The State Bighorn Sheep in Texas

May 14th, 2019
Bighorn Sheep release

Bighorn Sheep release

This is Passport to Texas

We almost lost the [Desert] Bighorn Sheep from the American landscape. What was the cause of such decline?

Primarily the introduction of domestic sheep and goats into Bighorn habitat. Diseases that domestic sheep and goats had that Bighorns had not been exposed to. Net wire fencing has also been associated domestic sheep and goat industry that prevented Bighorn movement. And then unregulated hunting.

Froylan Hernandez is Texas Parks and Wildlife’s Desert Bighorn program leader. He is one of many individuals tasked with returning Bighorn to their native habitat and things are going well.

So what we are doing now is translocating free ranging animals into unpopulated habitats… we’ve been able to restore sheep to three mountain ranges that haven’t seen Bighorns in over 60 years in the last 8-10 years.

Bighorn still face many challenges, but the future looks bright.

Luckily we don’t have the problems that you see in other states as far as disease goes. And so we are not immune to that but we certainly don’t have those problems. But yeah, I’m very hopeful.

Things are looking good for Bighorn sheep populations but there is a lot of work still left to restore balance back to our Texas landscapes.

The Wildlife Restoration program supports our series.

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

TPW TV– Natural Connection

May 9th, 2019

Xochitl Rodriguez and Adrian Sabom.

This is Passport to Texas

The outdoors brings people together, as it did Xochit Rodriguez and Adrian Sabom. Xochit grew up in El Paso; the Franklin Mountains were her backyard. Adrien grew up hunting on her family’s south Texas Ranch.

[Xochitl Rodriguez] Adrian and I met at a Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation event.
[Adrian Sabom] I met Xochitl at the We Will Not Be Tamed campaign launch party, and we were talking about, well she has never shot a gun and I had never hiked the Franklin Mountains, and so it evolved into, we should each do each other’s thing.

Each woman visited the other on her home turf. Xochit ‘s visit to Adrian’s ranch started with a horseback ride.

[Adrian Sabom] After horseback riding, we went to the big event…
[Xochitl Rodriguez] The moment we’ve all been waiting for.
[Adrian Sabom] Xochit shooting a gun for the first time.
[Xochitl Rodriguez] This is the craziest thing I’ve ever done. I was really, really scared.
[Adrian Sabom] She was super nervous in the beginning. You could tell her hands were shaking, she was sweating.
[Xochitl Rodriguez] I shook after every clay, but then I finally got into the groove and felt a little bit better.

Share the full experience of both women when you tune into the Texas Parks and Wildlife TV show on PBS the week of May 12.

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

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Celebrate Mom’s Day with a Picnic in a Park

May 8th, 2019

pack a picnic and head to a Texas State park for Mother’s Day.

This is Passport to Texas

This Mother’s Day, take mom on a picnic in a Texas state park. Cookbook author, Angela Shelf Medearis, says the key to a stress-free picnic is planning and simplicity.

So, start your picnic a few days ahead. If I was doing a picnic, I would have something like a really good roast chicken; just cut the pieces up and pack those in there.

I do a Carolina Cole Slaw; you toss it up, throw it in the refrigerator – it gets better day-by-day. So, if you want to do that ahead, you could.

Use a lot of fresh fruits for dessert.

The thing about a picnic that I love is that you can totally unplug and really focus on the people you should be paying the most attention to. You can get out in nature; we have some beautiful parks. Some beautiful places to go in Texas.

And, it gives you a chance to really focus on the most important things: your family, nature, the beauty of life… So, do a little planning ahead, and pick dishes that will be fine hot or cold, and you can’t go wrong for a great picnic.

Find recipes for your picnic on the TPW website.

Our show receives support from RAM Trucks: Built to Serve.

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

Catfish and Neighborhood Fishin’

May 7th, 2019

Take the family fishing for catfish at a Neighborhood Fishin’ pond or lake.

This is Passport to Texas

It’s catfish stocking season in Texas, and thanks to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Neighborhood Fishin’ Program families won’t have to travel outside of the city to catch them.

The agency began stocking catchable-sized catfish this Neighborhood Fishin’ lakes in Texas’ metro areas.

The Neighborhood Fishin’ program encourages more people to get involved in the outdoors by creating fun, convenient, close-to-home opportunities where people can catch fish anytime they are ready to go.

Each of the lakes will receive continuous stockings of channel catfish every two weeks through early November – with a brief pause during the heat of August – to ensure there is plenty of time for families looking to spend quality time fishing together outdoors.

These urban area parks are the easiest places in Texas for families to catch a fish close to home. Eighty-five percent of us live near one of these small lakes and ponds. By making fishing accessible, we’re helping create a whole new generation of anglers.

To find the Neighborhood Fishin’ pond near you or to sign up for email updates, visit neighborhoodfishing.org.

The Sportfish Restoration Program Supports our series.

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

Humble Fish Garners New Appreciation

May 2nd, 2019
Fishing for catfish is a family affaire.

Fishing for catfish is a family affaire.

This is Passport to Texas

Nobody will dispute that largemouth bass is the favorite sport fish among Texas anglers.

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

Yet, Dave Terre, chief of inland fisheries research and management, says largemouth bass has an unlikely rival.

About 20 percent of anglers prefer fishing catfish in Texas.

The humble catfish is gaining in popularity. That’s because unlike largemouth bass, catfish are better able to survive and thrive when water levels—and dissolved oxygen 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.

Three of ten species of catfish in Texas provide important fishing opportunities to anglers: Channel, Blue, and Flathead. Find the Catfish Management Plan on the TPW website..

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

For Texas Parks and Wildlife I’m Cecilia Nasti.