Archive for the 'Saltwater' Category

TPW TV – The Shrimping Life

Friday, January 19th, 2018
The shrimping life.

The shrimping life.

This is Passport to Texas

When it comes to seafood, shrimp is king. And the Stringo Family—from Port O’Connor—are king-makers, having shrimped Texas Bays for decades.

I was born here. That’s all I’ve ever done—you know. Matagorda Bay, mainly.

That’s Anthony Stringo. He and his 75 year old father, Jesse, appear next week on a segment of the Texas Parks and Wildlife TV series on PBS. Anthony says his dad’s been shrimping the bays most of his life.

Fifty years I’d say. Yeah. Probably one of the oldest left out here. There might be one or two more his age left.

Texas Parks and WildlifeFisheries Biologist, Mark Fisher, also on the show, says shrimping’s changed since the Stringo family started working the bays.

Shrimping in the nineteen fifties was a very good decade. A price of shrimp was very high, fuel, fuel was cheap, labor was abundant; there was almost no government regulation back then. If you could work hard and handle it, it was all for the taking.

Anthony says shrimping’s not as freewheeling or as lucrative today.

These are the big shrimp, we ought to be getting four dollars a pound for them shrimp right there. But the markets not there because [consumers] get so much from overseas, [including] the farm raised shrimp.

Last of the Stringos airs on next week’s Texas Parks and Wildlife TV series on PBS. Check your local listings.

The Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series.

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

Learn to Cook Fish that Everyone Enjoys

Monday, January 1st, 2018
Preparing red snapper at Central Market Cooking School in Austin. Image: Bruce Biermann

Preparing red snapper at Central Market Cooking School in Austin. Image: Bruce Biermann

This is Passport to Texas

If one of your resolutions for 2018 includes catching, cooking and eating more fish, we’re here to help.

Freshwater and saltwater fish and shellfish are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, something most of us lack in our Standard American Diet…the acronym for which is SAD.

In Texas, we have fishing opportunities statewide. But once you’ve caught them, then what? Some of us don’t have much experience preparing fish. So we steer clear.

However, this month’s Texas Parks and Wildlife cooking class collaboration with Central Market cooking schools, will help get you past this aversion. It’s a hands-on class that will have you preparing fish like a pro—with a citrus twist.

The menu for this class includes Fried Oyster Tacos with Citrus Salsa; Roasted Red Snapper with Citrus & Pistachios; & Blackened Redfish with Quick Cabbage & Lemon Butter. Happy New Year, right?

Classes are Tuesday, January 9 in Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, Plano and Southlake. Historically, fish and seafood classes tend to fill fast.

Find registration information at passporttotexas.org [click on the links above to the school closest to you].

The Sport Fish Restoration Program supports our series.

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

2018 Resolutions for Anglers

Wednesday, December 27th, 2017
Fishing at Padres Island National Seashore. Image originally appeared in Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine.

Fishing at Padres Island National Seashore. Image originally appeared in Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine.

This is Passport to Texas Resolutions Week

When I asked Karen Marks and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Aquatic Education team if they had any New Year resolutions for anglers that they’d like to share with me, they did, and boiled them down to three little words:

Learn. Fish. Teach.

Learn to be safe on or near the water. Understand weather and water currents, and how to safely use your gear. Learn how to hold and release fish safely for you and the fish. Most of all, learn about aquatic invasive species and how as an angler you can prevent their spread.

Fish. Get outside and go fish. Buy a licenses and follow all regulations. It’s free to fish at state parks with fishing opportunities. Use established trails to access shoreline, and pick up litter along the way. Leave every area better than you found it. And invite family and friends to join you; don’t be surprised when they jump at the chance.

That brings us to teach. Volunteer at a local fishing event, help a scout group, volunteer with Parks and Wildlife or with a local veteran fishing organization like Heroes on the Water and Project Healing Waters.

Moreover, consider becoming a certified TPWD Angler Education instructor. Share your knowledge, skills and proper attitudes towards our fishing heritage, and help create a brighter future for freshwater and saltwater fishing in Texas.

The Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti

Stocking Southern Flounder

Thursday, December 7th, 2017
Shane Bonnot, hatchery biologist at Sea Center Texas in Lake Jackson, looks over one of several flounder brood stock tanks where fertilized eggs will be recovered.

Shane Bonnot, hatchery biologist at Sea Center Texas in Lake Jackson, looks over one of several flounder brood stock tanks where fertilized eggs will be recovered.

This is Passport to Texas

Spotted sea trout, redfish and southern flounder are the top three popular sportfish. Sea trout and redfish populations are stable, but not so for Southern Flounder.

We’ve had a slow, but stead, decrease in flounder populations throughout the coast of Texas. It’s been worse in some bays than it has in others. But it’s just been a slow decline.

David Abrego oversees the hatchery program at Sea Center Texas. Data suggests fewer females, over fishing, and loss due to shrimp bycatch are some of the main issues affecting flounder. Coastal hatcheries are tasked with helping boost the Southern Flounder populations.

The whole point of the stocking enhancement program is to supplement the natural population with fish.

Former stocking team member, Shane Bonnot, says there’s a learning curve with flounder.

Flounder is totally different than redfish and trout; it’s a whole new ballgame. So, we’re at the beginning stages of learning how to culture this fish.

The process begins with capturing male brooders to fertilize the eggs. And it’s not easy to do.

You have so many factors that can go against you. Whether it’s the wind, or a strong tide. And of course, visibility is not optimal.

They breed healthy males with females at the hatchery, and after three months, they release thousands of flounder fingerlings into the bays to supplement the wild population…for your angling pleasure.

The Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series.

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

Gigging After Dark for Flounder

Wednesday, December 6th, 2017
Gigging flounder in Christmas Bay.

Gigging flounder in Christmas Bay.

This is Passport to Texas

If you think fishing is a warm weather endeavor for the daytime hours, think again. Kelly Parker and his son Coe take to Christmas Bay in the dark of night in fall and winter months to flounder—as in fishing for flounder.

It’s nice and cool. You’re not worried about a sunburn. So, it’s relaxing. You aren’t working up a sweat. And it’s just very enjoyable. Very peaceful.

The Parker’s wade into the bay armed with a gig and shining a light on the water. A gig is pole fitted with a multi-pronged spear for impaling the fish. Gigging is a legal means of harvesting flounder between December 1st and 14th. The bag limit is two fish per day.

[Kelly] Hurry. Hurry. Hurry before it goes. That cloud’s going to get over it. Go! [splash] Yeah. There you go. [Coe] That actually looks like a Gulf flounder. [Kelly] I knew there was one hiding out here somewhere. [Coe] Yeah, they’re very hard to find. And a lot of people first time gigging ask what they’re looking for. And literally you’re looking for what we call the imprint. It’s the outline of the flounder. So, it looks like a football with a tail. That’s how I kind of describe it to new people that are coming out to the sport.

This flatfish is skilled at laying low, and blending with its surroundings. Sometimes they’re closer than you think.

[Coe] Oh shoot. [Kelly] Stepped on him? [Coe] I stepped on him. I missed him. Let me see if I can find another one real quick. I saw a few over here.

Watch your step, and find fishing information on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

The Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series.

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