Archive for the 'Freshwater' Category

TPW TV — In Search of the Blue Sucker

Friday, September 1st, 2017
Wrangling blue suckers in teh Colorado River.

Wrangling blue suckers in the Colorado River.

This is Passport to Texas

The Colorado River is home to a blue ghost: a fish called the Blue Sucker. It’s a rare and threatened species, and for Mathew Acre, it’s worth the days, weeks and months spent searching for it.

Currently the Blue Sucker status is somewhat unknown in the lower Colorado River, so we are not a hundred percent sure how the Blue Sucker is doing.

Acre is a PhD Student from Texas Tech, and works with a team – that includes Texas Parks and Wildlife biologist Dakus Geeslin – to search for this elusive fish.

So we are about ten miles east of Austin on the Colorado River, we are looking for that faster water, and some type of structure, they are really adept at swimming in fast water, they are great swimmers.

Blue suckers used to be found throughout North America, but dams and poor river quality have led to their dramatic decline.

It’s unique in that it has this really elongated body and it hangs out in these fast flowing waters, shoots, and riffles, that most fish tend to avoid because they just don’t have the energy budget to stay within that riffle.

Join the search for the blue sucker when you tune into the Texas Parks and Wildlife TV series on PBS September 3-9.

Wow, finally! He was in that fast water just where we expected him to be! It just took us a couple of passes through there. You just have to be on your game. That is awesome dude!

The Wildlife and Sport Fish restoration program support our series.

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

Summer Neighborhood Fishin’ Means Catfish

Monday, July 31st, 2017

neigborhood_fishin_catfish

This is Passport to Texas

It’s catfish stocking season in Texas, and thanks to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Neighborhood Fishin’ program families won’t have to travel outside of the city to catch them.

Parks and Wildlife’s Inland fisheries Department began stocking catchable-sized catfish this spring in 18 Neighborhood Fishin’ lakes in Texas’ metro areas.

The Neighborhood Fishin’ program encourages people to get involved in the outdoors by creating fun, convenient, and close-to-home opportunities where families can catch fish anytime they are ready to go.

Each of the lakes will receive continuous stockings of channel catfish every two weeks through early November—with a brief pause in August. The stocking schedule ensures families looking to spend quality time fishing together outdoors can do so conveniently.

These urban area parks are the easiest places in Texas for families to catch a fish close to home. Eighty-five percent of us live near one of these small lakes and ponds. By making fishing accessible, we’re helping create a whole new generation of anglers.

To find the Neighborhood Fishin’ pond near you or to sign up for email updates, visit neighborhoodfishing.org.

The Sportfish Restoration Program Supports our series.

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

Creel Surveys

Friday, July 28th, 2017
Creel Survey on Lake Conroe

Creel Survey on Lake Conroe

This is Passport to Texas

If you’re fishing on one of Texas many lakes, don’t be surprised if some friendly Texas Parks and Wildlife fisheries technicians greet you on the water.

Hi, I’m Mike, and this is Carl, and today we’re going to be doing a creel survey. [boat motor]

Mike Gore and Carl Vignali conduct creel surveys on Texas lakes. During a recent survey on Lake Conroe, they checked in with anglers regarding the length of time they’d been on the water, the fish they were targeting, as well as the number of fish they had caught.

[Mike] We’re just conducting an angler survey. [Carl] We’re with Parks and Wildlife. We’re doing some angler surveys. You mind answering some questions? [Mike] Our creels are four hours each. The sections of the lake and the time that the creels are done, are generated at random. We either go clockwise, or counter-clockwise that day. We do a flip of a coin to see which way we’re going to go—and that’s the way we go.

Mike and Carl continue going clockwise or counter clockwise per the coin flip decision for the remainder of the creel survey.

With all that data that we compile, we can come up with a management plan for the lake.

Including harvest regulations, size limits, and obtaining funding for boat ramps.

The sport fish restoration program supports our series, and provides funding for boat ramps in Texas.

That’s our show for today… For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti

Preventing the Spread of Zebra Mussels

Thursday, July 6th, 2017
Places where invasive zebra mussels hitch a ride.

Places where invasive zebra mussels hitch a ride.

This is Passport to Texas

Last month we discovered zebra mussels in Canyon Lake.

Every time you get a new infestation it’s discouraging – it just really is. It just gets you down. And it’s frustrating, because you know that if boaters and people who we know care about the lakes and rivers in this state, if they would just take some time, and be a little careful and make sure that they just clean, drain and dry their boat before they leave the lake every single time, that will go a long time towards preventing their spread.

Fisheries biologist Brian Van Zee says zebra mussels can clog public water intakes, and damage boats and motors left in infested waters.

You know, if boats are stored on the water in the marina, those are the ones where we’re going to have colonies of adult zebra mussels attached to them. Those are the ones that boat owners need to take the time to have that boat fully cleaned and decontaminated; have it inspected by Parks and Wildlife before you go ahead and move it to a different lake.

Once in a river basin, zebra mussels are there to stay.

But, what we can do is we can prevent them from being spread to a new river basin. If we can get the word out to these boat owners and public and transporters in the state, and let them know we’re trying to stop this spread, and prevent new infestations within new river basins – then we have a chance.

Find procedures to clean, drain and dry your boat on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series.

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

Nonnative Zebra Mussels Found in Canyon Lake

Wednesday, July 5th, 2017
Zebra mussels can clog water pipes, cooling intakes on boat motors, and almost anything else left in the water in infested lakes. Image by Larry D. Hodge

Zebra mussels can clog water pipes, cooling intakes on boat motors, and almost anything else left in the water in infested lakes. Image by Larry D. Hodge

This is Passport to Texas

Zebra mussels have high reproductive capabilities.

And then they also have the capability of attaching themselves to pretty much any hard substrate or surface found within the waterbodies.

Nonnative zebra mussels can have serious economic, environmental and recreational impacts. Biologist Brian Van Zee says 10 Texas Lakes are fully infested and another five are positive.

The ones that are listed ‘infested’ mean that they actually have a viable breeding population within the lakes. The lakes that are ‘positive’ are lakes where we have documented zebra mussels or their larvae on more than one occasion. So, we know they’re present, but we may not have been able to fully verify whether or not they’re reproducing.

Zebra mussels can clog public water intakes, and damage boats and motors left in infested waters. In June, they were discovered in Canyon Lake.

We know that the zebra mussels in canyon lake are a result of a contaminated boat that was brought and launched on the lake at some point in time. The other way the zebra mussels will spread and move in Texas is simply through their downstream movement of larvae. If you get a lake or a reservoir that’s on the upper portion of a river basin that becomes infested then, as water flows from those lakes and moves downstream, they will carry the larvae with them.

We can prevent the spread of zebra mussels when we clean, drain and dry our boats before leaving infested waters. More on that tomorrow.

The Wildlife and sport Fish Restoration program supports our series.

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