Archive for the 'Fishing' Category

Fun with Fishes at Sea Center Texas

Thursday, November 14th, 2019
Sea Center Texas

Sea Center Texas

This is Passport to Texas

Located in Lake Jackson, Sea Center Texas is a marine aquarium, fish hatchery and education center providing creative learning opportunities throughout the year.

Right now, the main educational opportunity that we have are Summer Camps. This year were doing “Wonderful Wetlands,” where they’ll go to dip-net and learn all about the species that live out there. And then, we have “Aquaria-mania, where they will learn what it’s like to work at an aquarium and, they will get to take a behind-the-scenes tour.

We spoke with Juliana Moore this past summer, before the camp started. She is an information specialist at the center.

We have three public fishing events during the year. There’s one in June one in September and the other one is in February. And, those are youth fishing days so, anyone 17 and younger, accompanied by a parent can come out and fish.

And you can have fun with the fishes this holiday season.

We have a big Santa Clause show and Santa Claus actually scuba dives in the tank. So, one of our volunteers will dress up as Santa and gets in there with his elves and they put on a little Christmas show.

Now that’s something you’ve got to see. you can find more Sea Center events on our website; just click on the Parks tab and select Sea Center.

We record our series at The Block House in Austin, and Joel Block engineers our program.

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

Dead Zones Tell No Tales

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2019
Gulf of Mexico

Gulf of Mexico

This is Passport to Texas

Every year the Gulf of Mexico endures Dead Zones. Areas of low-oxygenated water where animals suffocate and die.

The condition is called hypoxia, and scientists estimate this year’s dead zone could be one of the largest ever, already at nearly 8,000 square miles just off the coast of Louisiana and Texas.

An abnormal number of spring rains and floods saturated the Midwest, leaving farmland unsuitable for planting. The nitrogen and phosphorus-rich fertilizer with which farmers had prepped the land washed directly into the Mississippi river.

This bumper amount of fertilizer along with urban runoff created an explosion of phytoplankton growth at the coast.

And while Phytoplankton are the foundation of the aquatic food chain, too much phytoplankton decomposing at once can completely devoid the water of oxygen.

The impact is deadly on any aquatic life that cannot easily swim away such as shrimp, crabs, clams and oysters. Those that do survive can be toxic table fare for humans.

Task forces at the state and federal level are continually working to monitor and reduce the number of nutrients entering the Gulf. Scientists are hopeful on-going research will help shape environmental policy, that in turn can reduce the size of dead zones.

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

TPW TV–The Kraken Revisited

Thursday, September 26th, 2019

The Kraken doing its job as an artificial reef.

This is Passport to Texas

Early in 2017, Texas Parks and Wildlife’s Artificial Reef Program created a new underwater oasis for marine life by using a 371-foot cargo ship called The Kraken; sunk about 65 miles off the coast of Galveston.

Seven months after sending the Kraken to the gulf sea floor, biologists returned to investigate what has become one of the state’s largest artificial reefs.

What we’re going to see, we don’t know until we get down there.

Dale Shively oversees the artificial reef program for Texas Parks and Wildlife.

It only takes them a few months to get a significant amount of marine growth. [Chris Ledford] There’s a lot of fish on that ship.

Texas Parks and Wildlife artificial reef specialist Chris Ledford says prior to reefing the Kraken, biologists witnessed a couple of sharks in the area, but no reef species. And now it’s teeming with marine life.

I wasn’t expecting it to proliferate that much, that quickly after sinking. Considering the ship has only been down here for 6 months, it’s got a lot a lot of productivity going on. We’re really happy with the way its progressing. I don’t think it really could have gone any better than what it’s showing up to be. It looks great. It’s really cool.

See the reefing of The Kraken, and the results, on the Texas Parks and Wildlife TV series on PBS the week of October 6. The new season of this award-winning series begins the week of October 13. Check your local listings.

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

Hands on Habitat

Thursday, August 29th, 2019

Manmade habitat for freshwater fish.

This is Passport to Texas

The Lone Star State is revered for its exceptional sport fishing opportunities.

To preserve and enhance these destinations, a recent project at Lake Sulfur Springs experiments with nontraditional materials and designs to create artificial habitat.

Fish need habitat and structure in general.

Tim Bister is a District Fisheries Biologist with Texas Parks and Wildlife

Even in reservoirs that left timber standing, over time, that timber in the water breaks down and the habitat for the fish declines. We’ve done work with Christmas trees in the past but the PVC that we’re using in the structures we’re building today are going to last for many, many years

One design for artificial habitat involves using simple, materials like PVC pipe and corrugated plastic drainpipe. Biologists and volunteers use the PVC to build a four-foot cube-shaped framework, and then weave and secure the drainpipe to it; it’s not much to look at, but it creates a nest-like structure.

Kody Corrin is the state director for Bass Unlimited and a restoration project volunteer

Somebody that doesn’t really know would think that we’re just piecing recycled garbage together, and we’re really not. We’re actually providing good habitat for the fish.

The Sport Fish Restoration Program supports our series.

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

Hatchery Raised Sea Trout for Better Fishing

Wednesday, August 14th, 2019

Sunrise on a jetty, ready to catch dinner.

This is Passport to Texas

Regulation changes to spotted sea trout, like bag and size limits, is an important tool in our tool box for managing saltwater fish species. A robust a hatchery program is another.

Spotted seatrout is this most popular recreational sportfish out there. So, there’s a lot of pressure on these fish.

Ashley Fincannon is hatchery manager at the Marine Development Center in Corpus Christi; it’s there where they, raise spotted seatrout for stocking…specifically to the Lower Laguna Madre. That bay system also has a five-fish daily bag limit.

The Lower Laguna Madre was the first bay system to go under the five-fish limit and that was when we really ramped up our contribution down there.

Earlier this year, Texas Parks and Wildlife proposed a new regulation to change the bag limit in Galveston Bay and Sabine Lake on the upper coast from 10 fish a day to five—as it is in all other bay systems. That’s a good thing.

Anecdotally I know I’ve heard from the fishermen when you go stock that they are catching larger trout now and that the trout fishing is better than ever in the Lower Laguna Madre.

The new bag limits go into effect September first. Learn how we regulate and raise spotted sea trout and also find a tasty recipe for it on our podcast Under the Texas Sky; find it wherever you get your podcasts.

The Sport Fish Restoration Program supports our Series.

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