Archive for the 'SFWR' Category

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.

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.