Archive for the 'Freshwater' Category

Good for the Fish, Good for the River

Friday, June 21st, 2019

Guadalupe Bass (Micropterus treculii)

This is Passport to Texas.

Anglers like Courtney and Brandon Robinson are chasing Guadalupe bass, the state fish of Texas.

Fish on! This is why I love catching Guads. They’re little fish but they use the river to fight.

Guadalupe bass once seemed headed for extinction. In the 1970s, state biologists stocked non-native smallmouth bass in Texas rivers. They didn’t expect the smallmouths would cross-breed with native fish. But they did, producing hybrid offspring that were no longer pure Guadalupes.

From 1990s through roughly 2010 almost a million Guadalupe bass were stocked in the river and it drove down the hybridization rates dramatically.

Tim Birdsong once played pro baseball for the Cincinnati Reds. Today he leads Texas Parks and Wildlife efforts to restore river watersheds.

 [The] Guadalupe bass is representative of that whole set of species and some of those are considered imperiled; they may only occur in one river and nowhere else in the world. And it’s a little bit more difficult to get enthusiasm around conserving a minnow or conserving an imperiled freshwater mussel, but what’s good for Guadalupe bass is generally good for those other species.

Learn more about the Guadalupe Bass in July on our podcast Under the Texas Sky. Find it on Spotify, iTunes and other places where you get your podcasts.

The Sport Fish Restoration Program supports our series.

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

Return of the Guadalupe Bass

Wednesday, June 19th, 2019

Guadalupe Bass (Micropterus treculii)

This is Passport to Texas

Dang it! Was that a fish? Yes, He was right in that foam line!

Anglers like Courtney and Brandon Robinson love to fish for Guadalupe bass, named for the Guadalupe River.

Fish on! This is why I love catching Guads, they’re little fish, but they use the river to fight!

The Guadalupe is a stronghold stream for this lone star native, which the legislature dubbed the state fish of Texas in 1989. Decades ago, this little fish seemed destined for extinction. But today it’s coming back.

I want my kids to catch Guadalupe bass. And I want them to be able to do it in the same places that I do.

Chris Johnson leads guided fly-fishing trips. The beautiful rivers the bass live in have a growing army of passionate advocates working to keep these waters clean.

 At end of the day, lovers will always work harder than workers. And if you love what you’re doing, and you love what you’re about, you love your fish, you love your water, you love your state, you love the ground that it flows through, then you’re going to fight to protect it.

Learn more about efforts to restore the Guadalupe Bass and preserve our rivers on our podcast Under the Texas Sky this July. Find it at underthetexassky.org, and wherever you get your podcasts.

The Sport Fish Restoration Program supports our series.

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

Humble Fish Garners New Appreciation

Thursday, May 2nd, 2019
Fishing for catfish is a family affaire.

Fishing for catfish is a family affaire.

This is Passport to Texas

Nobody will dispute that largemouth bass is the favorite sport fish among Texas anglers.

Today in Texas about 50% of our anglers say they prefer largemouth bass.

Yet, Dave Terre, chief of inland fisheries research and management, says largemouth bass has an unlikely rival.

About 20 percent of anglers prefer fishing catfish in Texas.

The humble catfish is gaining in popularity. That’s because unlike largemouth bass, catfish are better able to survive and thrive when water levels—and dissolved oxygen levels—are low, such as during drought.

We’re trying to study catfish more intensively to determine how we can make fishing for catfish even better.

Texas Parks and Wildlife developed a management to guide the future of this sport fish in Texas.

Most people in Texas – when they think of a fish, they think of a catfish. I think that’s the honest truth. Bass get more notoriety, but catfish are very important and I think a perfect fish to start new anglers on fishing, and to get a new generation of Texas interested in fishing.

Three of ten species of catfish in Texas provide important fishing opportunities to anglers: Channel, Blue, and Flathead. Find the Catfish Management Plan on the TPW website..

The Sport Fish Restoration Program supports our series and funds fisheries research in Texas.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Texas is a Fly-fishing Mecca

Thursday, April 4th, 2019
Alvin Dedeaux

Alvin Dedeaux

This is Passport to Texas

Few people think of Texas when the topic of fly-fishing comes up, unless you’re Alvin Dedeaux, that is.

Well, we’ve got some great fly-fishing opportunities here.

Alvin is a sought-after Texas fly-fishing guide. He’s partnered with Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation, the nonprofit arm of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to help recruit new members. Anyone who goes to WeWillNotBeTamed.org and becomes a new foundation member by April 12 will be entered in a drawing to win a half-day fly-fishing trip with Alvin.

I guided for trout all over the Western US, and I think what we have here in Central Texas rivals a lot of that stuff. Especially the rivers. Because, as a lot of people know, our rivers are kind of an underutilized resource. We’ve got tons of really beautiful small streams with very little pressure and really aggressive, hungry fish. And I think it rivals anything anywhere—you know, it’s just different. On top of that, we have the Texas coast. And the inshore fisheries on the Texas coast are world-class for like casting for redfish and speckled trout. So Texas is really, I think, an undiscovered central Mecca for fly-fishermen.

Learn more about the work of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation and how to become a member, and entered into a drawing for a half day fly fishing trip with Alvin Dedeaux at WeWillNotBeTamed.org.

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

Go Fly-Fishing with a Pro

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2019
Alvin Dedeaux

Alvin Dedeaux

This is Passport to Texas

Members of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation represent a diverse cross section of the population that share a passion for the outdoors. Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation is the nonprofit arm of Texas Parks and Wildlife department  and helps to fund initiatives that conserve our wild places and wild things.

Join TPWF by April the 12th to be entered into a chance to win a half day fly fishing trip with Texas fly-fishing guide Alvin Dedeaux.

Jay Kleberg is Director of Conservation Initiatives at Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation. The Colorado River is the staging area for this fly-fishing trip.

There are very few people who know that the Colorado River that flows through the Hill Country and to the coast has some world-class fishing because it goes through some major urban areas. And Alvin’s one of the few people who really knows that water, and has focused not just on the Hill Country, but the coast and the Colorado River, itself. So, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to go with a true expert.

Become a member of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation by April 12 to be entered in a drawing for a half day of fly-fishing with celebrated fishing guide, Alvin Dedeaux. We’ll speak with him about fly-fishing next time.

People are drawn to it, and once they get into it—for most people—it becomes a lifelong passion.

Learn more about the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation and how to become a member at wewillnotbetamed.org.

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