Passport to Texas

By Cecilia Nasti/Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

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Description

Your radio guide to the great Texas outdoors

Episode Date
Start the New Year with a First Day Hike
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This is Passport to Texas If one of your resolutions is to sit less and move more in the New Year, may I suggest a First Day Hike to start things right. First Day Hikes is a nationwide initiative that Texas State Parks has been participating in for the last several years. Thomas Wilhelm is […]
Dec 31, 2019
Forgotten Species: Javelina
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This is Passport to Texas Javelina, also called Collared Peccary, is a Texas native and lives in scrubby and arid regions of the state. Similar to hogs in appearance, they are not related. But mistaken identity doesn’t change their value in the ecosystem. Javelina play a great role in nature, because they are an additional […]
Dec 26, 2019
Forest Bathing
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This is Passport to Texas An inspired Park Ranger at Lockhart State Park is introducing visitors to a Japanese practice called Shinrin yoku, or forest bathing. Forest bathing is bathing in the forest atmosphere. Lauren Hartwick first offered the program this past February. So, we’re going to be soaking in the leaves and the trees […]
Dec 25, 2019
Designing with Nature in Mind
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This is Passport to Texas Thoughtful design plays a key role in meeting the conservation goals of Texas Parks and Wildlife. We are an agency that says: “Life’s better outside.” So, how does that translate into how we make buildings and sites. Christy Seals is an Architect with Texas Parks and wildlife Building less, building […]
Dec 24, 2019
Butterfly Walks in the Rio Grande Valley
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This is Passport to Texas Butterflies…. They flit. They flutter. And, Resaca de la Palma State Park is one of the best places to witness their flight. The Rio Grande valley is one of the most ecologically diverse places in the world. Kelly Ann Cummins is a Park Ranger Interpreter at Resaca de la Palma […]
Dec 19, 2019
Consider the Golden-Cheeked Warbler
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This is Passport to Texas Hear that? That’s the Golden-cheeked warbler. The Golden-cheeked Warbler is only in about 33 counties of Texas. It breeds nowhere else on the planet. Texas Parks and Wildlife state ornithologist Cliff Shackelford says we can be very proud that this bird is endemic to Texas. But the Golden-cheeked Warbler remains […]
Dec 18, 2019
Keep Your Distance from Colonial Waterbirds
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This is Passport to Texas Colonial Waterbirds gather on tiny islands dotted along the Texas Coast. Their beauty and diversity is attractive, but their populations have struggled over the years. Colonial Waterbirds in the past experienced some pretty significant population declines. Trey Barron is a Wildlife Diversity Biologist with Texas Parks and Wildlife. A lot […]
Dec 17, 2019
Here Comes the Sun
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This is Passport to Texas We all know that plants, wildlife and humans depend on energy from the sun to survive. TPWD even installed 25 solar photovoltaic systems at 17 of its own facilities. But have you ever known a radio station run by the sun? From the time the voice leaves the microphone until […]
Dec 12, 2019
Renewable Energy at TPWD
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This is Passport to Texas Texas Parks and Wildlife has been investigating renewable energy purchase options. Through the State Energy Conservation Office there’s a group pulling together government entities to do a bulk purchase of renewable energy. Andee Chamberlain is the Sustainability Program Manager at Texas Parks and Wildlife. It’s really amazing our energy market […]
Dec 11, 2019
Sustainability at Parks and Wildlife
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This is Passport to Texas Since 2010 Texas Parks and Wildlife has been exploring renewable energy options such as solar and wind technologies The state Energy Conservation office offered grants to state agencies who applied to install solar. They would pay for 80% of the project and we would pay for 20%. Andee Chamberlain is […]
Dec 10, 2019
Why Parks Benefit People
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This is passport to Texas From 1999 until his retirement in 2010, Walt Dabney served as Texas State Park Director, leaving behind an improved state park system that observers say ranks among the nation’s best and most innovative. Walt lives in Moab Utah now, but visited Texas Parks and Wildlife Department recently. He told me […]
Dec 05, 2019
Gifts for the Conservation Minded
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This is Passport to Texas Holiday gift giving season is upon us, and if you have nature lovers on your list—the giving is easy—and twice as nice. A seventy-dollar Texas State Parks Pass is a thoughtful gift for your outdoor enthusiast. Pass holders enjoy twelve months of unlimited visits to more than ninety state parks […]
Dec 04, 2019
Holiday Fun Awaits You in State Parks
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This is Passport to Texas The holiday season is a special time to visit your state parks. Parks throughout Texas offer festive activities that could cause even old Scrooge, himself, to crack a smile. During the entire month of December enjoy History in Lights with a beautiful evening stroll through the grounds of Mission Espiritu […]
Dec 03, 2019
Know Hunting, Know Food with Jacques Pepin
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This is Passport to Texas If you watch PBS television cooking shows, you’ve probably seen this man: My name is Jacques Pepin. 83-year-old Jacques Pepin is a classically trained French chef, author, and PBS cooking show host. He says in his youth, most of the meat he ate came from wild game. We follow the […]
Nov 28, 2019
Game Need Not Taste Gamey
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This is Passport to Texas Don’t give up on eating wild game and fish because you think it tastes funny. Most wild game and fish, if it’s off-tasting, is ruined between the kill and the kitchen, and not in the kitchen, itself. Susan Ebert is a hunter, angler, forager and cook; she wrote the book […]
Nov 27, 2019
Braising them Slowly with Chris Kimball
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This is Passport to Texas Christopher Kimball hosted America’s Test Kitchen, Cook’s Country and now Milk Street on PBS. He is a hunter in his home state of Vermont. Yet, wild game cookery isn’t something you’ve seen on his shows. Years ago, I had a photograph of me holding up two or three rabbits that […]
Nov 26, 2019
The Secret Lives of Marsh Birds
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This is Passport to Texas Did you know there’s a secret gang of aviators hiding out on the Texas Coast? They’re not often seen. They’re more often heard. Trey Barron is a Wildlife Diversity Biologist with Texas Parks and Wildlife. He’s talking about the secret life of Marsh Birds. Marsh birds are typically thought of […]
Nov 21, 2019
Buff-Breasted Sandpiper
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This is Passport to Texas The Buff-breasted Sandpiper is a small tan colored shorebird that stops to refuel in Texas during its long journey North. It’s a bird that is what we call a long-distance runner. Cliff Shackelford is a state ornithologist with Texas Parks and Wildlife. It’s a migrant that winters in Argentina and […]
Nov 20, 2019
Texas Christmas Bird Count 2019-2020
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This is Passport to Texas For Texas birders it is sheer delight now that the annual Christmas Bird Count is nearly in sight. The Christmas Bird Count is a fantastic way for people to get involved in what we call citizen science. You can be a participant and help count birds during the Christmas season. […]
Nov 19, 2019
Fun with Fishes at Sea Center Texas
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This is Passport to Texas Located in Lake Jackson, Sea Center Texas is a marine aquarium, fish hatchery and education center providing creative learning opportunities throughout the year. Right now, the main educational opportunity that we have are Summer Camps. This year were doing “Wonderful Wetlands,” where they’ll go to dip-net and learn all about […]
Nov 14, 2019
A Walk on the Wild Side of a Backyard
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This is Passport to Texas Your backyard is a wild place filled with wild things. To see them, slow down, look and listen. My colleague Randall Maxwell’s children, 17-year-old Amy and 14-year-old Caleb shared their thoughts on backyard nature during a stroll with their dad on the family’s property in Dripping Springs. Here’s Amy. [Amy] […]
Nov 13, 2019
Passion for Water and Woodworking = New Career
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This is Passport to Texas As a kid, Tony Smith loved knowing how things worked and creating with his hands; he also had a passion for water. We grew up in Houston and so we would go down and go fishing—my brothers, my parents. All the time. We just loved being around the water. Later […]
Nov 12, 2019
Wet and Wonderful Paddling Trails
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This is Passport to Texas Nature tourism fostered the development of many trails statewide. On land and water. Parks and Wildlife has the Texas paddling trails program we kicked off in 2006 with our first inland trail. Shelly Plante is the Nature Tourism Manager at Texas Parks and Wildlife Here we are now in 2019 […]
Nov 07, 2019
Variety Defines Nature Tourism
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This is Passport to Texas The term “nature tourism” has evolved to include a diverse range of outdoor activities. Advancements in new tools and technologies enhance the outdoor experience. Nature tourism is any kind of tourism that allows people to connect with nature and provide economic impact to the local economies of rural communities especially […]
Nov 06, 2019
Texas: Blazing Trails in Nature Tourism
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This is Passport to Texas Texas Parks and Wildlife brought the nature tourism movement to Texas in the 1990’s. Madge Lindsay worked with a couple of other people and developed this idea of a birding trail. Shelly Plante is the Nature Tourism Manager. No one had ever linked together sites that were drivable distances from […]
Nov 05, 2019
Centennial Artist Clemente Guzman
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This is Passport to Texas I love nature. I love being outside. Artist Clemente Guzman has a genuine affection for the outdoors. He spent twenty-nine and a half years at Texas Parks and Wildlife depicting the natural beauty of the state. I create art because it inspires me, it moves me, and being out in […]
Oct 31, 2019
Centennial Artists and Texas State Parks
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This is Passport to Texas The year 2023 is the centennial anniversary of Texas State Parks, and thirty-one Texas artists have been chosen to create illustrations for a printed book about the State Park System. The whole history of conservation in the United States, particularly in the national parks, it was aided and abetted by […]
Oct 30, 2019
Ocelot Habitat Restoration
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This is Passport to Texas The endangered Ocelot once roamed many parts of Texas. But over the years, loss of their native thorn-scrub habitat has left only a handful of Ocelots in the Rio Grande Valley. We need to restore their habitat as quickly as possible because they’re just really in dire need. Dr. Sandra […]
Oct 29, 2019
The Lesser Prairie Chicken
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This is Passport to Texas The Lesser Prairie Chicken used to roam many parts of Texas. But over the years, the wide-open grassland prairies they depend on have been greatly reduced by development and land fragmentation. Lesser Prairie Chickens are important because they are an indicator species on the health of the grasslands. Brad Simpson […]
Oct 24, 2019
Children Learning About Nature
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This is Passport to Texas This is called the Dino Creek. Or Dinosaur Creek… The Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center located in Austin is grooming the conservationists of tomorrow. Camp Wildflower is showing and demonstrating to children how they can appreciate nature at any given moment. Rosalie Kelley is Camp Director. Studies have shown that children […]
Oct 23, 2019
Dead Zones Tell No Tales
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This is Passport to Texas Every year the Gulf of Mexico endures Dead Zones. Areas of low-oxygenated water where animals suffocate and die. The condition is called hypoxia, and scientists estimate this year’s dead zone could be one of the largest ever, already at nearly 8,000 square miles just off the coast of Louisiana and […]
Oct 22, 2019
Great Comeback for Whooping Cranes
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This is Passport to Texas The majestic Whooping Crane is the tallest bird in North America and has a wingspan of seven and a half feet. But even with its impressive size, the Whooping Crane nearly became extinct, and in 1970 the bird was listed as an endangered species. They are still federally listed as […]
Oct 17, 2019
Learning to Hunt
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This is Passport to Texas For many, hunting is learned as a family tradition, passed down from elders to future generations. But if hunting wasn’t shared among your friends and family, and you want to hunt, how do you learn? To start hunting you really have to find a mentor. Steve Hall is the Hunter […]
Oct 16, 2019
Hunter Readiness: Preparing for the Season
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This is Passport to Texas Deer season is fast approaching, and hunter readiness is key to experiencing a safe and successful hunt. Preparation, Practice and Planning for that upcoming hunt. Texas Parks and Wildlife’s Hunter Education Coordinator Steve Hall. The practice is the big one. I think that in our busy world we just don’t […]
Oct 15, 2019
Big Time Wild Hog Adventure
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This is Passport to Texas Feral Hogs are an interesting predicament we have here in Texas. Justin Dreibelbis is the Private Lands and Public Hunting Program Director at Texas Parks and Wildlife. They cause a lot of agricultural damage for people trying to run ranches and farms. However, on the other hand, they are entertaining […]
Oct 10, 2019
Big Time Waterfowl Adventure
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This is Passport to Texas Would you like to go duck hunting on the Texas Gulf Coast? Or in the flooded-timber of East Texas? Well you don’t have to choose just one. You can do both hunts if you win the Big Time Texas Hunts Waterfowl Adventure. Here’s Texas Parks and Wildlife’s Private Lands and […]
Oct 09, 2019
Big Time Nilgai Antelope Safari
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This is Passport to Texas Often times if you’re not careful, they see you or hear you long before you see them. Justin Dreibelbis is the Private Lands and Public Hunting Program Director at Texas Parks and Wildlife. He’s talking about Nilgai Antelope, an exotic game species in South Texas that’s included in one of […]
Oct 08, 2019
On Deck for a Grand Slam
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This is Passport to Texas It’s time to step up to the plate and see if you can win the Texas Grand Slam. Of all our Big Time Texas Hunt packages, the granddaddy of them all is the Grand Slam package. Texas Parks and Wildlife’s Private Lands and Public Hunting Program Director Justin Dreibelbis. This […]
Oct 03, 2019
Big Time Gator Hunt
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This is Passport to Texas It’s hard to find a hunt that will make your eyes wider and your heart beat faster than looking for alligators in the swamps of East Texas. American Alligators are a really a conservation success story. Justin Dreibelbis [Dry-bul-bis] is the Private Lands and Public Hunting Program Director at Texas […]
Oct 02, 2019
The Deadline to Hunt Big is Nearing
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This is Passport to Texas For just 9 dollars you can enter to win a Big Time Texas Hunts package and support wildlife conservation at the same time. Big Time Texas Hunts is a conservation fundraiser. Justin Dreibelbis is the Private Lands and Public Hunting Program Director at Texas Parks and Wildlife. Since 1996 we […]
Oct 01, 2019
TPW TV–The Kraken Revisited
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This is Passport to Texas Early in 2017, Texas Parks and Wildlife’s Artificial Reef Program created a new underwater oasis for marine life by using a 371-foot cargo ship called The Kraken; sunk about 65 miles off the coast of Galveston. Seven months after sending the Kraken to the gulf sea floor, biologists returned to […]
Sep 26, 2019
State Park Trails
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This is Passport to Texas Texas Parks and Wildlife’s recreational trails program develops new pathways in the state through a competitive grant program. Trails allow visitors to enjoy scenic vistas, pursue recreational sports, escape find solace and explore areas that might otherwise be inaccessible. We fund everything from natural surface single-track mountain bike trails to […]
Sep 25, 2019
Hikes and Walks in Texas State Parks
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This is Passport to Texas Hiking opportunities at Texas state parks are varied. There are 1100 miles of trails and dozens of daily organized treks. Some of them have added elements to intrigue and delight. Show up at the Davis Mountain State Park Interpretive Center on Thursday mornings and hike with a homeless dog. Help […]
Sep 24, 2019
Big Time Texas Hunts Exotic Safari
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This is Passport to Texas Have you ever dreamed of hunting the kind of game only found on other continents? Then Big Time Texas Hunts Exotic Safari may be for you. Janis Johnson. The winner of the Exotic Safari Package gets to hunt two animals, he gets to choose between a gemsbok, a scimitar-horned oryx, […]
Sep 19, 2019
TPW TV–Swift Saviors
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This is Passport to Texas Chaetura [KAY-tura] Canyon… is a chimney swift sanctuary of sorts, found in the growing city of Lakeway…just west of Austin. Their numbers are declining dramatically, they’re down by probably fifty, sixty percent since the sixties here in the United States. And [in] Canada they are on the threatened and endangered […]
Sep 18, 2019
Kayaking in Texas State Parks
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This is Passport to Texas Have you always wanted to learn to kayak? Then we have some great news! Ten state parks teach the basics of this paddling sport to interested park visitors. Getting out on the water is something a lot of people haven’t tried because they don’t have the equipment. Ben Horstmann is […]
Sep 17, 2019
Alligator Gar and Thermonuclear Weapons Testing
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This is Passport to Texas Here’s a fish story about alligator gar, a curious biologist and thermonuclear weapons testing. We’ve done a lot of work recently on the alligator gar. Being able to accurately age these fish is important. Because it tells us not only how long they live, but how they grow and in […]
Sep 12, 2019
State of Texas Longhorn Herd
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This is Passport to Texas The longhorn is a true Texas icon. This distinctive breed has played a role in Texas’ heritage. In the early 20’s Frank Dobie and a couple of other ranchers decided that the longhorn was so important that the state needed a herd. Jim Cisneros is park superintendent at San Angelo […]
Sep 11, 2019
Dealing with Snakes
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This is Passport to Texas What should you do if you see a snake around your home? You can run into a snake anywhere. I’ve seen snakes in downtown Houston. Like all animals, snakes need food and shelter, so if you’re attracting these unwanted guests, you may need to make a few changes to your […]
Sep 10, 2019
TPW TV–Adult Onset Hunting
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This is Passport to Texas During fall hunting season we join with friends and family in the field. Skill and luck ensure that we bring home quality protein for the table. But not everyone has someone to teach them, which is why TPW offers mentored hunting programs. We have lots of youth hunting programs around […]
Sep 05, 2019
Avoid this Violation in the Field
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This is Passport to Texas What’s the most frequent violation Texas Game Warden encounter in the field? That’s hunter education and it’s a preventable one. Aaron Sims is a Texas game warden. That’s something that’s been mandatory for a long time now. The 70th Texas Legislature made hunter education a requirement in 1987. Hunters born […]
Sep 04, 2019
Taking the “Tense” Out of Tent Camping
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This is Passport to Texas Does the thought of tent camping at a state park give you anxiety? An article in the October issue of Texas Parks and Wildlife magazine may help quell your fears. Writer and avid tent camper, Wendel Withrow, addresses ten of the most common anxieties people have when it comes to […]
Sep 03, 2019
Hands on Habitat
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This is Passport to Texas The Lone Star State is revered for its exceptional sport fishing opportunities. To preserve and enhance these destinations, a recent project at Lake Sulfur Springs experiments with nontraditional materials and designs to create artificial habitat. Fish need habitat and structure in general. Tim Bister is a District Fisheries Biologist with […]
Aug 29, 2019
Future Trophy Fish for Lake Bois d’ Arc?
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This is Passport to Texas Lake Bois d’ Arc, a new reservoir project 70 miles northeast of Dallas, may be the future hot spot for trophy largemouth bass One of the main things we are doing is establishing some nursery ponds that we can come into and introduce some genetically superior largemouth bass strains that […]
Aug 28, 2019
Lake Bois d’ Arc Reservoir on Tap
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This is Passport to Texas Lake Bois d’ Arc is a 16,000-acre reservoir under construction in northeast Fannin County, scheduled for completion in 2022. From a fisheries biologist perspective, it’s particularly exciting to get in on the ground floor of establishing a fishery in a new lake like this; not something that many of our […]
Aug 27, 2019
Return of the Black-Capped Vireo
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This is Passport to Texas Not long ago the tiny masked bird known as the Black-capped Vireo nearly became extinct. The US Fish and Wildlife Service listed the species as endangered in 1987. But rigorous habitat recovery efforts have finally changed that listing. Good news for the Black-capped Vireo is that it was recently delisted. […]
Aug 22, 2019
Feline City Slickers
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This is Passport to Texas According to the US Census Bureau, the Dallas-Ft. Worth metro area leads the nation in population growth. But this growth has fragmented wildlife habitat, and as a result wildlife have become more visible. Now sightings of one particular species has citizens concerned. There have been some neighborhoods in the DFW […]
Aug 21, 2019
TPW TV–The Dove Hunter
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This is Passport to Texas You know I grew up playing soccer and football. I missed out on Boy Scouts. Never got involved in the outdoors. Didn’t find hunting until my mid-20s or so. Austinite James Montgomery is a business and family man…he’s also a coach and a dove hunter. We meet him the week […]
Aug 20, 2019
Preparing Sea Trout Meunière
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This is Passport to Texas Anglers who catch and keep their fish can fill their freezers with nearly free food. That’s what chef and angler Cindy Haenel does. We don’t let them go unless they’re undersized…we just have so much in the freezer, so we do limit ourselves on how much we keep. But, yeah, […]
Aug 15, 2019
Hatchery Raised Sea Trout for Better Fishing
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This is Passport to Texas Regulation changes to spotted sea trout, like bag and size limits, is an important tool in our tool box for managing saltwater fish species. A robust a hatchery program is another. Spotted seatrout is this most popular recreational sportfish out there. So, there’s a lot of pressure on these fish. […]
Aug 14, 2019
Spotted Sea Trout Regulation Change
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This is Passport to Texas Their abundance, eagerness to hit natural and artificial baits, and their flavor when cooked make the spotted sea trout popular with coastal anglers like Charles O’Neal. I am just a guy married to a good woman who allows me to fish 150 plus days a year. We caught up with […]
Aug 13, 2019
TPW Magazine — Hunting Teal
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This is Passport to Texas Fall hunting season kicks off on September first with dove. Teal is next with a sixteen-day season that runs from September 14th through the 29th. Last year writer Pam LeBlanc took advantage of an invitation to go teal hunting with former TPW Executive Director, Andy Sansom. She wrote about it […]
Aug 08, 2019
Using Nature to Nurture Young Minds
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This is Passport to Texas Nature and nurture join forces when home-schooled children use state parks as their classrooms. I started doing home schooling because I like to keep my job challenging. Amy Kocurek is an Interpretative ranger for Texas Parks and Wildlife. Children aren’t the only ones who enjoy class. After doing the second […]
Aug 07, 2019
The Outdoor Classroom
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This is Passport to Texas Imagine a classroom without walls; one that, instead, is in the middle of nature. You don’t have to imagine. State parks welcome a growing number of home-schooled children annually. I try to do at least one or two home school programs a month Amy Kocurek is an Interpretative ranger at […]
Aug 06, 2019
Mentored Hunts for Adults
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This is Passport to Texas Interested in hunting but don’t have hunters as friends or family to guide you? Some state parks and wildlife management areas conduct mentored hunting workshops for first-time adult hunters. The program is designed to educate and introduce beginners to the hunting experience. For the last twenty-one years, no one in […]
Aug 01, 2019
Safe Zone of Fire
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This is Passport to Texas Before you discharge a firearm, ask yourself: what is my safe zone of fire? Not knowing can have devastating consequences. But how do you determine your safe zone? It’s easy to find your safe zone of fire. Heidi Rao is a Hunter Education Specialist for Texas Parks and Wildlife. Start […]
Jul 31, 2019
Firearm Muzzle Control
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This is Passport to Texas Developing and reinforcing hunter safety skills must be a lifelong pursuit for every hunter. The first principle when hunting with a firearm: always point the muzzle in a safe direction. This is basic safety. Heidi Rao is a Hunter Education Specialist with Texas Parks and Wildlife. She says even when […]
Jul 30, 2019
Eradicating Giant Salvinia
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This is Passport to Texas In the 1958 movie The Blob, an ever-expanding goo from outer space threatened humankind. Today, Texas lakes are being invaded by a “blob” of a sort called Giant Salvinia: a floating aquatic fern that can double in size every seven to ten days. In order to control it we have […]
Jul 25, 2019
Giant Salvinia–A Real Life Alien Invader
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This is Passport to Texas People of a certain age recall the arcade game Space Invaders. It was fun and pretend. Today Giant Salvinia is a not so fun, real-life alien invader found in Texas Lakes. Giant Salvinia is from South America originally and it came to the United States through the aquatic gardening and […]
Jul 24, 2019
TPW TV–Sign of the Times
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This is Passport to Texas Ask Willie Steinhauser, “what’s your sign?” and he’ll say: all of them. That’s because he makes the iconic wooden signs with yellow lettering you see at Texas state parks. They go throughout the entire state park system, small or large, and I make them all. From his workshop at Bastrop […]
Jul 23, 2019
Mountain Biking in Texas State Parks
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This is Passport to Texas With busy schedules and our increasing dependence on technology, we can become disconnected from the natural world. One way to reconnect… is on a mountain bike. Doing a little wheel true here. Somewhat of a science, somewhat of a art. Shane McAnally of Canyon Cycles has raced mountain bikes competitively. […]
Jul 18, 2019
TPW Magazine: Dancing with Dinosaurs
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This is Passport to Texas Something you learn early on when you take up the sport of mountain biking is this: you’ve got to be brave…you cannot be scared…and you have to tell yourself that you can do it. In the August/September issue of Texas Parks and Wildlife magazine, Kathryn Hunter writes about the Texas […]
Jul 17, 2019
Franklin Mountains SP New Visitor Center
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This is Passport to Texas Franklin Mountains State Park is the largest metropolitan park in the United States. Its majestic peaks overlook the cities of El Paso and Cuidad Juarez. For years the park’s headquarters has been located off site, but that’s all changing with a brand-new visitor center. What we were trying are trying […]
Jul 16, 2019
TPW Magazine: Knock on Wood
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This is Passport to Texas Cliff Shackelford—the nongame ornithologist for Texas Parks and Wildlife—is one of our favorite guests on Passport to Texas. He’s always upbeat and ready to share interesting birding facts. Plus, the guy’s super passionate about his subject matter. And in the August/September issue of Texas Parks and Wildlife magazine—on newsstands now—he […]
Jul 11, 2019
Aoudad Sheep Study
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This is Passport to Texas Aoudads, also known as Barbary Sheep, were originally imported to Texas from North Africa as game animal over 50 years ago. But for native species like Mule deer and Desert Bighorn Sheep, the ever-increasing Aoudad population has become a threat. They pose, not only a competition threat, as far as […]
Jul 10, 2019
Cowboy Action Shooting
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This is Passport to Texas Gun smoke, six-shooters, boots and black powder. All ingredients of cowboy action shooting. We shoot with the guns of the Old West. Styles of gun that were made before 1899. Brian Curtsinger, aka Chili Petin, is president of the Green Mountain Regulators, a sport shooting club affiliated with SASS, the […]
Jul 09, 2019
Virus from Imported Bait Shrimp
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This is Passport to Texas It’s tempting to use frozen shrimp from the grocery store as bait for your next fishing trip…but don’t do it. They may be imported and possibly harmful to our native crustaceans. We don’t want any kind of imported shrimp being used as bait, because the potential of diseases that could […]
Jul 04, 2019
TPW TV: Coastal “Parkitecture”
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This is Passport to Texas A dozen UT Austin Architecture students and their professor spent a long, hot summer on Galveston Island SP. We’re getting a Master’s in Architecture but we’re getting a Ph.D. in craft supplies. It’s been like Santa’s little workshop in here. That’s because, as student Hugo Reynolds tells it, they spent […]
Jul 03, 2019
Picnics with Personality
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This is Passport to Texas There’s nothing like a picnic in a Texas state park; and picnics—like picnickers—have personalities. There’s the Texas classic: a wicker basket on a red and white tablecloth spread on a picnic table. Think: buttermilk fried chicken, potato salad and creamy coleslaw heaped onto grandma’s fiesta ware. Fiesta? Now we’re talking. […]
Jul 02, 2019
Rebuilding Texas’ Oyster Habitat
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This is Passport to Texas Texas has been one of the country’s top oyster producing states since the late 1800’s. Oysterman, Mauricio Blanco has worked the Port Lavaca region for over 30 years. It’s been a pretty good place over the years. We got so much salt in our blood. That’s what I love to […]
Jun 27, 2019
Hatchery Raised Red Drum and Spotted Sea Trout
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The CCA Marine Development Center in Corpus Christi produces juvenile red drum and spotted sea trout for release into Texas bays. They do it by tricking wild brood stock. We put them through a 150-day light and temperature cycle to condense their year down and get them to spawn when we want them to. Ashley […]
Jun 26, 2019
The “Bird Man” of the Airwaves
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This is Passport to Texas You are listening to Red River Radio. Stay tuned “Bird Calls” is coming up in just a few moments right here on your public radio station. On the second Tuesday of the month, 10,000 loyal listeners tune in to hear the bird man of East Texas. I’ve never heard a […]
Jun 25, 2019
Good for the Fish, Good for the River
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This is Passport to Texas. Anglers like Courtney and Brandon Robinson are chasing Guadalupe bass, the state fish of Texas. Fish on! This is why I love catching Guads. They’re little fish but they use the river to fight. Guadalupe bass once seemed headed for extinction. In the 1970s, state biologists stocked non-native smallmouth bass […]
Jun 21, 2019
Return of the Guadalupe Bass
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This is Passport to Texas Dang it! Was that a fish? Yes, He was right in that foam line! Anglers like Courtney and Brandon Robinson love to fish for Guadalupe bass, named for the Guadalupe River. Fish on! This is why I love catching Guads, they’re little fish, but they use the river to fight! […]
Jun 19, 2019
TPW TV: Educating the Educators
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This is Passport to Texas On any given Saturday, someone in Texas is probably getting trained in Project Wild. Kiki Corey oversees the program for Texas Parks and Wildlife. Project WILD is professional development for educators to help them teach about wildlife and wildlife issues. Susan Campbell, Education Coordinator for the San Antonio Natural area, […]
Jun 18, 2019
TPW TV: Billy Hassell and the Art of Conservation
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This is Passport to Texas Billy Hassell lives in the urban world of Fort Worth; yet, he’s always been drawn to the natural world. Reconnecting with nature in a small way, in a very urban environment… it calms the soul somehow if you can slow down. We live fast-paced lives and we’re kind of conditioned, […]
Jun 13, 2019
Benefits of Conservation License Plates
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This is Passport to Texas Established in 2000, Texas Parks & Wildlife’s conservation license plate program has raised millions of dollars for wildlife conservation. Grossing more than $1.2 million dollars since it launched back in 2002, the White-tailed Deer plate benefits big game management and hunting programs in Texas. This past April, a Desert Bighorn […]
Jun 12, 2019
New Conservation License Plate to Drive You Wild
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This is Passport to Texas Thousands of Texas motorists have contributed to wildlife conservation efforts with a simple purchase. Thirty dollars for a Texas Parks & Wildlife conservation license plate. We’re really excited to announce that we’re launching a new desert bighorn sheep conservation license plate. Janis Johnson is with the Conservation License Plate program […]
Jun 11, 2019
Food, Fellowship and Dutch Ovens
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This is Passport to Texas Cleburne State Park, about 30 miles southwest of Fort Worth, has a spring-fed lake and shady trails. It also hosts a local group that’s passionate about their avocation. We fell in love with the park and the people. Dennis Clute is chapter advisor for the Chisolm Trail Chaparral Dutch Oven […]
Jun 06, 2019
Student Docents at Texas State Parks
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This is Passport to Texas Manuela Catano is the Park Superintendent at the Fort Leaton  State Historic Site and manages a unique workforce – student  docents. We work in conjunction with our local school district. We can hire them as young as 14 years old. The program provides students a solid first job experience while […]
Jun 05, 2019
Don’t Dump Your Aquariums in Texas Waters
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This is Passport to Texas Texas welcomes visitors from around the globe. Unless, of course, they’re non-native plants and animals. Those pose potentially devastating problems to ecosystems. Don’t Dump Your Tank, a new initiative by Texas Parks and Wildlife, cautions us to never dump our aquariums into a lake, stream or saltwater bay. When you […]
Jun 04, 2019
Diversity in the Workplace Supports the Work
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This is Passport to Texas For David Buggs, Director of Diversity at Texas Parks and Wildlife, diversity and inclusion aren’t just nice ideas. As in nature, it’s crucial to the agency’s mission… and the survival of the organization. Any good bio-scientist will tell you, if you don’t have that diversity in the eco-system, it’s not […]
May 30, 2019
Diversity Initiatives at Texas Parks and Wildlife
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This is Passport to Texas David Buggs is the Director of Diversity here at Texas Parks and Wildlife. He’s working hard to enact projects and programs for the agency that reflect the ever-changing demographics of the citizens of Texas. We created a booklet that really spoke to who Texas Parks and Wildlife was. Not just […]
May 29, 2019
Cultivating Diversity at Texas Parks and Wildlife
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This is Passport to Texas As the population demographics of Texas continue to evolve, so does Texas Parks and Wildlife Texas is a majority minority state. Not just ethnic diversity, but also gender diversity. … there are more women in the state of Texas now than there are men. David Buggs, Director of Diversity at […]
May 28, 2019
Are Rattlesnakes Losing Their Rattle?
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This is Passport to Texas Maybe you’ve heard stories around the campfire about rattlesnakes losing their ability to rattle. Some chalk it up to feral pig attacks, others to humans who seek out and kill rattlers. If they can’t find you, they can’t kill you, right? But is there any truth to the tales? It’s […]
May 23, 2019
Playing it Safe on the Water
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This is Passport to Texas Memorial Day marks the unofficial start to summer boating fun. And, if you plan on operating a boat, ensure the safety of yourself and your passengers with the proper safety gear. You should have a sound producing device, and you should have a life jacket for every person that’s on […]
May 22, 2019
TPW TV– The Oyster Grind
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This is Passport to Texas Texas reefs once held what seemed like an endless supply of oysters. But times have changed. Over the years the daily sack limits have been cut back. It used to be a hundred and fifty sack a day. Mauricio Blanco has been an oysterman in Lavaca Bay for 30 years. […]
May 21, 2019
The Problem with Aoudads
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This is Passport to Texas Aoudads are causing huge problems for native Bighorn Sheep reintroduction. But, what exactly is an Aoudad? Aoudad, which are also known as barbary sheep come from the Barbary coast of Africa and so they are an exotic that occurs out on the landscape. They can be very disruptive to the […]
May 16, 2019
Partners in Bighorn Restoration
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This is Passport to Texas Restoring Bighorn sheep to the American landscape is an enormous undertaking. Texas Parks and Wildlife and I form part of what’s called the Wild Sheep Working Group. So, there’s 19 state and Canadian provinces where some sort of wild sheep occurs. Froylan Hernandez, the Desert Bighorn program leader for Texas […]
May 15, 2019
The State Bighorn Sheep in Texas
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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 […]
May 14, 2019
TPW TV– Natural Connection
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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 […]
May 09, 2019
Celebrate Mom’s Day with a Picnic in a Park
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May 08, 2019
Catfish and Neighborhood Fishin’
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May 07, 2019
Humble Fish Garners New Appreciation
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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 […]
May 02, 2019
“Gulfstravaganza”
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This is Passport to Texas If something smells a little fishy, it might be the next Wild Game & Fish Cooking collaboration between Texas Parks and Wildlife and Central Market Cooking Schools. It’s coming up May 14 and features goodness from the Gulf. It’s a “Gulfstravaganza!” Whether you’re a beginning cook or a seasoned pro, […]
May 01, 2019
Preparing Your Spring Turkey for the Table
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This is Passport to Texas If you harvest a bird during the 2019 spring turkey season, don’t wait until Thanksgiving to eat it. Yet, whenever you prepare it, be sure to save their built-in “flavor packet”. Wild turkeys have this huge fatty deposit at the top of the chest and the base of their neck; […]
Apr 30, 2019
Challenge others to Participate in GOSH
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This is Passport to Texas A picture may be worth a thousand words, but an experience is priceless. Get your experience on with The Great Outdoor Scavenger Hunt, or GOSH. It’s a fun framework in which to go and see and do. Nathan Adams is art director for TPW Magazine, which is where you will […]
Apr 25, 2019
Become a “Gosher” this Summer
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This is Passport to Texas Through Labor Day, The Great Outdoor Scavenger Hunt—or GOSH—inspires you to discover the natural wonders, wildlife, water, history and fringes of Texas. I would want to make sure everyone knows that no matter where in Texas you live, there’s at least one thing on this list that’s close to you. […]
Apr 24, 2019
Great Outdoor Scavenger Hunt
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  This is Passport to Texas Is this how summer vacation usually goes at your home? I’m bored. What are we gonna do? Summer vacation’s great for about the first ten days; then it’s drudgery for the next two months. Nathan Adams is art director for TPW Magazine. He says this year will be made […]
Apr 23, 2019
Value of Fire on Turkey Habitat
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This is Passport to Texas We welcome rain in Texas as it promotes lush vegetative growth. Yet, in the absence of fire, such growth can become a problem. The lack of fire on the landscape has been a big issue. Especially in East Texas, but across the state. We’re seeing a lot of our habitat […]
Apr 18, 2019
Habitat and Turkey Restoration
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This is Passport to Texas Texas has three sub-species of Turkey: the Rio Grande is the most abundant, followed by the Eastern and then by the Merriam. Without good habitat, none will thrive. They have to have good structural cover. Jason Hardin, Turkey Program Leader at TPW, says this may include low-growing, woody cover for […]
Apr 17, 2019
Wild Turkeys Making Comeback
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This is Passport to Texas Unregulated hunting and loss of habitat nearly caused Turkeys to disappear from Texas. Jason Hardin, Turkey Program Leader at TPW, says thanks to hunter and landowner support, bag limits and a restocking program, they’re making a comeback. In Texas, we’ve been working hard since the 1930s and 40s to put […]
Apr 16, 2019
TPW TV–Green Jay Study in Rio Grande Valley
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This is Passport to Texas A new study in South Texas focuses on the Green Jay. We don’t know a lot about green jays, first of all, so it’s important to know what they’re doing, if we want to be able to manage for them, and we want to manage for them because we have a […]
Apr 11, 2019
Why We Fear Bats
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This is Passport to Texas On a nightly basis, bats devour tons of agricultural pests and biting insects, like mosquitoes. And that’s just scratching the surface of the benefits they provide. Nevertheless, we remain leery of them, and even afraid. But why? The big problem they face is they’re active only at night. Merlin Tuttle […]
Apr 10, 2019
Make Plans for the Big Sit Next Year
This is Passport to Texas If you didn’t enter a team in the Great Texas Birding Classic by the April 1st deadline because you think you and your friends aren’t good enough birders. Fuhgeddaboudit. Next year, enter The Big Sit. The Big Sit is a wonderful category if you only have one or two good […]
Apr 09, 2019
Texas is a Fly-fishing Mecca
This is Passport to Texas Few people think of Texas when the topic of fly-fishing comes up, unless you’re Alvin Dedeaux, that is. Well, we’ve got some great fly-fishing opportunities here. Alvin is a sought-after Texas fly-fishing guide. He’s partnered with Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation, the nonprofit arm of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department […]
Apr 04, 2019