Archive for the 'SFWR' Category

Angling: Fly Fish Texas March 14, 2015

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015
Fly Fishing Gear

Fly Fishing Gear

This is Passport to Texas

If you’ve always wanted to learn to fly fish, check out the 16th Annual Fly Fish Texas event March 14 at the Texas Fresh Water Fisheries Center in Athens.

09— Our entire facility – several dozen acres – is converted into a gigantic fly fishing school for beginners and intermediates alike.

Jim Booker coordinates the event, where among other activities, attendees will learn to cast for and catch fish.

10— We’ll have over a hundred volunteer instructors coming to man the different stations and activities. And these are volunteers that come from fly fishing clubs all over Texas.

Speakers will share tips on where to fly fish in Texas and beyond; and outdoor seminars take place all day.

13—In fact, we’ve just added a really interesting one called tenkara fishing. Tenkara fly fishing is the ancient Japanese form, which involves just the rod, the line, and the tie – no reel is involved.

Fly Fish Texas, March 14 at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center offers hands on opportunities for attendees, too.

08—We have an actual classroom here, and on a walk-in basis, from noon until 4 p.m. we will do beginning fly tying classes.

Dive shows, tram tours of the hatchery, vendors and good food round out the day – Fly Fish Texas activities are free with regular paid admission to the center; find a schedule of events on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

The Sport Fish Restoration Program supports our series.

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

TPW TV: Wild Kitties in the City

Friday, January 16th, 2015




This is Passport to Texas

Bobcats don’t fit the description of “city slicker.” Yet, in a new Texas Parks and Wildlife PBS TV segment airing next week, you’ll discover these felines are becoming a common site in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

04—The allure of cats and their strength and their stealth – they’re pretty fascinating.

Graduate student, Julie Golla, works with Texas Parks and Wildlife to examine how bobcats move in a city. She’s trying to understand the way they use available habitat in an urban setting to make a living. But first she has to trap them.

10—I thought we were going to have a hard time finding cats to catch in these really urban spots; but there’s no shortage of bobcats, and I think people will be surprised.

Once trapped, a team gathers, and they sedate the animals, take their vitals, and collect other data

15—You want to get good, solid information, because this is a lot of work that goes into every bobcat we catch. It’s always stressful doing this because you take the animal’s well-being into your hands when you work with them like this. But, we did everything right and everything went really well. He’s doing great right now.

The wild cat gets a GPS tracking collar before release.

Watch Julie Golla and Texas Parks and Wildlife Wildlife biologists trap and track bobcats in the Dallas-Fort Worth area this week on the Texas Parks and Wildlife PBS TV show.

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

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

Wildlife: Good Snakes, Bad Choices

Monday, November 17th, 2014
Timber rattlesnake

Timber rattlesnake

This is Passport to Texas

Have you noticed fall seems to bring with it small snakes?

04— Snake encounters may increase, although those animals are usually juveniles.

Late summer and early fall snakes hatch and feed before finding a place to hibernate, says TPW herpetologist Andy Gluesenkamp. Young snakes can make bad choices when it comes to where they spend the winter.

14—They may confuse a concrete floored garage, or someone’s limestone front porch with a bluff or a crevice that they can hang out in. And that’s where we wind up with these unwanted snake encounters in neighborhoods.

I told Andy that a rat snake lives under my house.

08—Cecilia, I’ll point out – it’s one thing to have a rat snake under your house, it’s another thing to have a skunk. So, I’ll take the snake over the skunk any day.

I have skunks, too. Andy Gluesenkamp says snakes near the front door or in the garage will find a new place to live on their own. But what if they get into the house?

11—The best advice I can give is a broom and a bucket. There’s no need to hurt the snake. They’re generally not difficult to collect if you just scoop them into a bucket and put them outside. They don’t want to be in your house.

The Wildlife and Sport Fish 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.

Angling: Near Shore Reefing of the Kinta

Thursday, November 13th, 2014
Reefing the Kinta off the coast of Corpus Christi

Reefing the Kinta off the coast of Corpus Christi

This is Passport to Texas

The Gulf of Mexico bustles with marine life with no place to call home because the floor of the gulf is…

01—Mainly mud and sand.

Dale Shively, with the artificial reef program at Texas Parks and Wildlife, says using a variety of materials, the agency creates hard substrate, habitat, for these species.

10—By putting down concrete, or steel, or a ship – that gives these organisms a place to attach and to grow. And then from there, they create this reef environment…

The reef attracts fish, thus improving angling and diving opportunities. In Mid-September, Texas Parks and Wildlife sunk the freighter Kinta in 77 feet of water, 8 miles off the coast of Corpus Christi. Shively explains what makes a ship right for a location.

12—We want a ship that’s complex and that has a lot of interest to divers, and would be beneficial for marine life. [It needs to be] clean of environmental hazards, but of the right size to fit in particular reef sites.

The Kinta fit the bill, and has a new home on the gulf floor, where marine life has already discovered it.

20—Divers have gone down just a few hours after it was on the bottom and saw fish –so they found a home immediately. But as far as organisms actually growing and attaching to it, that will take a few months. But I would say in six months it will be pretty well covered, and within a year you have a pretty significant reef.

The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series.

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

Conservation: Conservation Detection Dogs

Monday, November 10th, 2014
Alice Whitelaw and Tia, inspecting boats for zebra mussels in California

Alice Whitelaw and Tia, inspecting boats for zebra mussels in California

This is Passport to Texas

Most dogs like to work. And Pete Coppolillo is hiring. He is Executive Director of Working Dogs for Conservation in Bozeman, Montana. Since the mid-1990s, his organization’s trained dogs as a non-invasive alternative method for collecting data on hard to find wildlife.

05—By non-invasive, I mean we don’t have to capture them, we don’t have to handle them, we don’t even have to see them.

Then, just how are researchers using dogs?

06—So, the idea is we train a dog to find their scat, usually, which to non-biologists is a polite word for poop.

By detecting scat, the dogs help researchers determine the range, sex, and diet (among other things) of certain wildlife species. Pete said they first trained dogs to sniff out grizzly bear and wolf scat, but didn’t stop there.

28—Dogs can do everything from scat to live animal work to invasive weeds. Even invertebrates, like Emerald Ash Borer; they can find their larvae or their eggs. And, [we] even [use the dogs to detect] aquatic invasives like zebra and quagga mussels – to inspect boats. Because, the mussels can be in cracks, or inside, where a visual inspection can’t see them. Or the dogs can even detect the veligers, which are microscopic larvae that we can’t see.

Not all dogs are suited to this work. Learn more about these dogs at Working Dogs for Conservation.

More on that tomorrow. The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series and funds diverse conservation projects in Texas.

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