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With so many miles of coastal bottom in the Texas Gulf Coast and very little reef structure for fish to feed upon, Texas Parks and Wildlife has created an Artificial Reef Program that consists of everything from toppled oil rigs to man-made reef balls. Once these structures are encrusted with plants and animals that create habitat, the fish come and the fishermen come too. The latest offering to the reef program is a 371-foot cargo ship called The Kraken. To find out more about the Artificial Reef Program go to http://tpwd.texas.gov/artificialreef
Texas Parks and Wildlife Inland Fisheries staff and the Still Waters Bass Club placed 150 Christmas trees into Stamford Reservior near Abilene to enhance angling opportunities on the lake on January, 28, 2017. Get coordinates on these and other fish attractors around Texas at http://tpwd.texas.gov/fishboat/fish/recreational/lakes/fish_attractors.phtml
Texas Parks & Wildlife Fisheries staff sunk these structures in Lake Buchanan to attract bass, crappie and other sport fish. Made of PVC and composite, they're designed to mimic underwater brush, which fish use for protection, as places to hide and ambush prey, and even for spawning. The natural brush can decay over time in reservoirs, which is why we put in artificial attractors. The attractors are sunk 15-20 feet deep and marked by buoys. Anglers can find locations of fish attractors in lakes around Texas at https://tpwd.texas.gov/fishboat/fish/recreational/lakes/fish_attractors.phtml
A Creel Survey Join a team of fisheries technicians as they perform a creel survey on Lake Conroe. Fisheries biologists doing creel surveys interview anglers, measure fish, and track the number of hours fished. These surveys help get information about the fishing quality and the health of fish populations in the lake.
Overview of the impact of the Wildlife & Sport Fish Restoration Program, a funding source generated by hunters, anglers, shooters and boaters that supports wildlife and fisheries restoration, research, habitat protection, education and outreach for hunters and anglers, along with improving public access through boat ramps and fishing piers.
Selling Texas Each year, outdoor tourism contributes around 36 billion dollars to the state economy. Part of our popularity comes from the good public relations generated by the scores of outdoor-television programs. We'll look at some of those shows that can't wait to come here and show off our state. From the Texas Parks & Wildlife PBS television show, for stations and air times: http:\\www.tpwd.texas.gov/tv
Twenty years ago, Texas Parks and Wildlife opened an $18 million dollar facility dedicated to freshwater fishing that didn't cost them a dime. The Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens, Texas is a world class visitor and education center as well as a fish hatchery producing millions of fish to stock Texas lakes each year. The center was paid for through private funding and corporate sponsors along with federal funding brought together by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation.
Wade Fishing Gear You really don’t need a lot of fancy gear to go wade fishing, but it helps if you’ve got the right stuff. Get the lowdown on what you need for successful wading.
The Texas State Bass Tournament is the world’s oldest competitive bass fishing tournament open to anyone. The first tournament was held in 1956 on Lake Whitney, where a Texas Historical Marker records the event. The Texas State Bass Tournament emphasizes family involvement in fishing and awards no monetary prizes to winners. Competitors may enter as family teams, and senior and high school divisions have been added in recent years. Tournaments are completely staffed by volunteers, and all sponsorship money is used to defray tournament costs. Throughout its 60-year history, the tournament has maintained its focus on conservation and sportsmanlike competition among friends and family. Visit the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens, Texas. http://www.tpwd.texas.gov/spdest/visitorcenters/tffc/
Ray Sasser has been an outdoor writer for more than 40 years and is currently the outdoor editor for the Dallas Morning News. Largemouth bass fishing is his favorite outdoor activity, but he has written about everything from invasive species to the environment, penning hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles and a dozen books. He has been honored with several awards for his work. Sasser is a native of East Texas and is known for championing the interests of the average outdoor person. One of his greatest memories is being present at the inception of the ShareLunker program when Mark Stevenson caught Ethel, ShareLunker number 1, from Lake Fork in 1986. Visit the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens, Texas. http://www.tpwd.texas.gov/spdest/visitorcenters/tffc/
Randi Wayland has been promoting fishing, water safety and involving young people in the outdoors. A resident of San Antonio, Wayland has been an adjunct professor with the San Antonio Community College for more than 40 years. A past president of the Texas Association of Bass Clubs, she has also served as a board member of Texas Black Bass Unlimited. She is an instructor in Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Becoming an Outdoors Woman program and is an area chief of the department’s boater education program. Visit the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens, Texas. http://www.tpwd.texas.gov/spdest/visitorcenters/tffc/
A freshwater fish older than the dinosaur is being returned to Caddo Lake in a grand experiment. Can restored water flows bring back a breeding population of paddlefish? A broad coalition of partners, from non-profits to landowners and government agencies, is working to answer this question. Learn more at http://www.caddolakeinstitute.us/
This winter, Texas Parks and Wildlife will stock more than 300-thousand rainbow trout at more than 140 sites across the state. The program hopes to hook new anglers into the sport by making fishing more accessible at urban lakes, state parks and reservoir tailraces. Now there is a new lake in the program at East Metropolitan Park in Travis County. Kingfisher Lake will launch its first Neighborhood Fishin’ event December 12. For more information about upcoming rainbow trout stockings or the Texas Parks and Wildlife Neighborhood Fishin’ program, check the Internet at www.neighborhoodfishin.org
Watch as Alligator Gar spawn. About 15 Alligator Gar moved up the Richland Creek channel from the Trinity River into the shallow floodwaters covering the Richland Creek Wildlife Management Area. There were two 6-7 foot female gar; each had 4-5 males trailing her. Spawning typically takes place in shallow areas of flooded vegetation when springtime water temperatures exceed 68 degrees. Eggs hatch within a couple of days. Young fish feed on larval fishes and insects. To learn more about Alligator Gar in Texas, visit http://tpwd.texas.gov/huntwild/wild/species/alg/ For more on the Richland Creek WMA, visit https://tpwd.texas.gov/huntwild/hunt/wma/find_a_wma/list/?id=23
The ninth annual Toyota Texas Bass Classic is coming up May 23-25 at Lake Fork in East Texas. While some people think of fishing as a lazy afternoon throwing a line in the water, it’s also big business. The Classic generated nearly 3-million dollars to the Texas economy in one year. It also offers competition among the best anglers in the nation. As Texas Parks and Wildlife reports, this fish-friendly tournament will bring money to the state for conservation, help kid fishing programs and provide entertainment for all. The Toyota Texas Bass Classic takes place May 23-25 on Lake Fork in East Texas. There will be recreational and educational activities for kids and families. NBC Sports will broadcast a one-hour special highlighting all three tournament days on Sunday, June 28 from 8am-9am. For more information or to purchase tickets, check the website at www.toyotatexasbassclassic.com
Outdoor Info: Tackle Box Tips Get some ideas on what type of tackle box to get, and what to put in it, for a successful fishing trip.
EARL GOLDING 1998 Golding is known as the father of bass fishing tournaments. A sports writer for the Waco Tribune-Herald, Golding started the first bass fishing tournament, the Texas State Championship, which is still being held after 50-plus years.
School of Fish The whistle blows, and the championship battle is underway. We’re not talking about Texas high school football, it’s the finals for high school fishing. The hottest sport to hit the south these days isn’t on the field, it’s in the water. Check out a profile on high school fishing.
Fishing Lures Meet one man who collects antique fishing lures, and another who makes new ones. Discover the evolution of the fishing lure, from bone to plastic and several incarnations in between. Watch the Texas Parks & Wildlife television show: http://www.tpwd.texas.gov/tv
The Paddlefish Project A freshwater fish older than the dinosaur is being returned to Caddo Lake in a grand experiment. Can restored water flows bring back a breeding population of paddlefish? A broad coalition of partners, from non-profits to landowners and government agencies, is working to answer this question.
They've been here for 300-million years, but you can't find them just anywhere. Paddlefish are being stocked in one of the most timeless lakes in Texas -- Caddo Lake. Implanted with radio transmitters, Texas Parks and Wildlife biologists will monitor this pre-historic species to see if water flows in the lake are suitable for its reintroduction. Special project partners are planning a Paddelfish festival in the East Texas town, Jefferson, May 8-9. For more information, go to http://www.CaddoLakeInstitute.us
Postcard From Texas Watch a Longear sunfish watch the camera in the flowing waters of the Pedernales River.
Watch as alligator gar spawn in Lake Texoma. The alligator gar is one of the largest freshwater fishes in North America. Individuals can live for many decades and grow to 300 pounds or more. These fish spawn in late spring when rain floods the backwaters and water temperatures rise above 68 degrees. During this time, gar tend to congregate in shallow water to lay their eggs in flooded vegetation. In years of low rainfall, they may not spawn at all. Learn more about the alligator gar at http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/huntwild/wild/species/alg/
Mystery of the Tarpon Heralded for their awe-inspiring jumps and tenacious power, tarpon are the stuff from which fish tales are spun. But over the last couple decades, their populations have taken a serious dive. Today, a group of scientists are trying to learn about the biology of this ancient creature.