Archive for the 'Stocking' Category

Managing Coastal Fisheries

Wednesday, September 12th, 2018
Sea Center Texas

Sea Center Texas

This is Passport to Texas

Coastal fishing is one of Texas’ most popular recreational activities, and its future depends on quality management. That’s where Texas Parks and Wildlife comes in.

Fisheries biologists and technicians are responsible for direct management of the resource. This entails getting fish into the water through hatchery efforts of breeding, raising and stocking fish.

Just as important: educating the public. Texas Parks and Wildlife’s Outreach, Education and Communications teams take the lead there. It’s vital to help people to understand the value of the marine life and habitat.

Whether you live on the coast or are visiting, a trip to Sea Center Texas fish hatchery and Visitor Center in Lake Jackson can help you on your road to understanding. At the hatchery they breed red drum, spotted seatrout and southern flounder for stock enhancement. The Visitor’s Center focuses on the importance of environmental stewardship. There’s something for the whole family.

The goal of the center is to instill in the public a deep understanding of and appreciation for the role they play in the improvement and enhancement of our marine resources.

Find more information about coastal fisheries and Sea Center Texas on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

The Sport Fish restoration program supports our series.

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

Reel in a Lunker and Get Some “Loot”

Friday, February 16th, 2018
angler with bass

Angler Larry Mosby with his 13.06 pound ShareLunker! Entry #567

 

This is Passport to Texas

This year, the Toyota Sharelunker program expanded to include largemouth bass eight pounds or more. Anglers may submit data year-round into one of four classes: Lunker, Lunker Elite, Lunker Legend and Lunker Legacy.

And anglers can submit a fish into one of those four classes through our mobile app or our web based form.

Kyle Brookshear oversees the program.

Our mobile app allows an angler to enter the data field, such as the date and time that it was caught—the weight the length. And then document those with a photograph and submit those to us. And once they’re reviewed and confirmed, they’ll be entered into the program.

Lunker Legacy class permits anglers to submit their data and loan 13+ pound lunkers caught during the January 1st—March 31st spawning window.

For entering, an angler in any of those categories receives a catch kit. In addition to that, everyone who enters into one of those four categories, is included in a grand prize drawing of a $5K shopping spree at the end of the year. Those anglers that enter the Legacy Class program are in an additional drawing for another $5K shopping spree.

Find details about the program changes as well as the items found in each catch kit, and how to submit your catch data at texassharelunker.com.

The Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series.

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

Reel in a Rainbow Before They’re Gone

Thursday, January 18th, 2018
Take the kids fishing.

Take the kids fishing.

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 fish to survive. Inland fisheries will distribute more than 310-thousand rainbows in 160 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 New Year here, it’s is a great time add fishing to your to-do list this year. 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.

Chasing Rainbows in Texas

Wednesday, January 17th, 2018
Stocking Rainbow trout. Photo by Larry Hodge.

Stocking Rainbow trout. Photo by Larry Hodge.

This is Passport to Texas

It’s the New year; what better way to celebrate than with rainbows – 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. Thanks to good rainfall throughout most of the state, we have fishing access to almost all waterbodies.

This year, things are pretty well back to normal. Looks like our normal level of stocking will happen.

Kittel says the agency will stock about 160 sites around the state, distributing more than 310-thousand rainbow trout. 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.

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.