Archive for the 'Stocking' Category

Hatchery Raised Red Drum and Spotted Sea Trout

Wednesday, June 26th, 2019

CCA Incubation Room. Image courtesy of Texas Saltwater Fishing Magazine.

The CCA Marine Development Center in Corpus Christi produces juvenile red drum and spotted sea trout for release into Texas bays. They do it by tricking wild brood stock.

We put them through a 150-day light and temperature cycle to condense their year down and get them to spawn when we want them to.

Ashley Fincannon is Hatchery Manager

It’s volitional spawning so they are just freely spawning freely in the tanks at night. When the eggs are fertilized, they are buoyant, and they end up at the top of the tanks and end up going in to our egg collectors.

We take those eggs into our incubator room where we hatch them out. They are pretty rapidly developing fish so if we had fish that spawned last night, by this afternoon around six, those fish would be hatching out, they would be feeding on their yolk sack, by three days, they have consumed their yolk sack, their eyes are formed, their mouth is formed, their gut is formed and they are ready to go out and eat.

On the third day, we stock them to our outdoor rearing ponds where we grow them out about 35-40 days where they reach that targeted 35-40-millimeter mark for size at release.

Go to the Texas Parks and Wildlife website to learn more about the hatchery or to plan a visit; search for CCA Marine Development Center.

The Sport Fish Restoration Program supports our series.

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

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.

Corralling Catfish

Thursday, January 10th, 2019

Catfish waiting his turn to head to a neighborhood fishin’ pond.

This is Passport to Texas

I visited the A.E. Wood Fish Hatchery in San Marcos on a misty morning in early October; that’s where I met hatchery manager Mike Matthews.

We’re standing on the banks of pond 23. And we’re harvesting our 12-inch catfish for our neighborhood fishing program.

The one-acre pond had been drained; nearly 5,000 channel catfish flopped around in a Kansas kettle.

It’s basically a raceway in the bottom of our pond. We’ve brought the whole pond down into that kettle, and that just catches all the fish for us very efficiently.

A technician counted and weighed the fish as he placed them into a wire basket. Using a crane, technicians moved the basket to a waiting transport truck, and deposited the fish into tanks.

Which has got probably three to five parts per thousand saltwater in it. It’s beneficial for the fish. It causes them to promote slime growth, which in case they do get a little rough handled, and nicks their skin a little bit, that slime will cover that before it can really become a problem. It’s natural. That’s what they do anyway.

I followed a truck to East Metro Park in Austin, where Ryan, a fisheries technician, released them as anglers waited on the banks.

Texas Parks and Wildlife stocks catfish in neighborhood fishin’ ponds during warmer months. In winter, it’s rainbow trout. Find the stocking schedule on the TPW website.

The Sport Fish Restoration Program supports our series.

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

Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration

Thursday, October 18th, 2018

Sport Fish Restoration Program helps make fishing better for all.

This is Passport to Texas

If you’re an angler or boater, you will be interested to know that every time you purchase fishing tackle or motor boat fuel, you contribute to a trust fund that helps support quality sport fishing and boating access in Texas.

It’s the Dingell-Johnson Act. Also called the Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act; it is a national program.

It began as an excise tax on rods, reels, creels, and fishing lures; the tax money was used to help fund US efforts during World War II. In 1950 it was redirected, thanks to the efforts of Congressman John Dingell of Michigan and Senator Edwin Johnson of Colorado.

Texas receives a 5% maximum apportionment of all of these federal taxes, and it is matched on a 3 to 1 basis with the sale of state fishing licenses.

In Texas, a little over one-third of the funds support fisheries management. One-fifth, hatchery operations; followed by boating access, aquatic education, habitat protection, sport fishery research and public outreach.

These funds help make fishing and boating better in Texas for everyone—from urban neighborhood fishin’ lakes to…well…this show.

Sport fishing is good for the Texas economy as anglers and boaters spend billions of dollars annually for goods and services. Besides, they get to go fishing. I call that win-win.

The Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series.

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

Why We Stock Fish in Texas

Tuesday, September 25th, 2018
Stocking fingerlings

Stocking fingerlings in Texas waters

This is Passport to Texas

It’s no accident that some of the country’s best sport fishing happens in Texas lakes and rivers.

Fish stocking is an ongoing activity of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s inland fisheries division.

But why stock fish at all? Stocking helps to establish initial year classes of fish in new or renovated waters. It also supplements existing populations that, for some reason, have insufficient spawning or recruitment. Stocking also increases species diversity.

Restoring fish populations that have been reduced or eliminated by natural or manmade or catastrophes is another reason to stock fish in Texas waters.

Parks and Wildlife may also stock fish to either change or enhance the genetics of a particular fish population in a specific water body.

Moreover, the agency stocks certain lakes, streams and community ponds with catchable size fish year round—rainbow trout in winter and catfish spring through fall. Doing so makes sport fishing more accessible to all. The agency even offers free fishing in state parks, angler education classes and tackle loaner programs.

So, if you’re not catching fish in Texas, you’re just not trying. Find fishing information and the locations of Neighborhood Fishin’ lakes and ponds on the TPW website.
The Sport Fish Restoration Program supports our series. For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti