Fish Texas E-Newsletter: Summer Edition

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Fish Texas E-Newsletter

In this issue: Paddling Trails for Coastal Fishing | Falcon Reservoir Tops U.S. List of Bass Lakes |  Falcon Sharelunker Produces Awesome Offspring | Fish Care: Treating Barotrauma in Largemouth Bass | Fishing for Cats | Volunteer To Share Your Love of Fishing | Boaters: Don’t Be a Carrier  | June 2 is Free Fishing Day | Protect Coastal Seagrass and Great Fishing | Texas Fishing 2012 Digital Extra

Paddling Trails for Coastal Fishing

angler and two kayaks at water's edge
Go where few anglers have gone before: take a coastal paddling trail to some great fishing spots. The trails vary in length and number of access points. Directions, put-in and take-out points, maps, trail descriptions and landmarks, a brief overview of the fishing opportunities, and info about where to rent boats is provided on the Texas Paddling Trails website. The angling is up to you! Check out these coastal trails:

A message from a Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine advertiser.

Port Aransas ad

Falcon Reservoir Tops U.S. List of Bass Lakes

boat silouette Falcon Lake sunset
Texas officially has the best largemouth bass fishing in the United States! Falcon International Reservoir is newly named as the top bass fishing lake in the U.S. as ranked by the editors of Bassmaster magazine. Seven other Texas reservoirs made the Top 100 list, giving Texas the most of any state. Read the story here.

“This supports the opinion we’ve long had that Texas has the best largemouth bass fishing in the nation,” said Dave Terre, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Inland Fisheries Division chief of research and management. “The aggressive Florida largemouth bass stocking program in Texas coupled with the outstanding efforts of our fisheries biologists who direct our management efforts are responsible for making fishing great in Texas.”

Texas' seven other top-ranked bass lakes include:
No. 6 — Amistad
No. 15 — Toledo Bend (shared with Louisiana)
No. 19 — Sam Rayburn
No. 26 — Fork
No. 39 — Choke Canyon
No. 64 — Conroe
No. 88 — O.H. Ivie

Falcon ShareLunker Produces Awesome Offspring

angler Gary Wingate holding 13 lb + bass
Mamma Mia! Here’s more evidence of happy Falcon bass. Toyota ShareLunker 531, pictured here with her angler Gary Wingate of Amarillo, spawned more than 44,000 eggs March 29. She was the first ShareLunker to spawn this season.

After Gary caught her at Falcon International Reservoir March 16, she was kept safely until TPWD staff picked her up and transported her to the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center for spawning.

Watch this video to learn how the Inland Fisheries staff counted the eggs.

After spawning was over, Mamma Bass was returned to Falcon Lake. Her fingerling offspring will be returned to Texas waters to enhance future angling. This is the true meaning of “share lunker”.

Fish Care: Treating Barotrauma in Largemouth Bass

hands on bass deflating air bladder
In deep water lakes such as Lake Amistad, you may reel in a largemouth bass afflicted with barotrauma. Barotrauma occurs when the air bladder of a bass brought up from deep water expands to a point that can seriously injure or kill the fish.

Fish with barotrauma will be floating on their side or upside down in the livewell. This video shows a safe method (fizzing) for treating this condition before a successful release back into the water. Note: because of the video content, you will have to sign in to YouTube to view the video.

Fishing for Cats

very large catfish onboard
Whether you want to fry them up or just take their picture, catfish are the largest freshwater sport fish in Texas and are second only to bass in popularity among anglers. They are popular on the dinner table, and they also put up a good fight before they get there. Watch this video feature  from the Texas Parks and Wildlife television program to take a catfishing trip with some veteran anglers.

Some urban anglers don't have to travel far for cats. Catfish stocking is now underway at the family-friendly Neighborhood Fishin’ lakes.

Catfishing will be better in Tarrant County this year, thanks to new partnerships with the Sportsmen’s Club of Fort Worth and the Nell V. Bailey Charitable Trust. The two organizations are supporting the Neighborhood Fishin’ Program, which stocks fish into small urban lakes. More than 50,000 people a year participate in the statewide program, and more than half of those are children.

Texas Parks and Wildlife welcomes similar partnerships in other areas of the state with Neighborhood Fishin’ lakes — Austin, San Antonio, Houston, Amarillo, Bryan-College Station, Waco and Wichita Falls. Any interested organization should contact Dave Terre at (512) 389-4855.

A message from a Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine advertiser.

Jungle Fish ad tfor trailer

Volunteer To Share Your Love of Fishing

volunteer with kids sitting in boat on land
How did you learn to fish?  Some kids and adults who would like to try fishing need some help getting started with this great pastime.

Help share your love of fishing by volunteering with Texas Parks and Wildlife. All levels of fishing instruction, beginning and intermediate fly fishing, fly fishing outreach, hatchery help, junior and master anglers programs, Texas Coastal Expo events and helping with touch tanks are examples of activities where we can use your help. Troll our Volunteer page for opportunities in your area.

Boaters: Don’t Be a Carrier

Clean, drain and dry your boat poster
You could be carrying an invader that can harm our lakes, foul your boat, hinder water recreation and even threaten our drinking water supply. Zebra mussels are small, invasive shellfish that threaten to spread across Texas on boats like yours. They are already established in Lake Texoma; don't let them spread to your favorite lake.

Zebra mussels start as microscopic larvae; adults can grow to about 1 1/2 inches, but what they lack in size they make up for in the damage they do.

It’s up to you to stop the spread of zebra mussels and protect Texas lakes. Always clean, drain and dry your boat, trailer and gear for at least a week before traveling to another body of water. You’ll also be following the law since it is illegal to possess or transport invasive species in the state. New regulations that took effect May 17, 2012 mean that boaters and anglers on Lake Texoma, Lake Lavon and the Red River and its tributaries will need to remove all water from their watercraft before leaving for another body of water. This includes emptying all bait buckets, live wells, bilges, and any other containers that could contain water.

June 2 is Free Fishing Day

parents and two kids bank fishing
No excuses: go fishing on Saturday June 2. It's Texas' annual Free Fishing Day, meaning anglers can fish anywhere in the state's public waters without a license.

And don’t forget, every day is Free Fishing Day inside the boundaries of Texas State Parks where no fishing license is required.

Protect Coastal Seagrass and Great Fishing

Two boaters, flat boat, still coastal water
“Lift. Drift. Pole or troll.”  That’s how to protect coastal seagrass flats. Flat boats running shallow in coastal saltwater flats are damaging seagrass and marsh — the lifeblood of our coastal fisheries.

Thirty inches of clearance can protect seagrass beds, but many boaters - some knowingly, some not - are destroying these grasses with the propellers of their boats. Learn how to fish successfully along Texas coastal flats while preserving the seagrass beds in this segment, “A Scar on the Flats”, from the Texas Parks and Wildlife television program.

One tip: Use a boat motor to get to the saltwater flats, not through the flats. Read more about seagrass meadows on the TPWD website.

Texas Fishing 2012 Digital Extra

Fish Texas magazine cover
Do you want to know how the fishing will be this year? Find out in Texas Fishing 2012, a Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine digital extra. You'll find the 2012 fishing forecast plus articles on big bass, fish attractors, and invasive plants.  Find information, inspiration and news about what's being done to keep Texas fishing the best in the U.S.

It's our first digital-only offering. Check it out!
Give TPW Magazine for Father's Day ad
cover of Outdoor Annual
ad for Texas Toyota Bass Classic