PBS SHOW Wildlife Watchdogs, Lake Forkers, Good Guzzlers, #2715

PBS SHOW Wildlife Watchdogs, Lake Forkers, Good Guzzlers, #2715


– NARRATOR: The Texas Parks &
Wildlife television 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 50 million dollars
in conservation efforts are
funded in Texas each year.
Additional support
provided by Ram Trucks.
Built to serve.Coming up on
Texas Parks & Wildlife… – Our team are the first
feet on the ground, first eyes on the resources. – You don’t move to Lake Fork
for recreation. You’re here for that
fish of a lifetime. – We use helicopters to
ferry all the equipment we need to get up there
and build the guzzlers high enough up to be utilized
by the bighorn sheep. [theme music] ♪ ♪– NARRATOR:Texas Parks &
Wildlife, a television series
for all outdoors. [gentle music]– NARRATOR: There is a
delicate balance going on.
Between the fragile
ecosystems where we live.
[gentle music]And the fossil fuels
which we need.
[gentle music]Unfortunately this relationship
can be at times a tenuous one.
[helicopter whirs] [dramatic music]When accidents happen, a
special team of biologists
answer the call.– REBECCA HENSLEY: With failing
infrastructure for pipelines and with increased activity,
the number of spills that we see are increasing. – GREG CONLEY: Because of all
the drilling going on in Texas they say that we are probably
just as big as the Iraq field in Texas right now. We are only going to get busier.– NARRATOR: They are the
Kills and Spills Team,
and these first responders are
needed now more than ever!
[dramatic music]Talco, Texas.An oil pipe has burst and
now the oil and sludge
is choking a nearby creek.– GREG: Ok. – REBECCA: Our team… – GREG: All right good deal. – REBECCA: Are the first feet
on the ground, first eyes on the resources. We will go out and look for
dead birds, oiled wildlife. And we also identify where
the cleanup needs to begin. – GREG: Yeah looks like there
is a good bit of oil upstream and downstream.– NARRATOR: Meet Greg Conley…[camera clicks] – GREG: It’s shell is open
with fresh meat in there.– NARRATOR: He is one of four
regional biologists that
coordinate response to these
fish and wildlife kills
across the state.– GREG: There’s another
small mussel! This is the first time I’ve
seen this number of mussels, freshwater mussels in a stream
such as this in East Texas. It’s surprising. But they’re dead. It’s not an easy process to
repopulate a mussel population. – ADAM WHISENANT: Yeah, all this
movement in the water, those are all juvenile small fish that
were once in this creek, there’s probably 20 small
fish in here hangin’ on! Ugh! Seeing fish struggle like that,
it makes me feel disappointed that these particular
fish won’t make it. So in this investigation,
all the resources we find, specifically the fish, Just over three inches. – GREG: Just over
three inches, ok. – ADAM: We total up the species,
the size, and get a value. And that value is put towards
a restitution project to restore the habitat that was
lost or somewhere nearby.– NARRATOR: The responsible
party will cover the cost
of cleanup.As for that restitution,
the values can vary.
This crawfish will
cost ten cents….
– ADAM: Yep, little over
two inches.– NARRATOR: And this sunfish?– GREG: I don’t know
if we are able to identify that species.– NARRATOR: 37 cents.– The impacts that are caused
for fish and wildlife kills due to oil and pollution
events is often not very high. [dramatic music] And so there isn’t an incentive
for them other than being good stewards of our resources. They are not going to
pay a lot of money.– NARRATOR: Texas is the
country’s top crude oil
producer, and the business
brings in billions.
As part of this business,
accidents happen like this one
near Texas City.[dramatic music] – BIOLOGIST: You need to
get pictures first right?– NARRATOR: Andy Tirpak has
word that several ducks
are dead along this beach.– ANDY: In essence we got oil on
a beach where birds are coming through, to rest, to feed as
they continue their migration. So it’s challenging right now. It looks like a scaup,
it’s pretty heavily oiled, I mean you can see how they’re
you can’t hardly see can’t even see feathers there, it’s
almost like it’s been painted on like wax. [crate slides on concrete] – REBECCA: They are looking for
oiled birds, picking those birds up, and getting them
to a rehabilitation site to save those birds.– NARRATOR: Spills can wipe
out many of the small fish
and coastal invertebrates that
live along the shoreline.
– REBECCA: If your food source
goes away because of some sort of spill or pollution event. Then you end up with animals
that will die from starvation. [birds chirp] – ANDY: So it’s all
interconnected and it’s all about that circle of life
that we talk about. It’s not just that we are going
to try and save the birds, if we try and save the birds,
that’s great, that’s good. But we also need to be worried
about impacts of the sand and the things that
live in the sand that the birds are
feeding upon. [birds calling and waves] [dramatic music]– NARRATOR: There’s a natural
killer that this team
also focuses on.A toxic algal bloom that hits
the Gulf coast called red tide.
[waves on shore] – REBECCA: What the cell counts
do whenever our crew looks at those, it’s more for,
are we anticipating a fish kill pretty quickly. We know that once it hits five,
once it hits 100, and we start looking at that,
we are going to have to get staff onto the ground. [dramatic music]– NARRATOR: While it can cause
respiratory problems
for humans, Red Tide is
lethal for fish.
– REBECCA: When we have our
first fish kill, they are out assessing what kind of fish are
killed, how many are killed, where it’s occurring. And trying to assess what that
impact is along the coast. If it’s a natural event like
a red tide, we can’t do anything to stop that. In an oil spill we may not be
able to stop the oil, but we can protect some
of the resources.– NARRATOR: Back at that
oiled creek in Talco,
Adam and Greg take a few more
notes for their investigation.
– GREG: Definite water moccasin,
he’s fixing to disappear into that oil. [water splashes] You see the rainbow sheen is
always indicative of a crude type spill,
petroleum related. It’s really impacting the creek,
the deer are going to have to go somewhere else to drink, the
coons are going to have to go somewhere else to
drink, what a mess. That’s exactly what goes
through my head, what a mess! But I know they
can make it better.– NARRATOR: The compensation
for spills can be as little
as $100 like here at Talco,
or it can be upwards
of a million dollars.– When we are done with an
event, any kind of event, and we get compensation from
a responsible party, we actually are able to do good
things for the resources. An example of that could be
with oyster reef restoration that we’ve done. – BIOLOGISTS:
Looks real healthy! – REBECCA: As well as marsh
and wetland creation and restoration. [fish splash] Inland that can be fish stocking
and habitat creation in lakes for fish as well as stream
creation and restoration.– NARRATOR: As for this creek,
the members of the
Kills and Spills team are
doing everything they can
to help it heal.– ADAM: This is a sock boom,
it’s absorbent, it floats on the surface and absorbs
the oil as it passes by. If cleanup is done well, give
it time, these systems are typically pretty resilient
and can recover well. – It makes me feel really good,
I can actually come out here and, what I feel, is make an
impact for the better through what I do with the
Texas Parks and Wildlife Kills and Spills team. [dramatic music] [gentle music] [gentle music, waves lapping] [reel whirs] – You’re here for that
fish of a lifetime. You don’t move to Lake Fork
for recreational. – Everybody dreams of catching
a 10 pound black bass and this is one of the
premier lakes for that. – It’s a legendary lake;
it’s put close to 50% of all the sharelunkers ever
caught in the state of Texas. – DICK: They currently
have 35 of the top 50 bass. Lake Fork has all
five of the top five. – It produces legendary fish,
it produces legendary fun. To preserve the legend
of Lake Fork, that is our mission. [indistinct chatter] – We’re outdoor people. We are conservationists
by heart. [reel whirs] And then, just a love for
fishing that drew the organization together,
and it stuck together. – And every single member
in that club has a love for this lake and a love for what we
do for this lake. – We need more
organizations like the Lake Fork Sportsman’s
Association. They’re locally focused and
they’re angler led, and there’s a lot of
beauties in that. [indistinct chatter] First, they care. Second, they’re on the
water all the time. They understand what’s going on
with the fish, the fisheries, the lake, the aquatic habitats, and they’ve got a lot
invested in the future. – FISHERMAN: Oh, good fish! – KEVIN STOREY: It’s really
beneficial to have a group who has the welfare of
the lake at heart. They have the same type
of interest that we do. It’s rewarding to work
towards a common goal. – It makes you feel good to be
able to serve a community and be able to help an
organization that really helps with the Lake Fork fishery. [motor boat revs] – Some of the projects we’re
known for, of course, is the live release boat,
the support for that. The fingerling release, the
start of this aquatic plant project with the Yantis FFA. – The relationship
between the students and the Lake Fork Sportsman’s
Association is wonderful. They have come to
know them by name. – They are very patient
and they are very nice. They want to help students learn
and they enjoy teaching and they care about the lake
so much that it makes us care about the lake as well. – DICK: And then the high school
tackle program, fishing teams. – We gave away like 28
rods and reel combinations, hundreds and hundreds of
various plastic lures, just everything they needed to,
if they wanted to go out and go fishing, they had
what they needed. And I love it, I just love
doing it, I love helping kids. – FISHERMAN: There you go,
good fish, good fish! – The Lake Fork
Sportsman’s Association, they give us money that we
give to our boat captains, traveling fees, they’re
one of our sponsors and they’ve helped
us out tremendously. – Everyone in the community
is well aware of ’em, there’s a lot of individual,
private citizens that are members. [boat engine revs] – RICK LOOMIS: The Lake Fork
Sportsman’s Association as a role model, I hope will
encourage other groups to become more involved. – CARTER: It’s a great example
of volunteer leadership. Their eyes and ears are out
there for the anglers, so we couldn’t have a better
partner in helping to manage and steward this world class
fishery for Texas. – For all that they’ve
done for us and for what they’ve done
for Lake Fork, it’s a big help. It makes me feel really good
because they’re the reason that we get to fish. [wind] [western music]– NARRATOR: Out here in the
mountains of West Texas,
you will find a rare animal.Desert bighorn sheep at one
time
completely disappearedfrom this region.– FROYLAN HERNANDEZ:
Historically, the native Texas bighorn sheep occurred in about
16 mountain ranges out here in the Trans-Pecos. Mainly due to unregulated
hunting, diseases associated with the introduction of
domestic sheep and goats and net-wire fencing,
they brought the demise of the desert bighorn and by
the early 1960s they were gone. They were all gone from Texas. [dramatic music] [gate clanking open] – Come on big boy.– NARRATOR: But the bighorn
has made a comeback.
Recent restoration efforts
have brought a healthy bighorn
population back to
its native home.
[dramatic music]One key factor for the survival
of the restored bighorn
population is access to water.Water is scarce in
these arid mountains.
But there is a way to
ensure the bighorn
has enough to drink.With a manmade watering
hole called a guzzler.
– A guzzler is essentially
a rainwater collection system for wildlife. We’ve got two large panels of
sheet metal that collect the rainwater, funnel that
down into storage tanks, that feed to wildlife
friendly watering stations. These watering stations play
a big role in bighorn sheep restoration. And they also provide
for any thirsty critter that comes along.– NARRATOR: But it’s no easy
task getting a guzzler going.
– Safety things on the bird,
we do want you to duck a little bit. So all you tall guys got
to be careful because you’re tall and… – VOLUNTEER: You won’t be. – Yeah don’t ever raise
your hand. Hey see you later! [laughter]– NARRATOR: On this Spring
weekend, the Texas Bighorn
Society has gathered at Black
Gap Wildlife Management Area
for a work project.– These work projects normally
last a couple of days and they are always in
extremely remote areas. [helicopter engine starting up] For this work project, we’ve had
over 100 people here to help us build two water
catchment devices we call guzzlers. [upbeat music]– NARRATOR: If Black Gap
weren’t already remote enough,
the workers must travel by
helicopter to the mountain tops
where the guzzlers
will be constructed.
– MARK GARRETT: We use
helicopters to ferry all the equipment we need to get up
there and build the guzzlers high enough up to be utilized
by the bighorn sheep. [upbeat music] [welding buzz] [whining drill] [clanking metal] [ratcheting clicks] – We’ve got the tanks
anchored down, the troughs in place. I think all we have left to do
now is put tin on, run our fast lines
to our troughs, and plumb
everything in. [sledge hammer clanking] – WORKER: That looks good. – TONY BAKER: It’s a hands-on
organization. I brought my son and his friend
so they could see what real conservation is. And we’ve been doing it
a couple of years now. [drill whirs] He’s a junior in high school
and he’ll be able to take this as a lifetime event for him. – We need to get over there
and proceed. [upbeat music]– NARRATOR: By the end of the
day, this team has
completed their mission.Leaving behind their
mark on this mountain.
And after a scenic ride back to
camp, they’re rewarded with a
well-earned feast
among friends.
– Are you in the way? – Probably.– NARRATOR: Before the weekend
is done, the group is already
collecting funds
for the next effort.
– I got two hundred. Can I have two and a half. I got three, I got three. Three, three, three,
I need three. I have three hundred and six
U.S. dollars right over here. [crowd cheers] – This land is suitable for
all the game that live here. It was missing one thing. Water. And now it’ll have water. That’s conservation right there. [uplifting music]This project was funded in part
by a grant from the
Wildlife Restoration Program.[Gregorian chant music] – BRENDA JUSTICE: Goliad State
Park and Historic Site is a really special place. We have a really nice
blend of history, as well as natural resources. The park has camping,
places to go hiking, biking, canoeing, paddling, as well as the history which
it’s mostly known for. – Probably around 5 or 6 o’clock
church bell rings again, everyone went back to
church one more time. That was, again, completely
different for the Native Americans,
a whole new experience. – JARED RAMIREZ: This is an
18th century Spanish Mission. One of the first
efforts by Europeans to colonize Texas. Besides being introduced
to Catholicism, the natives were introduced
to all different types of Spanish living. – That wall is original is well,
all the way around. – JARED: When the mission
was at its peak there were about 300 people
living here. And those were mainly natives
housed within these walls.– NARRATOR: The missions
at Goliad lasted 81 years,
closing in 1830.The buildings eventually
fell into disrepair,
and much of the wood and stone
from the site was salvaged
by local residents.The property was acquired
by the state in 1931,
and a year later the first
of many restoration efforts
were begun.– JARED: We have the historic
Mission Espíritu Santo de Zuniga, dating back
to 1749. We have Mission Rosario
which is about four miles outside of
downtown Goliad. – This was the bell tower. – JARED: Rosario would
have been very similar to what you see here
at Espíritu Santo. It was never quite
as successful. – But when they did
an excavation here, what they found was a
lot of little pieces of painted plaster. – JARED: The mission compound
was never developed to the extent that this was. And so when you visit
there you’re only going to see the ruins of the
mission buildings. You’ll see the outlines of
all the different rooms that were there. It’s really quite interesting
to go visit Rosario and see the similarities
and the differences between the activities
at both sites.– NARRATOR: Goliad is also
the birthplace of
General Ignacio Zaragoza.Born at the nearby community
of La Bahía in 1829,
Zaragoza lead the
Mexican Army in the
Battle of Puebla.– SOLDIERS: Viva Mexico!– NARRATOR: On May 5th, 1862,
General Zaragoza’s
outnumbered forces
defeated the occupying
French army, a date now
celebrated as Cinco de Mayo.
[church bell tolling] – BRENDA: Many of our
visitors that come here specifically to see
Mission Espíritu Santo, and then they stumble upon
the fact that we have beautiful campgrounds in
our park and a lot of nature. – These are called our
Eastern lubber grasshoppers. Spanish Dagger. This is called the
Anaqua tree. [fun organ music] – BRENDA: We have
beautiful nature trails where our park rangers
will do guided tours on the weekend. – JARED: It’s a hog-nose. He’s smashing himself out
and making himself wider to look bigger right now. You should never try
this ok, because I’m a professional park ranger
and I know what I’m doing. – BRENDA: We do have a
beautiful biking trail, called the Angel of Goliad
hike and bike trail. It connects downtown Goliad
which is historic in itself. Goes all the way through
the park and then connects to Presidio La Bahía just
down the road from us. – BIKER: There you go, got it. – BRENDA: And we have the
San Antonio River Trail. It’s a real natural,
undeveloped trail. It’s great to be able
to see the river. [paddles splash in water] One of the other special
things we have is we’re on the Goliad Paddling Trail
which is located on the San Antonio River. It’s about 6.1 miles of
beautiful, pristine river. – JARED: The river has
always been one of the main draws of this
part of Goliad. There’s a lot of evidence
that it inhabited by native groups well before
any of the Europeans had arrived here. So, when the Spaniards
came to this area, they recognized it as a
good place to build the Mission as well. You really get a good
sense of the history here because we have so much
of the site intact. Here you have the entire
perimeter wall, you have more or less
natural landscape surrounding the mission. So, you really get a good
sense of what it would have been like to live and
work here all those years. [birds chirping] – BRENDA: I think the thing I
love the most about this park is it is a small,
peaceful park. We have a little bit
of everything here. We have the San Antonio River, beautiful Mission
Espíritu Santo, the campgrounds that are
just gorgeous, lots of wildlife. It’s just a blend of
everything that you don’t find at other parks. It’s a lot of fun. [cicadas, birds chirp,
gentle waves lapping] [cicadas, birds chirp,
gentle waves lapping] [cicadas, birds chirp,
gentle waves lapping] [cicadas, birds chirp,
gentle waves lapping] [cicadas, birds chirp,
gentle waves lapping] [cicadas, birds chirp,
gentle waves lapping] [cicadas, birds chirp,
gentle waves lapping] [cicadas, birds chirp] [wind blowing] [wind blowing] [wind blowing] [gentle waves lapping]– 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 50 million dollars
in conservation efforts are
funded in Texas each year.
Additional support
provided by Ram Trucks.
Built to serve.

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