Archive for the 'Fishing' Category

Fishing is for Families

Thursday, September 13th, 2018
A family fishing outing at the lake.

A family fishing outing at the lake.

This is Passport to Texas

Catching a fish never fails to excite, especially if you’re a child. Reeling in one of these wiggly wonders has never been easier in Texas urban areas.

That’s because places for family fishing fun are in, or near, your neighborhoods…as are the opportunities for gaining the skills necessary for catching the fish.

Texas Parks and Wildlife’s Neighborhood Fishin’ program brings the fish to you. Currently, eighteen neighborhood fishin’ lakes are dispersed among eleven Texas cities: from Abilene to Houston and points in between.

Stocking takes place every two to four weeks during summer and winter seasons. Which means there should be a good supply of fish to catch and bring home for dinner whenever you find time to visit!

In addition to the Neighborhood Fishin’ program, state parks host fishing events where you learn about the best gear and bait to use, how to cast, and even how to cook what you catch. Some parks also loan tackle.

Fishing is a gateway activity into the Texas outdoors, and something the entire family can share together.

Find a list of the Neighborhood Fishin’ lakes on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website. While you’re there, check out the calendar section for fishing events near you.

The Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series.

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

Managing Coastal Fisheries

Wednesday, September 12th, 2018
Sea Center Texas

Sea Center Texas

This is Passport to Texas

Coastal fishing is one of Texas’ most popular recreational activities, and its future depends on quality management. That’s where Texas Parks and Wildlife comes in.

Fisheries biologists and technicians are responsible for direct management of the resource. This entails getting fish into the water through hatchery efforts of breeding, raising and stocking fish.

Just as important: educating the public. Texas Parks and Wildlife’s Outreach, Education and Communications teams take the lead there. It’s vital to help people to understand the value of the marine life and habitat.

Whether you live on the coast or are visiting, a trip to Sea Center Texas fish hatchery and Visitor Center in Lake Jackson can help you on your road to understanding. At the hatchery they breed red drum, spotted seatrout and southern flounder for stock enhancement. The Visitor’s Center focuses on the importance of environmental stewardship. There’s something for the whole family.

The goal of the center is to instill in the public a deep understanding of and appreciation for the role they play in the improvement and enhancement of our marine resources.

Find more information about coastal fisheries and Sea Center Texas on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

The Sport Fish restoration program supports our series.

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

TPW TV – Return of the Guadalupe Bass

Tuesday, September 11th, 2018

Fishing for Guadalupe bass in the South Llano River

This is Passport to Texas

Courtney and Brandon Robinson love to fly-fish for Guadalupe Bass in the South Llano River.

[Courtney] We’re not looking at a whole lot of deep pools, it’s more shallow water, skinny water.
[Brandon] Fish on! This is why I love catching Guad’s, their little fish, but they use the river to fight!
[Courtney] Um so we’re gonna see little bass in the shoal’s area like in that little rapids area over there. Oh, there we go!

The state fish of Texas wasn’t always easy to catch. It was on the brink of disappearing from the South Llano, due to introduced Small Mouth Bass that crossbred with the native Guadalupe for decades!

They can breed with each other and what results is what we call a hybrid, and those fish, they’re not our pure native Guadalupe bass, so we’re trying to restore these populations throughout the state.
We’re stocking large numbers of these pure fingerlings, and what the goal is these pure fish outnumber the Hybrids and so we reduce that overall hybridization rate and get it back to where we have almost an entirely pure population of Guadalupe Bass.

But the data shows the Guadalupe Bass are back.

We’ve been working on the Guadalupe Bass here in the Texas Hill country for about twenty-five years, and been really successful in restoring these populations in these iconic Texas hill country streams, and now we have Guadalupe Bass in a lot more reaches of these streams here for people to enjoy!

Reel in an eyeful of Guadalupe bass the week of September 23 on the Texas Parks and Wildlife TV show on PBS.

The Sport Fish restoration program supports our series.

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

Tilapia: Detrimental and Delicious

Thursday, July 26th, 2018
Blue tilapia

Blue tilapia

This is Passport to Texas

When you hear the word tilapia, you may think of a savory meal with lemon butter sauce, but you probably don’t think of the term “invasive species.”

Tilapia are great to eat. They’re raised as a food fish, and they’re quite tasty. They’re quite popular in restaurants. But the problem is when they’re in our natural waters they are upsetting the ecosystem.

Originally established in fish farms as a food source, Tilapia eventually found their way into Texas waters.

Gary Garrett, a former Texas Parks and Wildlife fisheries biologist, says tilapia pose a threat to large mouth bass and other native species.

They build big pit nests and in doing that they stir up a lot of the sediment. And it’s been shown, for example, with large mouth bass, all that sediment stirred up and settling back down will often kill largemouth bass eggs.

And because of the delicate nature of the food chair, this behavior has the potential of damaging the entire ecosystem.

TPW has regulations for tilapia, but because they’re widespread statewide, they are difficult to control. But if you like to fish, Garrett says, there’s one way you can help.

Don’t throw them back. If you catch them, keep them.

So, next time you reel in tilapia, turn on the grill and get cooking.

The Sport Fish Restoration Program supports our series.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti

Bay Seining in Texas

Tuesday, July 10th, 2018

Examining marine life in sein net.

This is Passport to Texas

We call searching the Internet surfing. But, we call searching a net that’s been in the surf, seining.

Seining is dragging a long net through the water, catching small fish and aquatic animals.

Hans Haglund is superintendent at Galveston Island State Park. He says the bay waters are teaming with all kind of life. And he’s taken more than a few visitors seining in Galveston Bay.

We do it to help educate about the bay, the wetlands, the environment out here; to show people how important they are, how productive they are, what these areas do for us, why we might need to protect them and look out for them.

Abundant, healthy wetlands can help to mitigate potential flood damage, as well as serve as nurseries for marine life. Haglund describes visitor reactions to what they catch in their seine nets.

Oh, I never know that was out there, and I never knew you could get so much in a little area. Even people that have been using the bay a lot – a lot of fishermen – don’t realize how productive these areas are.

Some of the more unusual fish Haglund says they see include the pipe fish and lizard fish.

Summer’s here, and Galveston Island State Park offers a great coastal getaway. Learn more at texasstateparks.org.

The Sport Fish Restoration Program supports our series…and works to increase fishing and boating opportunities in Texas.

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