Anglers shouldn’t just be sportsmen and sportswomen—they should be conservationists. After all, don’t we want to preserve the beautiful Texas outdoors you love and enjoy so much? Learn how you can help conserve the environment as an angler below!
Pay for a Fishing License
Anglers should always have a license, as it’s legally necessary to fish in Texas for anyone over 17, but the fee for licenses isn’t just money down the drain. Instead, it helps the state’s environment. Much of the money from fishing licenses goes toward government environmental maintenance projects to preserve fisheries for anglers today and in the future.
These funds are vital for many state agencies to monitor fish and other species populations carefully and evaluate Texas water quality. It may seem like a hassle for anglers, but when everyone chips in a few bucks for a license, they’re helping ensure their children and children’s children can enjoy the same fisheries and watering holes they did.
Battle Invasive Species
Invasive species are a problem in many Texas waterways, with some of the worst being zebra mussels, giant Salvinia, and Asian swamp eels. As anglers are the ones who frequent many of these waterways, they hold a responsibility to do what they can to help slow the spread of invasive species so harmful to Texas’s environment.
Anglers must be diligent about the invasive species found at their fishing spots and carefully clean and sanitize their fishing gear and boat if they travel from one body of water to another. Many state agencies post notices of invasive species at popular fishing spots, so keep an eye out for those postings and do what you can to root out invasive species.
Preserve Natural Cover
Another part of Texas waterways that anglers should consider conserving is the natural cover on the water and along the banks and surrounding habitat. Natural features and vegetation aren’t just cosmetic but are crucial for wildlife and Texas ecosystems because they provide food and shelter to many species, not just fish.
As an angler, you may want more accessible pegs and feel tempted to clear out some vegetation and natural covers, but you can harm the environment more than you realize. Anglers should try to leave the waterway and environment as they find them—undisturbed.
Clean Up Litter
The simplest but one of the most effective ways anglers can help conserve the environment is by doing their part to clean up when they see trash around. Waters that attract lots of anglers unfortunately also tend to attract lots of litter like discarded fishing tackle and garbage from food and drink.
If you’re fishing and see litter lying about, pick it up and dispose of it properly to keep Texas clean. If you bring plastic packaging for a drink or snack, bring some trash bags to dispose of your garbage properly.
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