Outdoors Digest

Lynn Burkhead
For the Herald Democrat

Calendar

June 25-27 – Inaugural Ducks Unlimited DUX Expo and Duck Jam music festival at Texas Motor Speedway. For information, visit www.ducksexpo.com .

June 26-27 - Team Trail Outdoors Championship Tournament on Lake Texoma. For information, call (817) 896-2309 or visit www.tto-tx.com .

July 17 - Future Bass Team Trail Tournament on Lake Texoma out of Alberta Creek Resort & Marina. For information, call Joe Copeland at (580) 504-7320 or visit www.futurebasstrails.com.

July 20-23 – ICAST Fishing Trade Show in Orlando, Fla.

July 25 - JC Outdoors Spring Teams Division Championship on Lake Texoma out of Alberta Creek Resort & Marina. For information, call (214) 773-5451 or visit www.jcoutdoors.com .

Aug. 7 - Future Bass Team Trail Tournament on Lake Texoma out of Alberta Creek Resort & Marina. For information, call Joe Copeland at (580) 504-7320 or visit www.futurebasstrails.com.

Notes

A Texas Parks and Wildlife Department news release indicates that TPWD has issued an emergency order to “…impose additional movement and testing restrictions on deer breeding facilities that are affiliated with six deer breeding facilities where Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) has been positively detected.  Existing rules already restrict the movement of deer from 264 sites in 95 counties that are directly linked to these CWD-positive facilities, but further measures are necessary given the gravity of this situation.” According to TPWD, the Austin-based agency and the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) are working to address risks and improve management strategies that protect big game resources from CWD in captive or free-ranging cervid populations found in Texas. According to the news release, both agencies indicate that they recognize the need for full cooperation and partnership among government agencies, deer breeders, private landowners, hunters, conservation organizations and the general public in managing CWD in Texas. “This is a terribly unfortunate development that we are committed to addressing as proactively, comprehensively, and expeditiously as possible,” said Carter Smith, TPWD Executive Director. “The health of our state’s free-ranging and captive deer herds, as well as affiliated hunting, wildlife, and rural based economies, are vitally important to Texas hunters, communities, and landowners. As such, our primary objectives are to enhance testing at sites that received deer from affected facilities and avoid the unintentional release of CWD-positive deer. Along with our partners at TAHC, we will continue to exercise great diligence and urgency with this ongoing investigation.”…TPWD notes at a CWD website page (https://tpwd.texas.gov/huntwild/wild/diseases/cwd ) that the first case of CWD in Texas was discovered in 2012 in free-ranging mule deer in the Hueco Mountains of far West Texas. It has since been discovered in other portions of the state… TPWD also says that of particular concern is the potential for decline within deer, elk, or other susceptible cervid populations here in the state and elsewhere. In addition, CWD could have indirect impacts on hunting, hunter participation, and economic benefits derived from big game hunting across the Lone Star State. According to TPWD, in Texas, hunting is a $2.2 billion economic enterprise each year, supporting many rural towns across the state… TPWD has designated Lake Brownwood, Inks Lake, and Medina Lake in the Colorado and San Antonio River basins as ‘infested’ with invasive zebra mussels according to a recent news release. According to TPWD, infested status signifies that there is an established, reproducing population of zebra mussels in that particular lake. "As zebra mussels are continuing to spread westward and southward to new areas in Texas and as those lakes become fully infested, nearby lakes have an increased risk of being invaded and it is vital that boaters take steps to clean, drain, and dry boats to help slow the spread,” said Monica McGarrity, senior scientist for TPWD’s Aquatic Invasive Species department. “Boats owned or recently purchased that have been stored in the water must be decontaminated before moving them to another lake to prevent the spread of these highly invasive mussels.”…

Fishing Reports

At Lake Texoma, water is lightly stained; water temps are 81-84 degrees; and the lake is 2.80 feet high. TPWD reports that striped bass are very good on live bait, topwaters and swimbaits fished in the river channel and its tributaries. White bass are good on slabs and jigging spoons. Largemouth bass are good for those fishing Wacky Worms, Shakyheads, jigs, square-billed crankbaits, topwaters, and bladed jigs and spinnerbaits. Crappie are fair on minnows when fished near boathouses, timber near a creek channel and around brush-piles...At Lake Ray Roberts, site of the recent 51st Bassmaster Classic won by Hank Cherry, water is lightly stained; water temp is 87 degrees; and the lake remains 3.85 feet high. TPWD says that largemouth bass are good on drop shots, crankbaits, bladed jigs and spinnerbaits, topwater plugs, and flipping jigs fished near flooded banks, vegetation, and drop-offs. White bass are good in water depths ranging from 12-40 feet for anglers using slabs and swimbaits near main lake points, flats and along the river channel. Look for birds diving over feeding schools of white bass. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs fished around docks, bridge columns and in brush piles...At Lake Fork, water is lightly stained; water temps are 84-89 degrees; and the lake is 0.06 feet high. TPWD says that largemouth bass are good on topwaters, Texas-rigged plastic worms, bladed jigs and spinnerbaits, crankbaits and football jigs. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs fished near brush piles and timber...  At the Blue River near Tishomingo, Okla., the river elevation is above normal, water temp is 70, and water is slightly stained. ODWC says that largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass are fair on crankbaits, spinnerbaits and tube jigs fished around rocks, the shoreline, and the main river channel. Also, channel catfish are good on chicken liver and dough bait fished around rocks and in the main the river channel... On the Texas Gulf Coast at East Matagorda Bay, TPWD says that mid-bay reefs are the place to be on this side of the bay- specifically Chinquapin and Boggy reefs. Speckled trout and redfish are good on live bait fished near structures. Black drum have also been good on blue crabs fished over vegetation...At Port Aransas, TPWD says that speckled trout and redfish are being caught in water less than 8-feet deep, especially along the shorelines and jetty regions. Earlier in the day, use soft plastics, topwaters, or shrimp. Black drum are also good at Port A on shrimp or crabs fished around vegetation and in-the-water structure...And at South Padre Island, TPWD says that speckled trout and redfish have been caught this past week in water less than 5-feet deep over sand bars. Despite the killer freeze in February, the two saltwater species are currently good on K-Wigglers. Also, the SPI topwater bite is also very good in the morning hours... …

Tip of the Week

Today marks the kick-off for the largest outdoors event ever attempted in North Texas, and maybe anywhere else in the country for that matter, as Ducks Unlimited’s long-awaited DUX Expo kicks off at 12 noon at Texas Motor Speedway north of Fort Worth. The DUX event will take place Friday-Sunday, June 25-27 at TMS. Tickets are $10 per day for adults or $25 for a three-day adult DUX Expo pass. Kids 12 and under get in free at the gate, as do ID carrying and current or retired first-responders and armed forces members…For information on the huge event at TMS, visit www.duckexpo.com for information…If you love country music, tomorrow is the day at DUX as the event hosts Duck Jam with a host of established and rising country music stars. Multi-platinum record selling country star Gary Allan is the event’s headline act tomorrow and he will be unveiling a new album at Duck Jam. To purchase tickets for the music portion of the event, please visit https://www.duckjamstore.com