The Shotem' and Caughtem' Blog is the place to find the latest reviews and commentary on gear, destinations, conditions, events, and general knowledge to inform our readers and give our opinions to anyone listening.

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Many US States looking to increase Hunting and Angling fees

I know........ we were shocked by the news just like many of those in the states effected.  Here are some huge reasons why a social network dedicated to hunting and fishing could have such a profound effect on what we are about to discuss.  Last year we talked about where the money goes from increases in license fees.  Many times it goes nowhere.  Reasons.  Thanks to many of our founding fathers experiences with the concept of redistribution of tax dollars they added a sweet little piece of pie that prevented any state from using fees collected for hunting and fishing licenses to be used for anything other than items or projects related to hunting and fishing.  What they did not figure on was borrowing against those accounts to fund other projects.   

License Money not being used to better Wildlife

What the founding fathers did not bet on was the potential loop hole.  Though they can not use that money to fund projects outside the Department of Wildlife what they can do is use the money in the account and borrow against it to fund other projects.  Those sneaky devils.

Creating a Larger Voice using Social Media for Hunting and Fishing

There are some absolutely phenomenal wildlife, hunting and fishing organizations, magazines and groups. Creating a space to act as one large voice could help to free those tax dollars to be used to help develop larger scale projects to help with many of the issues we are facing.  Whether you take the side of conservation, creating better water resources, or wildlife habitats it solves bigger issues than many would care to admit.  However, it would also take away borrowing power to fund projects not Wildlife and Parks related.  It is definitely would make a great discussion on one of boards?  Hope you come join us and add your thoughts.  We would love to share them with our other social media outlets that do not dedicate themselves to the great outdoors like Shotem and Caughtem.

Wednesday, 05 March 2014 23:19

Paddlefish return to Texas

We at Shotem and Caughtem talked yesterday about where your money from license fees goes due to all the rate hikes happening throughout the nation.  Lucky for us a story released today shows where some of that money ends up.  As outdoorsman and woman already know the key to a sustainable industry can only come from a robust eco-system.  Too many of one thing or not enough of another and things get out of whack.  With this in mind Texas has decided to reintroduce the paddlefish into a Texas lake that was once home to plenty of the species and plans to track how this fish and the eco system reacts to having them back in the picture.  We hope to share their story as it becomes more available in the years to come.  As is the case many times it becomes a learning experience as to just how much we are all apart of a larger picture and balance.

A cooperative effort between federal, state, local and private agencies and organizations is once again attempting to return paddlefish to the waters of East Texas.

About 50 of the fish that can be traced back to prehistoric times were released Wednesday in Big Cypress Bayou and Caddo Lake, marking the first release of the fish since 2000.

This stocking, which is a joint effort between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the Northeast Texas Municipal Water District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, The Nature Conservancy and Caddo Lake Institute, is different than previous attempts to bring the fish back to Texas because it is a science-based experiment. Positive results could lead to more stockings in the future.

The 2- to 3-foot long fish recently captured in Oklahoma have been fitted with radio transmitters. Three monitoring stations, one below Caddo Lake, one at the lake and another near Jefferson, will follow the fishes travels to see if they will stay in the lake and upstream in the river where a gravel spawning bed was built by the USFWS near Jefferson. The bed is already being utilized by more than 30 other fish species.

One of the keys to the restocking program will be the water flow in Big Cypress Bayou below Lake O’the Pines. For the past 10 years the participants in the program have been working with Northeast Texas Municipal Water District to create downstream flows that will mimic what would have occurred in the river naturally during wet and dry conditions.

It is believed the fish, which can live as long as 30 years and grow to more than 7 feet long and weigh 200 pounds, disappeared from the bayou after construction of the Lake O’the Pines Dam in the 1950s.

“The dam changed the natural flow patterns, including the high flows or ‘spring pulses’ that provided paddlefish and other fish species a cue to move to spawning sites and foraging habitat the high water made accessible,” said Pete Diaz, a USFWS fish biologist.

Texas’ dam building era of the 1950s and 60s may have also led to the species’ demise in the Sulphur, Neches, Sabine, Angelina, Trinity, San Jacinto rivers where they also existed.

A fish species that is more than 300 million years old, today paddlefish are considered a species of concern under the Endangered Species Act and is rarely found in Texas. While restoration projects have been successful, that hasn’t been the case here.