Archive for the 'Fishing' Category

Corralling Catfish

Thursday, January 10th, 2019

Catfish waiting his turn to head to a neighborhood fishin’ pond.

This is Passport to Texas

I visited the A.E. Wood Fish Hatchery in San Marcos on a misty morning in early October; that’s where I met hatchery manager Mike Matthews.

We’re standing on the banks of pond 23. And we’re harvesting our 12-inch catfish for our neighborhood fishing program.

The one-acre pond had been drained; nearly 5,000 channel catfish flopped around in a Kansas kettle.

It’s basically a raceway in the bottom of our pond. We’ve brought the whole pond down into that kettle, and that just catches all the fish for us very efficiently.

A technician counted and weighed the fish as he placed them into a wire basket. Using a crane, technicians moved the basket to a waiting transport truck, and deposited the fish into tanks.

Which has got probably three to five parts per thousand saltwater in it. It’s beneficial for the fish. It causes them to promote slime growth, which in case they do get a little rough handled, and nicks their skin a little bit, that slime will cover that before it can really become a problem. It’s natural. That’s what they do anyway.

I followed a truck to East Metro Park in Austin, where Ryan, a fisheries technician, released them as anglers waited on the banks.

Texas Parks and Wildlife stocks catfish in neighborhood fishin’ ponds during warmer months. In winter, it’s rainbow trout. Find the stocking schedule on the TPW website.

The Sport Fish Restoration Program supports our series.

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

Borrow Tackle and Go Fish

Monday, December 31st, 2018
Fishing with borrowed tackle

Fishing with borrowed tackle

This is Passport to Texas

If one of your New Year’s resolutions includes trying your hand at angling… but you don’t want to spend money on tackle until you know you’re going to like the sport… Texas Parks and Wildlife can help.

The tackle loaner program is a program where different sites have basic fishing rods, reels and tackle that folks can borrow to go fishing.

When you go to a tackle loaner site to check out equipment, you’ll receive a little tackle box with basic hooks and different sizes of bobbers and sinkers. You’ll also be able to check out a very basic spin casting rod and reel.

Anglers under 18 years of age must have an adult check out the tackle for them.

Each tackle loaner site has a simple form that the person who checks out the equipment signs saying that ‘yes’ they will bring the equipment back.

Just leave an ID, and you can check it out for up to a week. Which is perfect for those long camping vacations.

The Sport Fish Restoration Program supports our series and funds winter rainbow trout stocking in Texas. So borrow some tackle and reel some in in the New Year.

From all of us at Passport to Texas—Prospero Ano y Felicidad…said another way Happy New Year, y’all.

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

Catch (and Eat) the Rainbow (Trout)

Friday, December 14th, 2018
Catching Rainbows

A happy angler shows off a rainbow trout caught in a Dallas-area community fishing lake stocked annually by TPWD.

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. Inland fisheries will distribute 250-thousand rainbows in 150 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 winter holidays here, it’s is a great time go fishing with the kids. 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.

A Fishing Line at the End of the Rainbow

Thursday, December 13th, 2018

Stocking Rainbow trout. Photo by Larry Hodge.

This is Passport to Texas

It’s the holiday season, and chances are you have a few days off with the family. You can stay indoors and eat a bunch of holiday baked goods, or you can get to a lake or pond and reel in a rainbow. A rainbow trout, that is.

We do winter stockings when the water temperatures permit it, to provide an opportunity for anglers to catch trout in Texas. It’s a species of fish that anglers wouldn’t catch otherwise, so we stock them, and we intend them all to be caught out during the season.

Carl Kittel is a program director for Inland Fisheries. He says the agency will stock about 150 sites around the state, and will distribute approximately 250-thousand catchable rainbow trout. Perhaps even up to 300-thousand.

The fish will be divided among the various locations, including urban neighborhood fishin’ holes.

We publish a schedule on the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department webpage. Look for the winter trout stocking link.

Carl Kittel says we stock rainbows in winter because these fish cannot survive our hot summers. So, when you reel one in this winter, take it home and eat it.

The Sport fish restoration program supports our series and helps to fund rainbow trout stocking in Texas.

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

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

TPW TV — Fishing Hall of Fame

Friday, December 7th, 2018

The man. The legend: Shannon Tompkins

This is Passport to Texas

You never know where a shared family experience will lead down the road. In Shannon Tompkins case, it lead him to a love of fishing, avocation as a conservationist and a career as an outdoor writer.

Ya know, I’m lucky I grew up in a family that loved to fish. The memories I have is of me and my brother fishing in farm ponds of east Texas. It’s just always been a part of my life. This is the same country my great, great, great grandfather saw. I’m looking at the same water, catching the same fish that he caught. I write about issues related to fisheries and water; the environment. Because without a healthy environment, we don’t have fish. And so people don’t care about something that they don’t feel a connection to. If they don’t know about this place, they don’t know what’s at stake, they don’t care that they’ve lost it. That’s really been my goal is to let folks know what’s going on out there.

For his dedication to conservation issues, Tompkins, who writes for the Houston Chronicle, was inducted into the Texas freshwater fishing hall of fame. Texas Parks and Wildlife Executive director, Carter Smith.

He brings a very thoughtful, objective voice, of fish and wildlife management or conservation and outdoor recreation in Texas, and Shannon Tompkins is there to tell that story.

Learn more about Tompkins from the people who know him the week of December 9th on the Texas Parks and Wildlife TV series on PBS.

Out show receives support from RAM Trucks: Built to serve.

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