PBS Show November 23-29, 2014, #2306 -Texas Parks and Wildlife [Official]
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PBS Show November 23-29, 2014, #2306 -Texas Parks and Wildlife [Official]

August 11, 2019


NARRATOR: Coming up on
Texas Parks & Wildlife… FEMALE ANGLER: He’s huge! Oh mommy’s got him! FISHING GUIDE: When you get a
bite on Lake Fork, you don’t know if he’s gonna
be 2 pounds or 12 pounds. Whoo hoo hoo! RANCHER: What we do here at
Bear Creek Ranch is we have a native prairie. We take the cattle and
graze them in a way that mimics the way the
bison grazed the prairie. PARK MANAGER: We are one of the
easternmost points for the black tailed prairie dog. A lot of folks come out just
to see the prairie dogs. (music) ♪ NARRATOR: Texas Parks
& Wildlife, a television series
for all outdoors. NARRATOR: This series is funded
in part by a grant from the Wildlife and Sport Fish
Restoration Program. Through your purchases of
hunting and fishing equipment, and motorboat fuels,
over 40 million dollars in conservation efforts are
funded in Texas each year. Additional funding
provided by Ram Trucks. Guts. Glory. Ram. BRIAN HUGHES: Let go, put that
hand right there, hang on. There you go, you got him. Ok hold it right there. Now you just point that fish
at me like that, and I’ll do that for you,
there you are young man, stick your thumb in there
and hold that fish up. NARRATOR: Cory Terre
is a typical Texas kid. He likes school,
sports and fishing. His favorite, at least for
today, is pretty obvious. BRIAN: Alright, so you
want drop him in the water? CORY TERRE: Sure. BRIAN: Drop him
back in the water. CORY: Well, I caught
three fish over there. One of them was about three
pounds, and the other was about five and a half,
and it was pretty big one. NARRATOR: And Cory’s favorite
fish, like most Texas anglers, is the largemouth bass. CORY: There he goes, fourth one. (music) NARRATOR: Bass are big
all across the country. BRIAN DUPLECHAIN: There’s one. NARRATOR: Texas has some of
the best bass fishing in the country. (splash) But it didn’t come
quickly or easily. (dam opening, water rushes) The state has more than 1.7
million acres of inland waters, most of it in man
made reservoirs. Built for flood control, and to
provide water and power, these reservoirs also created
more fish habitat. (music) NARRATOR: When the popularity
of bass fishing took off in the 1960s, there were basically no
limits on the number of fish you could keep. This led to a decline in bass
populations, which in turn led to restrictions on the
size and number of fish that could be kept. KEN KURZAWSKI: Biologists in
Texas were committed to making bass angling as good as they can
make it, and they employed a number of tools such as,
length limits, and stocking to achieve that. (splashing water) NARRATOR: In the 70s,
Parks & Wildlife began stocking lakes and reservoirs with the
Florida-strain largemouth bass. KEN: With all the reservoirs
being built the thinking was that the Florida bass would be
more adaptable to those lake environments and I think
that’s proven correct. CORY: Well, it would work. NARRATOR: In the 1980s, anglers
began taking the harvest limits a step further, embracing
the catch and release concept. Why keep a three pound bass
when you can put it back and catch it later,
when it’s even bigger? DAVID CAMPBELL: You got her
good and firm? BUTCH GAYLE: I got her. NARRATOR: Bigger bass is the
goal of the sharelunker program. PHOTOGRAPHER: Everybody
give me a smile, come on. NARRATOR: Anglers loan
largemouth bass that are 13 pounds or larger
to the program. The idea is to breed the
larger fish, keep some of the fingerlings for genetic study,
and stock the rest back into contributing lakes. (splash) DAVID: I believe when you look
at the long range projection, what can possibly come out of
it, 10 years, 20 years, is that you’ll probably
see a new world record in the state of Texas. BRIAN: See the fish just move? Cast right in back
of the same spot. Come on, come on, come on. Hold right there. Now! NARRATOR: If a new world record
does come out of Texas, there’s a good chance it will
come from Lake Fork. (fish splashing) NARRATOR: This 27,000 acre lake
60 miles east of Dallas, is possibly one of the
best-known bass lakes in the world. The current state record
largemouth came from Lake Fork, as have most of the top
50 big bass in Texas. STEVE KNIGHT: You cannot go
anywhere in this country that fishermen have not heard of
Lake Fork and do not consider Lake Fork as the top big bass
producer in the United States. NARRATOR: Built by the
Sabine River Authority in the early 80s,
Lake Fork’s reputation as the big bass lake in Texas
is no accident. FISHERMAN: Alright. DAVE TERRE: Lake Fork is
really a product of modern fisheries management. Even before the lake was
impounded there was a lot of planning that went into the
fisheries management of Lake Fork. (boat motor) NARRATOR: The lake was filled
in several stages, allowing fish populations to get
started in small farm ponds. Most of the vegetation and
timber were left intact, providing valuable
habitat for bass. STEVE: Prior to Lake Fork
they would go through and just bulldoze the bottoms. And this one, they
kept the timber. And that gave it a jump-start
like no other lake in the history of this
state’s ever had. NARRATOR: Lake Fork opened
with restrictive harvest and size limits already
in place. BRIAN: Exactly 24. NARRATOR: As a result of
these management practices… everything around Lake Fork
revolves around fishing… everything. (music) ♪ Hallelujah, hallelujah,
hallelujah, hallelujah. ♪ BRIAN: There you go,
always point it where you want it to go. Right there, stop it. NARRATOR: Fishing at Lake Fork
is a $27 million a dollar a year industry. BRIAN: Hop it. NARRATOR: It’s a great place for
guides, like Brian Duplechain, to make a living. BRIAN: Set the hook, hard, hard! MARY BETH PATTMAN: Oh I got
him, oh my god he’s huge! (laughs) Mommy’s got him! BRIAN: When you get a bite on
Lake Fork you don’t know if he’s going to be 2 pounds
or 12 pounds. Get over here. Pull up, pull up, pull up. That’s why we have so many
people come from all over the country and all over the world,
because they can catch where they’re at, but they come to
Lake Fork to catch that one big fish. Pull, pull, pull. And that’s what Lake Fork
is really known for, is its trophy bass fishing. Whoohoo! This is what Lake Fork
is all about folks! This is what you come for! What Mary Beth just caught. NARRATOR: But Lake Fork isn’t
the only success story in the state. About an hour south is
Purtis Creek State Park. At just 354 acres, Purtis Creek
Lake is kind of a miniature version of Lake Fork. BILL SMART: This lake, and we
say this is our little logo, is the best little bass lake
in the state of Texas. BRIAN HUGHES: Ok, bring it on
in and go ahead and fire it straight out in front of you
again as far as you can. NARRATOR: Brian Hughes guides
on Purtis Creek Lake two or three days a week. He found the lake
almost by accident. BRIAN: I got stuck in some
traffic headed to another lake, decided to come
check this one out. Caught a 12 and a quarter out
of it not long after I started fishing it, and that
convinced me that this is where I ought to stay. NARRATOR: The lake record bass
is almost 14 pounds, and since Purtis Creek is
strictly a catch and release lake, the tales of a 15-pounder
somewhere out there could well be true. NARRATOR: One of the nice things
about Purtis Creek Lake, is that you don’t need a
boat to get to the bass. There are two fishing piers,
and lots of shoreline access. DIANE ELLINGTON: One thing I
love about Purtis Creek, you’re always pretty much
guaranteed you’re gonna catch a fish. There hasn’t been, maybe one
time, I came out here and have not caught a fish. Whoo, whoo! BILL: We are like a small cove
of Lake Fork, we have all the big bass that Lake Fork
has except that ours is in a smaller area. DIANE: Isn’t he cool? Wanna touch him? CONNER ELLINGTON:
Are we gonna eat him? DIANE: No, we’re gonna let
him go so he can get big. (music) KEN: Our goal is always to at
least maintain bass angling as it is or keep improving it. Our big challenge will be to
maintain what we have in the face of the impacts on water
that there will be in the coming years. I think that’s the most
crucial factor in our minds to providing good fishing for
bass and all freshwater fish. (splash) NARRATOR: When we try to explain
the importance of bass fishing, we talk about its impact on
our economy, or how it adds to our quality of life,
or that it’s tradition. All of those things are
significant, but they overlook what’s really fundamental
about fishing… it’s just plain fun. CORY: Woooo! DAVE: Way to go bud! CORY: Those are the
biggest fish I ever caught. I think I’m gonna keep on
fishing for a little while longer. (music) (wind) (music) ROBERT POTTS: This is the
Bear Creek Ranch in Northeast Parker County,
just west of Fort Worth. (gate opens) DANNY PARKER: Woah! (tack creaks, and rings rattle) (hooves clicking) ROBERT POTTS: What we do
here at Bear Creek Ranch is we have a native prairie
and we apply a process of where we take the cattle
and graze them in a way that mimics the way the bison
grazed the prairie. They go where the grass
is fresh, they move, and then they don’t come back to
the place that they are today for a long time. (whistle) DANNY: These old cows are
used to movin’ like this! And they’ll just
come on through. (cow mooing) They’ve been in there a few days
and they know they can come in here and this will be clean,
they’ve got fresh water up there in the windmill tank and they’ll
be pretty happy once they get over here on this side. (cow mooing) ROBERT: This is Bear Creek,
this is the creek that gives the ranch its name. The cattle are only
here a few days a year. And that’s particularly
important in our riparian areas, because otherwise the cattle
would just stay here and we would end up with lots of bare
soil around the creek, which would mean if you had a
flood it would all erode away. (dry grass crunches) NATHAN RAINS: This pasture looks
good you’ve got quite a bit of little bluestem coming back. By allowing rest in these
pastures and their unique grazing program you get residual
grasses and that provides nesting cover and habitat for
species like Bobwhite quail and other grassland birds
that are declining. (Meadowlark bird calls) ROBBY TUGGLE: The way we manage
the land here definitely has enhanced our wildlife. (turkey gobbles) Because our livestock
gets rotated around, they can move around to
avoid em or join in with em. You know they don’t have to come
in contact with our livestock at all if they don’t want to. (lambs cry and dog barks) DANNY: The guard dogs, if we
didn’t have the guard dogs we couldn’t have the sheep. Because we have a lot of coyotes
and bobcats out here on these prairies, and these dogs
stay with these sheep 365 days a year,
24 hours a day. (sheep calls lamb) And they protect them and
that’s what keeps us in the sheep business. (music) NATHAN: In an area like this on
the periphery of the Dallas Fort Worth metroplex,
in an urbanized environment, it’s really neat and it’s really
encouraging to see ranches like this that are dedicated to
preserving tall grass prairie. (music) ROBERT: So much around the
world these days is in a vicious circle, we’ve got a
little bit of a virtuous circle going on here. (cow mooing) And so it’s
continuing improving. (music) LYNN SALMON: We’re about a
two hour drive from Dallas. About thirteen miles
from Wichita Falls. NARRATOR: In the Spring,
Lake Arrowhead State Park can be a colorful place,
right down to the water. LYNN: We are on the Little
Wichita River, a tributary to the Red River. Iron ore in the soil tints the
water to the reddish tint, and that’s where the Red
River gets its name. (bird singing) We’ve got quite a
bit of wildlife. We’re kind of a quiet getaway. When Mother Nature shines on us,
people come to see us. (thunder and rain) NARRATOR: But even when
nature isn’t so shiny, there’s reason to visit
Lake Arrowhead. LYNN: The strong pull here
is fishing. It’s an excellent crappie lake. JAMES STERLING: They like to
bite in these overcast days, if you can dodge the raindrops. (laughs) You’ve got to chase
them sometimes. (music) …And it’s not looking
very good in this spot. (laughs) (music) (fish flopping) DANIEL REED: Catch some big
ones, catch some little ones. JAMES: Very very large
ones in this lake. MAN: That’s a big fish. JAMES: This is one of the
premier crappie lakes in Texas. DANIEL REED: Look at
that monster! JAMES: Okay. No, don’t take a
picture of that one. (laughing) CAMERAMAN: They get
bigger than that, huh? MAN: Everything
looks bigger on film. JAMES: That’s quick
release right there. JAMES: What’s everybody
want to do tomorrow? David, what do you want to do? NARRATOR: In the camping area,
the Warburton family isn’t letting the rainy weather
spoil their fun either. AMANDA WARBURTON: Did you guys
find any of the hiking trails when you went fishing today? KIDS: No. Yes. Papa showed us one. JAMES: We live in Duncan,
Oklahoma, which is about an hour and a half from here. Dad lives in Fort Worth, and a
couple times of year we just pick a spot, pretty much always
a state park and meet up. KIDS: Let’s go. Ha! JAMES: It’s a good way
to get away from it all. You know, give people time
to visit. And the puppies like it too. Alright David, do you
want to lead the way? It’s always something different. LYNN: Right now we are the
only Texas State Park with a disc golf course. You can take a regular
Frisbee and play it. You count the number of throws
like strokes on a ball. GIRL: Yeah! (motor chugging) LYNN: We have a working oil well
pump jack in the middle of our campground, and uh, it was here
before we became a state park. Out in the lake there are
oil derricks still standing out there, which makes
excellent fish habitat. Now we also have our
prairie dog town. (prairie dog barking) We are one of the eastern-most
points uh for the black-tailed prairie dog. And we’ve got a small town of
them that come up and bark at you and greet you
whenever you come out. A lot of folks come out just
to see the prairie dogs. (music) You can experience nature
a little bit closer than you can in some areas. (geese honking, flapping) NARRATOR: Although this weekend
leaves the Warburtons with one particular impression
of Lake Arrowhead… JAMES : Uh, wet? NARRATOR: …They plan to return
one brighter day down the road. JAMES: We’ll be back. Really inexpensive way to have
a good time with your family. AMANDA WARBURTON: Ready
to go back to camp? BOY: Yeah. (laughs) NARRATOR: Austin, Texas. It’s the capital of many things. CLERK: All those in favor… NARRATOR: It’s the
capital city of Texas. (gavel pounded) (band music) NARRATOR: Some regard it as the
capital city of live music. (music) Others regard it as the
Bat Capital of the World. Not just because Austin has
an ice hockey team called the Ice Bats. It’s not even because of the
millions of bats that live under the Congress Avenue
bridge in the summer. It’s really because Austin
is the headquarters of Bat Conservation International,
or BCI, a non-profit organization that works to
protect bats and their habitat worldwide. BCI was founded in 1982 by
Dr. Merlin Tuttle, an authority on bats and an internationally
renowned scientist and photographer. DR. MERLIN TUTTLE: Bats
despite their many values have traditionally ranked among
the world’s most frequently misunderstood, intensely
feared and persecuted animals. The truth is bats
are essential allies. They play key roles not only
in maintaining the balance of nature but also in maintaining
the health of human economies. So why should anyone fear
or want to persecute bats? The answer is simple. We fear and persecute most
what we understand least. TEACHER: Zoey doesn’t eat
insects like our bats do; she eats bananas, and apples,
and she loves cantaloupe, and honeydew, she likes
honeydew melon… Apples, yes. WENDY: Who’s been to the
Congress Avenue Bridge, raise your hands? Has everyone been,
who hasn’t been? NARRATOR: Almost every kid in
Austin knows what happens under Congress Bridge when
the sun goes down. The dinner bell rings for 1.5
million Mexican free-tailed bats that swirl into the skies
to begin devouring insects. With the cooperation of
the local newspaper, the Austin American Statesman
and the City of Austin, a public viewing area was
created for people to gather and enjoy the nightly flights. The viewing area has
interpretive displays and even an on-site bat
interpreter, who answers questions and distributes
information. CATHY LIN: When they go out to
hunt at night, they’ll go in groups but the groups get
smaller as they go further from the bridge because of
competition so they’ll fly out all together and eventually
they’ll all spread out. Those little crevices underneath
the bridge is actually where they’re staying at. They’re kind of hanging onto the
sides of the cement because it’s very rough and
they’re able to grab on. And the crack itself is
about 16 inches deep so they kind of stack on inside. (music) NARRATOR: Over the years, the
bats at Congress Bridge have become one of Austin’s
most popular summer tourist attractions. (music) BRIAN KEELEY: We estimate the
Congress Avenue colony of one and half million bats can eat
10-15 tons of insects each night. When those bats exit they
head due east right to the agricultural areas
east of Austin. In fact we know they eat
some of America’s most costly agricultural pests,
the cotton boll worm moth. NARRATOR: But what about
agricultural areas like Baxter Adams’ Love Creek
Orchards? Do bats help them
protect their crop? BAXTER ADAMS: Yeah, we really
like bats; they’re good neighbors and they do their
share of the work around here. Bats Conservation International,
went to them for information and we began to put up bat
houses and one thing led to another and now we’ve got
bat houses everywhere. NARRATOR: The process of
discovering exactly what type of bat houses different species of
bats prefer is ongoing and is the purpose of the American Bat
House Research Project, headed by the husband and wife
team of Mark and Selena Kiser. Thousands of volunteers across
the country participate in the project and supply Mark
and Selena with the data they gain from their different
variations of bat houses. MARK KISER: We have about 1,700
participants all over the US and Canada that are monitoring
bat houses for us in their backyards or in parks. They send us data on how well
their bat houses are doing and what kind of bats they have. And we use this type
of information to make recommendations on what
makes bat houses work and what makes them not work. NARRATOR: While research is
always important, protecting large roost sites
is also a top priority, especially when it’s a really,
really, really big roost site. BOB BENSON: Bats Conservation
International purchased Bracken Cave in 1992. And the reason why we bought
it because it’s such a natural wonder. 20 million bats live within
the cave making it the largest bat colony in the world. And BCI by purchasing
the cave has insured it for future generations. (music) ANDREW SANSOM: I think the thing
that I think about when I think of BCI is how poorly people
thought of bats before BCI came along. BCI has caused people to
understand that bats have a positive role to play
in the environment. And in doing so, they’ve made
an immeasurable contribution to their conservation. DR. TUTTLE: Our purpose is to
teach people to appreciate bats as incredibly fascinating
invaluable allies. Once we begin to understand
bats, it’s just natural to enjoy and want to help
protect them. (music) (static, stations scrubbing) (music) NARRATOR: Enjoy fresh air
and open space every day with the Passport to Texas
Radio series from Texas Parks and Wildlife. Through sounds and words,
we’ll transport you to places with green grass and blue sky,
if only for a minute or two. And sometimes
that’s all you need. Passport to Texas airs weekdays
on radio stations statewide. Visit passporttotexas.org
to find a station near you. And remember,
life’s better outside! (water gurgles) (water gurgles) (water gurgles) (water gurgles) (water gurgles) (water gurgles) NARRATOR: This series is funded
in part by a grant from the Wildlife and Sport Fish
Restoration Program. Through your purchases of
hunting and fishing equipment, and motorboat fuels,
over 40 million dollars in conservation efforts are
funded in Texas each year. Additional funding
provided by Ram Trucks. Guts. Glory. Ram.

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