Wealth of Fisheries-related Information Available
There is no doubt a lot of information available from agencies on the fisheries resource. And with much of this information now stored by agencies on the Web, the job of running down stuff has gotten a lot easier. That is, of course, if you have an Internet connection or some other means (i.e. friend, library) of Internet access. Those relying on old technology will have a much slower go of it so be patient.
If you're Internet-ready and interested in running down fish or fishing information in Texas try the TPWD web site.
Other state and federal sites, for example those provided by Sabine River Authority (www.sra.dst.tx.us/basin/recreation.asp) or U.S. Corps of Engineers (www1.swf-c.usace.army.mil/samray/), will have equally valuable material, but they will focus more on the water resource and access facilities.
The U. S. Geological Survey has a very useful site at http://tx.water.usgs.gov/nwis-bin/current/ that posts current and historical reservoir water levels. All of these are worth checking out.
Once you get to the TPWD home page (www.tpwd.state.us), click first on Fishing (under Shortcuts) and on the next page click on the Freshwater icon to see the full complement of freshwater topics you really should peruse including trout fishing, fish records, fish identification, fishing reports, angler education, water levels and Texas lakes. Don't forget to check out the information on the LMB virus or the popular Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens.
Those interested in setting up a fishing education program should check out the angler education page. The Texas lakes page is where you will want to go to get information on unfamiliar waters. There you'll find a clickable Texas map containing 119 reservoirs for you to choose from. Once you have arrived (virtually of course) to your chosen lake you'll see information on that water body's characteristics, access/camping, fishing regulations in effect, angling opportunities, fishing cover/structure and fishing tips and tactics. Clicking on the hypertext next to access/lake map will send you to a "clickable" map of the lake with the different access points hyper-marked. Access point information includes various boat ramp specifics (number, location, type, operator and fee requirement).
Those that have navigated through the old fishing site will notice this updated version has a more intuitive feel, crisper graphics and additional fishing tactics information. This site is updated only periodically and serves one particular niche, so be forewarned this site does not contain dynamic data like some Web sites.
If you're looking for a current fishing report for a lake, back out of the Fishing page and select Fishing Reports. There you'll find basic information provided by marinas on approximately 44 state reservoirs that is updated weekly.
Of course any of the information mentioned above is also available to old technology users at your local TPWD-IF District offices.
Some of the most common inquires we've received over the years that are not necessarily covered at the Web site or for which a one on one conversation with a biologist might be preferable include fish population or recreational fishery status at an area lake, mercury health advisories at area lakes, proper fish handling techniques, private or public water triploid grass carp usage, private or public water vegetation control and private pond fish stocking management. Material on any of this is available on the premises.
The private pond management manual is also available at the Texas Chapter of the American Fisheries Society Web site (www.sdafs.org/tcafs) in PDF format.
Still want to find what is out there on the World Wide Web on fishing? Just enter bass fishing or crappie fishing in the search window of your browser and prepare to be overwhelmed.
Is there anything not mentioned in this article that you specifically would like information on? If so, please contact us at www.jas.net/~tpwd3d and leave your comments or you can write (TPWD 3-D Inland Management, Rt. 2 Box 535, Jasper, Tx. 75951, phone (409-384-9572) or E-mail (email@example.com). We're here to serve you.
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