Sometimes things sneak up on us before we’re ready. Take spring break, for example. Are you at a loss for what to do with the family this week? Robert Ramirez with Outreach and Education at Texas Parks and Wildlife says there’s something for everyone when you visit a state park.
There is something for everybody: everything from hikes to geocaching, to stargazing at night. The little “techies” can grab their iPads and get out there and utilize them for those activities only. The adults will also have plenty to do. There’s a Go Fish program for the kids and adults; the Go Fish programs they teach families the basics of fishing.
And what if you don’t have tackle?
Forty-three of our state parks have a tackle loaner program available. So, just look online and check to see if the park you’re going to visit has the tackle loaner program available to them.
And, speaking of online is that where people should start planning their trip?
Yes. Definitely. Go to our website, and under the ‘calendar’ tab, click on ‘kids’ and the mid two weeks of March are chock full of events and activities and things for them to do.
Remember: Life’s Better Outside. For Texas Parks and Wildlife, I’m Cecilia Nasti.
Making sounds like a hen turkey can mean the difference between bagging a bird this spring and going home empty handed.
06—Now you want the call of a hen turkey to try and attract the Tom, or male turkey, over to your position.
Steve Hall, Executive Director of the International Hunter Education Association, says a box calls can make enticing sounds.
53—One is called the basic cluck [clucks]. Now, a cluck is a call that says: ‘Hi. I’m here.’ And if you put the cluck in a series of calls, it would be a yelp [yelps]. Now a yelp call says: ‘Come over here; I’m having fun.’ Now, a slate call is much the same as a box call and you can make that basic ‘cut’ sound [cut sound]. And, you can also make a purr, which says ‘I’m on my daily rounds.’ Now, I like to use a diaphragm call; it’s a little more complicated
call. But it allows me, if I’m hunting, to move my arms and hands with my bow or my gun. It fits in the top of your mouth, and you can do it quite easily [cackle]. That was a cackle or a yelp. If you hear a ‘put’ though, that’ll scare a bird away – and that’s the alarm call [put call]. Put them all together and you can have fun imitating a flock of turkeys. [07-of turkey calls…fade]
More tips for talking turkey this week on the Texas Parks and Wildlife PBS TV Series. Check local listings.
The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series. For Texas Parks and Wildlife, I’m Cecilia Nasti.
With a huge mouth and long paddle-shaped snout, the prehistoric paddlefish is a threatened species in Texas. In water systems like Big Cypress Bayou, their decline followed river modifications and dam construction [for Lake O’ the Pines reservoir] which altered in-stream flows necessary for their survival.
18—The in-stream flows that are released from the Lake O’ the Pines reservoir are critical for maintaining habitat within the river, as well as for initiating spawning conditions paddlefish need to reproduce.
Kevin Mayes, an aquatic biologist with Texas Parks and Wildlife, says after years of study and restoring key features of the Big Cypress system, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Caddo Lake Institute, TPW and others, are returning this “big river” species to the ecosystem.
16—Part of that [work] was identifying that paddlefish require spring spawning pulses to support their reproduction So, we integrated those pulses into a flow regime that we call “in-stream flow building blocks” for the Big Cypress Creek.
This spring, researchers plan to release up to 50 radio-tagged paddlefish into the newly restored system, monitoring their movements, and making adjustments to flows based on the data.
The Wildlife and Sport fish Restoration Program supports our series. For Texas Parks and Wildlife, I’m Cecilia Nasti.
Weather permitting, Texas Parks and Wildlife, the US Fish and Wildlife Service and Caddo Lake Institute will release up to 50 paddlefish into Caddo Lake and Big Cypress Bayou in East Texas this week.
12—In Texas, it’s listed as a threatened species. Much of its range has been interrupted by damns on rivers; so the habitat just really hasn’t been there for the paddlefish to survive in Texas very well.
Predating dinosaurs, fisheries biologist, Tim Bister, calls the species “big river fish.” Populations exist in rivers like the Mississippi, but remain scarce in Texas waters.
13—It’s been a long time since we’ve collected a paddlefish in the Big Cypress River or Caddo Lake. So, this reintroduction is really more of an experiment to see if paddlefish are going to stay in the system.
Bister says they’ll “radio tag” the fish before release.
38—There’re going to be radio transmitters; there’s going to be three different towers down the stretch of the river, including one at the spillway of Caddo lake. So, every time a fish swims by one of these towers data will be collected. So, why now? What is it about this point in time that makes this seem like the right time? Well, for about the last 10 years, there have been several groups that have been working on establishing recommended flow patterns for The Big Cypress below lake of the Pine. So now that we’ve got some of these recommended flows in place, it’s time to put some fish in there that respond to certain flows, and see how they perform.
Tomorrow: in-stream flows and paddlefish.
The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program supports our series. For Texas Parks and Wildlife, I’m Cecilia Nasti.
On your next trip to a state park, bring the family, a camera and start snapping; then enter your best shot in Texas Parks and Wildlife’s state park photo contest.
03—The theme of it is “Picture Yourself in State Parks.”
Chase Fountain –photographer with Texas Parks and Wildlife – says judges want to see how you engage the outdoors.
12—Imagine taking a selfie, and you’re, for example, at Garner State Park. If you’re walking up “Old Baldy” and you have your hiking poles behind you, and you’re looking up…just taking a picture of yourself with that in the background says it all.
Photos don’t have to look professional. They just need to show you enjoying Texas state parks.
09—We are looking for families having a great time in state parks. Capture those wonderful moments and share them with us. And we’ll be happy to take a look at them – and maybe you might win!
Entries are being accepted now through April 15th. There are three categories.
19—One is 18 and over; and we’re having a 17 and under category for all you kids out there. And, of course, we’re doing an Instagram category as well. And in order to do the Instagram, you need to do #MyParkPick, and upload it. Whitney Bishop – our social media director over there – will take a look at them and get them ready for the contest.
Find rules and entry forms on the activities page of the TPW website. The person with the winning photo receives a Hero Edition Silver GoPro Camera.