The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has set three public hearings in the Panhandle to seek public comment on two proposed mule deer hunting regulation changes. The proposals are to open a mule deer season in Lynn County and initiate an experimental antler restriction in Briscoe, Childress, Cottle, Floyd, Motley, and Hall counties.
Simplifying largemouth bass regulations at 12 public lakes highlight this year’s list of proposed freshwater fishing regulation changes. The potential changes are intended to increase recreational opportunity, make regulations less complex, promote enforcement, and provide for the sound biological management of fisheries resources. Twelve of the 20 lakes affected by the potential changes would revert to the statewide 14-inch minimum length limit, which governs nearly 80 percent of water bodies in the state. The other eight lakes would see changes to more appropriate special regulations.
TSCRA Govt and Public Affairs Roundup: Primary election candidates, Fever Tick Eradication Program and FARM Act
TSCRA Government and Public Affairs staff are continuing to monitor the upcoming Texas primary election and are engaging candidates to ensure they are supportive of issues important to cattle raisers. They are also involved in support of the Fever Tick Eradication Program in South Texas and the Fair Agricultural Reporting Act (FARM Act) to prevent farms and ranches from being regulated like toxic waste sites.
Lake Austin and Ladybird Lake in central Texas have received upgraded classifications for invasive zebra mussels as a result of statewide sampling by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) Inland Fisheries staff and partner agencies. As of February 2018, 14 water bodies in five river basins are listed as infested with zebra mussels; five water bodies are listed as positive, meaning zebra mussels have been detected on more than one occasion; and three water bodies are listed as suspect for having zebra mussels. Most Texas water bodies are at high-risk of zebra mussel invasion, and zebra mussel DNA was identified in at least ten other water bodies in the state during routine sampling in 2017. Although these DNA hits do not confirm the presence of zebra mussels or their larvae in the lake, they do alert biologists to conduct additional monitoring.
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) inland fisheries staff found a total of 30 acres of invasive giant salvinia in multiple locations at Lake Nacogdoches Feb. 5. Within days of the discovery of a half-acre of giant salvinia at the Yellow Bank Creek cove, the TPWD Brookeland aquatic habitat enhancement team (AHE) deployed to the reservoir and found a larger infestation where Little Bayou Loco enters the reservoir. Those areas will be treated with a combination of giant salvinia weevils and careful application of contact herbicide on larger mats of the invasive plant.
With a proliferation of feral hogs in Texas, control measures such as trapping and hunting can yield the rewards of good table fare. However, feral hogs can carry parasites, such as hookworms or tapeworms and experts advise to use safe cooking practices before consuming the meat.
The Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Cattle Fever Tick Eradication Program (USDA-CFTEP) released the Kleberg County Fever Tick Control Purpose Quarantine Area (CPQA) on January 26, 2018. The 17,397-acre CPQA was established by TAHC and USDA-CFTEP in December 2014 after cattle fever ticks were discovered on cattle located on a Kleberg County premises epidemiologically linked to a highly infested premises in Cameron County.
Texas is well known for its sweltering summers, but winters in the Lone Star State can be downright frigid. The four native Texas quail species – northern bobwhite, scaled (blue), Gambel’s and Montezuma – can all be found across west and central portions of the state where temperatures can drop well below freezing in the winter. Survival for a quail is tough all year round, but plummeting temperatures make it more challenging with added energy requirements, food scarcity, and increased risk of mortality. However, there are a few things landowners can provide, such as reliable food sources and good cover vegetation to give them a much-needed advantage. Shelby McCay, Texas A&M Natural Resources Institute, talks what Texas quail winter needs. Read more…
TSCRA has been deeply involved in the push to eradicate the “cattle fever” tick and the disease it carries since being founded in 1877. In recent years the tick has spread, and outbreaks outside of the permanent quarantine zone have occurred with increasing frequency: 2,969 premises across nearly 1.4 million acres are now under some level of quarantine due to the ticks. Ranchers in quarantine areas are required to meet the treatment requirements prescribed by USDA and the Texas Animal Health Commission, which in some cases can be overly burdensome and difficult to achieve. As the ticks make a resurgence and once again threaten the cattle industry, TSCRA supports efforts by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Texas Animal Health Commission to better control the ticks on federal lands. Read more…
The Wildlife Services Division of the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry (ODAFF) and partners in the battle against feral swine eliminated a record-number of the destructive, invasive species in 2017. The effort put forth on behalf of Oklahoma agricultural producers and urban residents resulted in 188 percent more feral swine eliminated during 2017 than in the previous year and 29,811 more feral swine than were eliminated in 2011. Oklahoma Secretary of Agriculture Jim Reese made the announcement Tuesday during a press conference at the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry. Reese talked with Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays in an interview following the announcement. Read more…