Archive for the 'Regulations' Category

TPW TV –Game of Gobblers

Friday, September 21st, 2018
Turkey release.

TPW biologist Trevor Tanner releases a Rio Grande turkeys on Price 77 Ranch near Blooming Grove, Texas

This is Passport to Texas

When European settlers started coming to East Texas, turkeys were thriving. But those settlers quickly changed the landscape.

Around 1925, a hunter could harvest up to 25 turkeys a year. By the 1940s there were less than 100 eastern wild turkeys throughout East Texas. Over-harvest as well as habitat decline really led to the demise of the population.

Kyle Hand is a Texas Parks and Wildlife Natural Resource Specialist. In the 1970s, the agency started a program of bringing wild trapped turkeys from other states to Texas. The program looked promising. Over the next 20 years, more than 7000 eastern wild turkeys were stocked in East Texas.

Now we’re using a super stocking strategy where we release 80 turkeys onto one area of good habitat in hopes that the population will grow from there.

Thanks to the success of these stockings, hunters like Terrence Jackson of Houston have an opportunity to enjoy spring turkey hunting in parts of East Texas.

When I’m on these turkey hunts, basically I love to get away from the busyness of Houston and work and the crowdedness. The sound of the birds, the quiet in the morning and walking through the woods. It’s something that pulls at you.

Experience an East Texas turkey hunt the week of September 23 on the Texas Parks and Wildlife TV series on PBS.

The Wildlife Restoration Program supports our series.

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

Dove Regulations

Wednesday, August 29th, 2018
Mourning dove striking a pose.

Mourning dove striking a pose.

This is Passport to Texas

Some dove hunters may be surprised to learn that Texas does not set the state’s dove season or its bag limits. That falls to the US Fish & Wildlife Service.

 And the do it by management unit.

Texas is in the central management unit, or flyway. Owen Fitzsimmons, is Texas Parks and Wildlife’s web-less migratory game bird leader, and says Texas still has a say in the process.

What they’ll do, is they’ll set a range of dates. And within that range we have a window, essentially. We have 90 days that we can set the season however we see fit within the state.

Texas controls where in that range of dates our dove season falls.

And we can split it once. But we don’t have any control over bag limits. We have limits on when we can start the season and when we can stop the season, and things like that. We have some leeway, but most of it is controlled by Fish and Wildlife Service.

Data collected in Texas assists the US Fish and Wildlife service when deciding seasons and bag limits.

We have our banding program, which is a nationwide banding program for mourning dove. But, Fish & Wildlife service also does a parts collection survey.

Parts collection surveys—that’s tomorrow.

The Wildlife Restoration program supports our series and funds Mourning Dove Density, Distribution, and Harvest surveys in Texas.

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

You Have to be HIP (Certified) to Hunt Ducks

Friday, July 27th, 2018
Waterfowl hunting at Guadalupe Delta WMA.

Waterfowl hunting at Guadalupe Delta WMA.

This is Passport to Texas

If you plan on hunting migratory game birds in Texas this fall, you need to be HIP – HIP certified, that is. HIP stands for Harvest Information Program.

It’s purpose is to gain information on waterfowl and migratory bird hunters nationwide. Basically a name and address and a little bit about their previous year’s hunting activity—as well as what they plan on hunting what they plan on hunting in the upcoming year.

Kevin Kraai is Waterfowl Program Coordinator. He says the HIP program helps wildlife professionals improve resource management practices as well as track various waterfowl populations throughout the country.

It’s a very useful tool in setting the future year hunting regulations and management decisions.

Being a HIP certified waterfowl hunter isn’t just a good idea—it’s the law.

Officially it is a requirement by law that every individual that plans on hunting migratory birds in the state of Texas us HIP certified. If you are not HIP certified and you are hunting migratory game birds, you are subject to game violations.

We have a link to information about becoming HIP certified at passporttotexas.org.

The Wildlife and Sportfish restoration program supports our series and is funded by your purchase of fishing and hunting equipment and motorboat fuel…

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

Releasing Aquarium Fish Not Humane

Thursday, July 5th, 2018

Aquarium in TV. Image: Furnish Burnish

This is Passport to Texas

How far would you travel to ensure the future of your favorite exotic aquarium fish?

We had some folks telling us that they would go as far as 50 miles to find an appropriate body of water.

Releasing pet fish into Texas waters when you no longer want them, is not a humane act. Exotic aquaria species disrupt natural ecosystems.

When we spoke, Priscilla Weeks was a research scientist at the Houston Advanced Research Center. At the time, her team used a TPWD grant to research why people release their fish into Texas waters.

I think there might be a stereotype where folks think that it is easy, emotionally, just to release a fish. But actually what we’re finding is folks are very attached to their pets.

According to research, whether a person gives up their fish depends on personal preference like its behavior or physical attributes.

And what we’re finding is that different individuals prefer different attributes of a fish. So, it’s not necessarily that it grows too big in my tank, because I may like a big fish.

If those attributes change, sometimes so does the owners’ interest in the animal.

Releasing a fish is not the only option when you no longer want it. Weeks says you can euthanize it, but less drastic is taking it back to the pet store.

The Sport fish restoration program supports our series.

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

Crack Down on Illegal Fish Trade

Monday, June 25th, 2018

Texas Game Wardens are cracking down illegal fish trade in markets after nearly 20 area fish markets and restaurants were cited for buying illegal seafood. Image: KTRK

This is Passport to Texas

Houston has a dynamic culinary scene, where seafood is on the menu. In April, Texas Game Wardens wrapped up a two-year covert operation by issuing more than 150 citations to fish markets and restaurants in the Houston area that illegally purchased game fish from undercover officers.

Over the two year period, we approached approximately 40 businesses in the Houston area—restaurants and markets. And I think the final number was 19 purchased from us. So, about 50% purchased.

Captain Josh Koenig oversees the Game Warden’s Special Ops Criminal Investigations Division. During the two-year operation, wardens in plain clothes offered to sell more than a dozen different Texas saltwater species to seafood markets and restaurants along the upper Texas coast.

The black market fish market is definitely a global issue. The legal folks who are doing everything correct, it could put a damper on them; these illegal fish can change the market, and affect you then when you in turn go to buy fish. So, trying to slow down or stop the black market fish trade is a very high priority.

Wardens received tips from sources identifying businesses known to purchase fish under the table. They began approaching them using product seized from other cases. These covert investigations are ongoing.

That’s our show, brought to you in part by Ram Trucks…built to serve.

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