Archive for the 'SFWR' Category

Life Jackets Save Lives

Monday, May 21st, 2018

Everyone who goes on the water should wear a life jacket.

This is Passport to Texas

We’re on the threshold of summer; and what goes well with summer in Texas? Boating, of course. But before you get on the water, Tim Spice says: put on a life jacket.

A life jacket is something you wear that provides buoyancy if you jumped in the water or fell in the water.

Spice oversees boater education for Texas Parks and Wildlife. People make excuses to avoid wearing life jackets—including that they’re ugly—says Spice. But ask yourself this: is your street cred as a fashionista really more important than your life?

It’s one of the key components of drowning prevention. The Coast Guard estimates that 70% to 80% of the people who drown would be alive if they just wore a life jacket.

Tim Spice says, today’s life jackets are not the awkward, ill-fitting, boxy garments of a generation ago.

There are lots of new life jacket designs out there now. They don’t get in the way; they’re lightweight. Just really neat technology used today. Inflatable life jackets. And if you get into an emergency, or you’re not familiar with your surroundings—a lifejacket will be there to save your life.

“Life” is in the name, for goodness sake. Find information on choosing the right lifejacket for you and your family on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

The Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife, Cecilia Nasti.

TPW TV — Building Habitat for Fish

Friday, March 2nd, 2018
Creating fish habitat in aging reservoirs.

Creating fish habitat in aging reservoirs.

This is Passport to Texas

Most freshwater fishing in Texas happens in reservoirs.

So we want to make sure we conserve the reservoirs and these fishing opportunities by restoring habitat.

Marcos de Jesus is with For Texas Parks and Wildlife Inland Fisheries. On next  week’s For Texas Parks and Wildlife TV series on PBS, the agency and its partners renew underwater habitat in reservoirs for better angling.

We can always supplement the woody debris, the vegetation, or any type of cover that fish need by cutting something like cedar trees. We can also use artificial habitat that different commercial producers make. These things are put together to mimic trees, that creates cover.

Although TPW has the expertise…

These projects can become expensive and they are labor intensive so we need partnerships to actually get these great projects on the water.

Partnerships with groups like Friends of Reservoirs.

Friends of Reservoirs is a great group. And these groups are usually composed of stakeholders that have the common interest of conservation and fishing. So they team up with Texas Parks and Wildlife; we do some great projects around the state.

See reservoir renovation in action next week on the For Texas Parks and Wildlife TV series on PBS. Check your local listings.

If you want to get involved and help TPWD with conservation initiatives, feel free to call local district biologist. And get involved and help us in conservation. We can’t do it alone.

The Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series.

That’s our show… For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Are Catfish the Future of Freshwater Fishing?

Tuesday, February 27th, 2018
Big Blue Cat, Lake Tawakoni. Image: Capt. Michael Littlejohn.

Big Blue Cat, Lake Tawakoni. Image: Capt. Michael Littlejohn.

This is Passport to Texas

Largemouth bass is hands down the favorite sport fish among anglers in Texas

Today in Texas about 50% of our anglers say they prefer largemouth bass.

Dave Terre, chief of inland fisheries research and management, says one fish is gaining on largemouth.

About 20 percent of anglers prefer fishing catfish in Texas.

That’s right – the humble catfish. Catfish are better able than largemouth bass to survive and thrive when water levels are low, such as during drought.

We’re trying to study catfish more intensively to determine how we can make fishing for catfish even better.

Texas Parks and Wildlife developed a management to guide the future of this sport fish in Texas.

Most people in Texas – when they think of a fish, they think of a catfish. I think that’s the honest truth. Bass get more notoriety, but catfish are very important and I think a perfect fish to start new anglers on fishing, and to get a new generation of Texas interested in fishing.

Texas is home to at least 10 species of catfish. Three provide important fishing opportunities to anglers: Channel, Blue, and Flathead Catfish. We have a link to the catfish management plan at passporttotexas.org.

The Sport Fish Restoration Program supports our series and funds fisheries research in Texas.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Anglers Discover a New Favorite in an Old Fish

Monday, February 26th, 2018
Catching Blue Cats in Lake Waco

Catching Blue Cats in Lake Waco

This is Passport to Texas

An old timey freshwater fish is getting new attention. What is it?

A traditional fish that’s been caught by anglers for many, many years.

That’s more of a clue than an answer, Dave Terre. Dave is chief of inland fisheries research and management. Here’s another clue: Parks and Wildlife produces and then stocks this fish in Texas water bodies.

Yes, we do produce many, many catfish in our state fish hatchery system in Texas.

Catfish! But you knew that, right?

As a matter of fact, we stock literally thousands of advanced size channel catfish in small ponds located throughout the state. One of those programs is our neighborhood Fishin’ program, where we’re stocking every two weeks adult channel catfish 12-inches or larger, into some 14 water bodies across the state to offer up great fishing opportunities for people who reside in urban areas of our state, which is definitely a group that we would like to reach out to.

To the original point: serious anglers are rediscovering catfish…but why?

Texas is changing. We’re going to be experiencing more drought conditions in Texas; and what we know about catfish is they are able to deal with fluctuating water levels better than largemouth bass, which have been – and will continue to be – a popular sport fish in Texas.

With heavy stocking and a new eye toward management catfish is a traditional species for changing times.

The Sport Fish Restoration Program supports our series and funds fisheries research in Texas.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Popular and Abundant — Rethinking Catfish

Thursday, May 26th, 2016
A fine looking catfish.

A fine looking catfish.

This is Passport to Texas

Largemouth bass may be the gold standard when it comes to freshwater fish in Texas, but catfish are a close second.

We’ve done a lot with regards to the management of largemouth bass. And we figure, catfish are going to meet the needs of a new generation of anglers across the state; and there’s a lot we can do to manage for catfish and make fishing even better than it is right now.

Dave Terre is chief of fisheries management and research at Texas Parks and Wildlife. Catfish are abundant and adaptable to Texas’ changing environmental conditions.

We think catfish will be a good match for our changing environmental situations that we have both in our reservoir environments and our river environments in Texas. And we think we can manage those populations to meet those changing environmental conditions.

Dave Terre says catfish management takes many forms.

Stocking fish is a good way to increase opportunities for people catching more fish. We can also manage with fishing regulations. Fishing regulations allow us to control numbers and sizes of fish that are harvested. We can also manage fish habitats to improve populations in a number of different ways. As fisheries managers, there’s all sorts of things we can do with catfish to make fishing opportunities better in Texas going forward.

The impact of the new management plan on anglers. That’s tomorrow.

The Sport Fish restoration program supports our series.

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