Archive for the 'Kayaking' Category

Paddling: Kayak Safety

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

Safety first when on the water.

Safety first when on the water.

This is Passport to Texas

Putting others first is a selfless act, but when it comes to being on the water, Rob Owen says: you are number one!

03— Look after yourself first, and be safe about your decision-making.

That just means if you’re going out on a canoe or kayak be prepared, aware and set a good example. Owen works on the Parks and Wildlife Texas Outdoor Family and Texas Outdoor Education team.

17— Take along with you what you need for your day. Taking water is especially important. Sunscreen also; there’s nothing worse than a beet red sunburn on the end of a paddle trip – I’ve been there. Additionally, a life jacket and a whistle are two very important pieces of equipment for being on the water.

Having a lifejacket on board is one thing; wearing it while you’re underway is another.

10— As we like to say: Nobody’s Waterproof. You never know what’s going to happen when you fall out of the boat. So, it’s always a good idea to have that insurance policy. So, have that lifejacket on at all times [when you’re on the water].

Log onto the Texas Parks and Wildlife website to find safety information, paddling 101 workshops, and where you can rent paddling gear.

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

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

Paddling: Learn to Kayak Before the Year Ends

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

Getting underway on Beaver Pond Paddling Trail.

Getting underway on Beaver Pond Paddling Trail.

This is Passport to Texas

Just because the year’s half over, that doesn’t mean it’s too late to make good on your New Year resolutions; especially the one where you said you would learn a new outdoor activity like canoeing or kayaking.

04— A lot of state parks offer paddling 101 workshops.

See? It’s your lucky day. Rob Owen is a member of the Texas Outdoor Family and Texas Outdoor Education team.

12— These [101 workshops] will be an opportunity to come out to a park and learn from a ranger, briefly, about safety and some paddling strokes and having an opportunity just to use some equipment that otherwise you might not have regular access to.

Talk about removing barriers to your success. And, if you use good judgment on the water – Rob says you can forgo the workshop altogether.

14— Oftentimes, paddling skills are developed just through experience. If you take the opportunity to be safe, and think ahead about your plan, and where you want to paddle – and match your skill to the body of water you want to paddle on – then you really can start from scratch.

Good-bye excuses, hello good times paddling in Texas state parks. Just log onto the Texas Parks and Wildlife website to find the next paddling 101 workshop, or where you can rent paddling gear.

That’s our show for today… Funding provided in part by Ram Trucks. Guts. Glory. Ram

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

State Parks: Paddling Trails

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

Paddling Trail, Image courtesy

Paddling Trail, Image courtesy

This is Passport to Texas

Texas is home to more than 50 inland and coastal paddling trails – some of which are in state parks.

10— We took one at Caddo lake last summer. It is a swamp-like creature. It is neat, though. And then, I’ve been down to some at the coast; those are nice down there, too.

Terry Rodgers is park superintendent at Inks Lake State Park in the Hill Country; arguably one of the most popular parks in the system. He says its 831 acre lake is not yet part of the TPW paddling trails system, but – he adds — that doesn’t leave would-be paddlers high and dry.

13— We stay busy at Inks trying to educate people. We have a canoe clinic, where actually we teach people how to paddle and then we take them out on a little interpretive tour of Devil Waterhole and some of the different areas there.

The paddling trails team is identifying potential trails on Inks Lake. Meantime, there are opportunities for paddlers of all skill levels to get on the water at this scenic park – day or night.

17— We have a program that is just really neat. We call it the moonlight paddle; we take people out at night. Those are for the more experienced canoers and kayakers. You have to be 18 years [old] and we prefer [you] to be experienced. And so, it is a blast; it’s very educational, too.

Registration is required for these paddling programs.

Support provided by Ram Trucks. Doing what’s right and good regardless of the degree of difficulty — takes guts. Those are the people who build Ram trucks. RAM.

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

Recreation: Paddling Trail Program

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

Neches Paddling Trail

Neches Paddling Trail, Image © Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

This is Passport to Texas

Paddling down a river, or on a lake, bay or bayou is great summer fun; yet, access to public waterways is a challenge in Texas.

04— Texas is definitely a private land state; more than 94% of our state is privately owned.

Shelly Plante, paddling trail coordinator, says Parks and Wildlife has an interest in granting people access to public waterways.

24— There are places where you can get in on a river to go canoeing or kayaking and you may not have another public access site for forty miles – which is far more than a day trip. And you are now stuck on a river overnight, or trespassing on private property. So, the paddling trails program allowed us the ability to really educate people where they could go paddling for short day trips, where — if they put in here, six miles downriver there’s going to be another public access site. You will be able to get out.

Communities along waterways apply to participate in the program; Texas has more than 50 inland and coastal trails suitable for all skill levels. Find them all on the paddling trail website.

11— The paddling trail website is great. There are maps for every single trail in the program. And they show you exactly where you’ll be able to put in to go canoeing or kayaking, and where you’ll be able to take out.

On site kiosks provide additional information about conditions you might encounter while underway.

That’s our show…with funding provided by Chevrolet, supporting outdoor recreation in Texas; because there’s life to be done.

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

Texas Paddling Trails

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

This is Passport to Texas

There’s something special about experiencing Texas from a kayak or canoe. And lucky for us, we have coastal and inland paddling trails to accommodate all levels of watery wanderlust.

07—The Texas paddling trails program began informally about a decade ago when Parks and Wildlife set up some coastal paddling trails.

Shelly Plante is nature tourism coordinator for Texas Parks and Wildlife. That first trail was just the beginning.

08—From that project, we now have seven coastal paddling trails in our paddling trail program. And, in March of 2006, we launched our first inland paddling trail in Luling.

Active community partners, and a thorough evaluation, are required of all would be trails – inland or coastal.

25—There are a few steps that need to happen for a paddling trail to become one of ours. And that includes a river survey to look at the water quality. Look at the wildlife, ecology, fishing opportunities that can happen along that river or bay. And then, again, meeting with the community, having a community partner that’s actively involved and interested in having paddlers come to their site. And then, developing kiosk materials, because we will have educational kiosks at every access point.

Seven new Texas Paddling Trails open to the public in the DFW area on May 10. Find information on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

The Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series and provides funding for wetland conservation through the Private Lands Enhancement Program.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti