ATHENS — Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) has completed work on a plan designed to expand angling opportunities for Texas’ growing urban population and introduce the next generation of anglers to fishing.
More than a year in preparation, the plan (A Vision for Catfish in Texas) describes why catfish are likely to become more important to Texas anglers in the future, depicts the catfish species available in the state, reports results of surveys of Texas catfish anglers and presents goals and strategies designed to make catfishing better.
“Texas has some outstanding catfishing opportunities,” said Dave Terre, chief of research and management for TPWD’s Inland Fisheries division. “We believe our public waters have great potential for providing quality catfishing in the future, and we have the experience and expertise to maintain and expand the fishery. However, success will depend on having the support of anglers, industry, civic organizations and local governments.”
TPWD fisheries biologist John Tibbs was one of the authors of the plan. “Catfish are the preferred target of more than a third of freshwater anglers in Texas,” he said. “These anglers have many different views of what catfishing means to them. The catfish management plan will be the roadmap that guides TPWD’s efforts to increase catfishing opportunities and meet the desires of anglers.”
Catfish can tolerate a wide range of environmental conditions. They are easy to catch, good to eat and easily reared and stocked into ponds and streams, making them ideal for providing fishing opportunities close to where people live.
A copy of the plan can be viewed or downloaded at http://bit.ly/CatfishManagementPlan.