Archive for the 'Saltwater' Category

Game Wardens: Illegal Fishing in the Gulf

Thursday, January 29th, 2015


Texas Parks & Wildlife patol in the Gulf of Mexico near the Mexican border.

Texas Parks & Wildlife patrol in the Gulf of Mexico near the Mexican border.

This is Passport to Texas

Gillnets are vertical panels of netting used by some commercial fishermen; they arbitrarily catch fish and other wildlife, and are illegal in Texas waters. During an enhanced marine patrol last fall, Texas Game Wardens seized roughly 8,000 feet of gillnet.

07— The gillnets were actually in the Rio Grande River, which is a fertile ecosystem that feeds to the Gulf of Mexico.

Captain James Dunks, a Game Warden in the Brownsville District in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, says they made no arrests in this Class B misdemeanor case, but he’s certain who owned the nets.

27— There’s a commercial fishing village just south of the Mexico border; it’s called La Playa Bagdad. And basically all it is, is a commercial fishing camp; they have a bunch of boats and captains that are fishing out of that area. We chase them, and we catch a few. The coast guard catches a few. And every time you interview one, you ask them why do you keep coming over here. And they’ll tell you they don’t have any fish left. So, they’re having to utilize our resources for their personal gain.

Captain Dunks says these fishermen are after whatever they can sell, saying bull sharks are close to shore these days, and with shark fin soup a delicacy…

06— They’ll take them right up to the beach, cut the fins off, and I’ve heard of them discarding the actual shark – just to cut the fins off.

Anyone who witnesses alleged illegal commercial fishing activity is encouraged to call their local game warden or Operation Game Thief.

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

TPW TV: Sinking the Kinta

Friday, December 26th, 2014

This is Passport to Texas

The Gulf of Mexico has a lot going for it; but one thing it lacks is substrate. Substrate is hard material on which an organism can live and grow. That’s where this guy comes in.

05—[I’m] Dale Shivley; I’m the program leader for the artificial reef program for Texas Parks and Wildlife

Travel to the gulf with Shively and his crew this week on the TPW TV Series, as they “near shore” reef a 155 foot decommissioned freighter called the Kinta in 77 feet of water 8 miles off the coast of Corpus Christi.

13—Basically, what we have is a huge piece of metal that will benefit the local environment. Marine organisms will begin to grow on it; fish will be attracted to it immediately; it’s been cleaned of environmental hazards and is ready to go. [ambience]

On this TV segment, witness the hulking ship begin its new life on the gulf floor, where it will improve angling and diving opportunities. Brooke Shipley-Lozano, a marine biologist with Parks and Wildlife was at the reefing, and explains what will happen to the freighter.

19— So, the water will start coming in at the stern. And then gradually the water will fill up the ballast tanks one by one from the stern to the fore, and the rear of the ship should h it the bottom, and then eventually the bow will follow suit, and it will land perfectly upright and everyone will celebrate…

Will there be celebrating? Find when you watch the segment Sinking the Kinta S the week of December 28 on the TPW PBS TV Series. Check your local listings.

The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series.

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

Fishing: Unusual Fish Await the Winter Angler

Wednesday, December 24th, 2014


A fishable population of snook await anglers in the Texas Gulf.

A fishable population of snook await anglers in the lower Texas Gulf.

This is Passport to Texas

You don’t have to keep your fishing gear in storage until summer. Head to the coast this winter and reel in some amazing fish!

06—Texas has year-round saltwater fishing and it’s very productive, even in the worst of weather.

While the majority of saltwater anglers cast for red fish, flounder and speckled trout, professional fishing guide and outdoor writer, Danno Wise, recommends casting a wider net, so to speak. He says there are plenty fish in the sea.

40—Down here in the Rio Grande Valley is the only place in the continental United States outside of South Florida there’s a fishable population of snook year round. They’re sensitive to cold so they’re going to go into the deeper portions of our bay systems, but because the fish will be concentrated, we have excellent snook fishing during the winter time. We also have a substantial amount of beachfront fishing which is kind of overlooked. Whiting, which is a simple kind of fish, and the pompano. Very tropical looking species; in Florida, they’re targeted very heavily. Fish such as those are plentiful and good eating, and if you want to target going out just to get out of the house, relax, and catch a few to take home to eat, those are excellent choices.

Grab your gear, some warm clothes, and head to the coast this winter to reel in more than the usual suspects.

The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series… funded by your purchase of fishing equipment and motor boat fuel.

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

Angling: Near Shore Reefing of the Kinta

Thursday, November 13th, 2014
Reefing the Kinta off the coast of Corpus Christi

Reefing the Kinta off the coast of Corpus Christi

This is Passport to Texas

The Gulf of Mexico bustles with marine life with no place to call home because the floor of the gulf is…

01—Mainly mud and sand.

Dale Shively, with the artificial reef program at Texas Parks and Wildlife, says using a variety of materials, the agency creates hard substrate, habitat, for these species.

10—By putting down concrete, or steel, or a ship – that gives these organisms a place to attach and to grow. And then from there, they create this reef environment…

The reef attracts fish, thus improving angling and diving opportunities. In Mid-September, Texas Parks and Wildlife sunk the freighter Kinta in 77 feet of water, 8 miles off the coast of Corpus Christi. Shively explains what makes a ship right for a location.

12—We want a ship that’s complex and that has a lot of interest to divers, and would be beneficial for marine life. [It needs to be] clean of environmental hazards, but of the right size to fit in particular reef sites.

The Kinta fit the bill, and has a new home on the gulf floor, where marine life has already discovered it.

20—Divers have gone down just a few hours after it was on the bottom and saw fish –so they found a home immediately. But as far as organisms actually growing and attaching to it, that will take a few months. But I would say in six months it will be pretty well covered, and within a year you have a pretty significant reef.

The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series.

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

Angling: Red Snapper Survey

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

Red Snapper

Red Snapper

This is Passport to Texas

Sometime this summer saltwater anglers will have red snapper on the half shell sizzling on the grill.

03— It’s certainly one of the most highly sought after [fish] in the gulf – both here in Texas and in other states.

And TPW wants to know more about your catch. Jeremy Leitz [LEETZ] works in coastal fisheries at Parks and Wildlife. He says the division started a one-year pilot program in May 2014 to collect information about red snapper harvests from recreational anglers.

11—We’re going to use that information we collect directly from anglers alongside our routine creel surveys to get a better estimate of the number of red snapper that are being caught by recreational anglers. One will validate the other one.

Leitz says one person in the angling party can fill out the online survey for everyone involved.

08—It’s a quick, short, three-four question survey: date of the trip, how many fish were caught, how many people in the angling party. It will take just a few seconds to fill out.

Filling out the survey is voluntary; find it on the TPW website.

12—Our routine creel surveys typically last from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. A lot of these folks may not come in until later in the day. So, this reporting website will catch some of those later anglers, and so we’ll see if we’re still matching up with our creel surveys.

Data from the survey will help biologists better manage the species, and improve fishing for all. The WSFR program supports our series; its funded by your purchase of fishing and hunting equipment and motorboat fuel.

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