these fish, so these fish will survive again to be caught another day.

And gives them more time to breed and potentially spawn even bigger bass. While the majority of the bass go right back in the water…

We are going to allow the anglers to bring in one fish per day, over 21-inches in size to showcase these large fish that Sam Rayburn is famous for, so the audience can see some of these big fish up on stage. But 99% of the fish that are caught in this tournament are going to be released.

The Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest—May 17-21 at Lake Sam Rayburn, is free to attend, and includes a family-friendly Expo in Lufkin. Find more information at Bassmaster.com. The Sport Fish Restoration Program Supports our series and helps funds fisheries management in Texas.

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