Summer is just around the corner and that means boaters will be taking to the water. And that means everyone needs to get their boat registrations in order before hitting the lake. Here are few helpful reminders that may prevent problems for boat owners: Purchasing a boat from an individual? Check the ownership information first, it’s easy to do and free. You can see whether the boat has a title and determine who is listed as the owner and if that matches to the person (or their legal representative) that you are buying the boat from. Avoid buying a boat with existing problems by determining is a lien exists and whether it has been released by the bank. Avoid situations noted on the record where an issue exists that will prevent a smooth transfer of ownership. Remember, when a title has been issued, you’ll need the seller to provide the title with the purchaser’s name and address listed on the back of the title and a bill of sale to complete the transfer into your name.
Didn’t get your registration renewal notice? Check the ownership information to see if you need to update your address. Providing an updated address is free and easy by using Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s form PWD 143-M (boats) or PWD 144-M (outboard motors). All forms may be downloaded online or picked up at a registration and inspection office. Texas experiences all kind of weather events — did a boat wash up on your property during the most recent hurricane or flood? Use the ownership information to connect with the owners. Continue reading
A new web site, radio series, and upcoming video documentary about the Trinity River were recently announced by public television station KERA-TV in Dallas. The extensive Trinity River web site for the project allows visitors to explore the geography, ecology and cultural history of the river through interactive maps, videos, and photographs. The river’s site includes a living archive where visitors can also share personal memories and observations about the Trinity and the current plans to redevelop. The web site is presented in pertinent sections.
Explore offers a map-based history of Dallas’ attempts to manage the river’s tendency to flood and looks at the challenges of managing pollution in the river. Visualize shows visitors the Trinity River system as a whole and offers an interactive way to experience the hidden beauty of the vast network of creeks, forks, and water sources that feed the river in North Texas. Voices features a collection of short interviews with people who offer their memories and observations about the river. Visitors are invited to share their own memories and opinions and contribute photographs and videos in the Share/Community section of the site. Continue reading
Collaboration between the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) Coastal Fisheries Division and the GIS Lab’s Resource Information System (RIS) team has resulted in a new online Texas Tarpon Observation Network application. The new web resource is the first of its kind for the Gulf of Mexico. The intent is to use angler observations to help monitor tarpon occurrences along the Texas coast, augment past and current tarpon research along the coast, and help raise awareness of the popular gamefish. Research is needed because the species has been declining in recent years possibly due to reservoir construction on rivers, droughts, pesticides and/or overfishing. Continue reading
In an amazing turn of events, it has been determined that a Fort Worth angler in March established the new state record for common carp with the same fish that held the previous state record three years ago. K.C. Crawford hauled in the monstrous 43 lbs. 12 oz. common carp during the Carp Anglers Group’s 8th Annual Austin Team Championship at Lady Bird Lake in late March. TPWD has ratified the catch as the newest state record for common carp, knocking out Al St. Cyr’s 43 lbs. 2 oz. record from 2006. Experts were able to compare distinctive markings and scale patterns from archived photographs of St. Cyr’s former record catch and determined precise matches to confirm Crawford’s new record is the same fish.
The carp was re-released back to Lady Bird Lake. Thirty-four anglers–some from as far as South Africa and Mexico–participated in this year’s 26-hour Austin tournament. The membership-based Carp Anglers Group two years ago lobbied and supported TPWD designating Lady Bird Lake as a trophy lake for catch-and-release carp anglers.
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) willl be holding public meetings across the state that continue until May 15. Meetings will take place this week in Midland, Bay City, Ozona, Tyler, Brownsville, Abilene, and Garland. In addition to seeking public comment on proposed fee increases and dove hunting seasons, TPWD is scoping issues related to migratory game birds. The TPWD Commission will consider proposals in late May that could increase certain license and boat registration fees, as well as general waterfowl season framework options for the 2009-2010 seasons. The meetings will seek public feedback on issues related to migratory game bird seasons in the future. More information, including the complete public meeting schedule, is in a TPWD news release online.
Habitat management is the key to bobwhite quail management. To better understand strategies to improve quail and quail habitat, additional research is necessary. One project in South Texas has been taking place on Tanglehead grass. This species is a native grass that has been behaving much like an invasive exotic grass in Jim Hogg and Brooks counties during the past decade. It does provide usable nesting cover for quail, but poor foraging habitat for bobwhites. This falls in line with of the research on buffelgrass from previous quail research.
In this on-going quail management research, research found that a combined brush control treatment (herbicide followed with fire followed with roller-chopping) versus summer prescribed fire, were about equally effective, and have similar effects, on grassland birds in the coastal prairie region of South Texas. Continue reading