Spring 2010 Meeting Minutes
Cabelas, May 6th, 10:00am
Call to Order
Registered on the call;
National Fish Habitat Bill Presentation & Discussion
- Tim Birdsong, TPWD presented an general overview of the National Fish Habitat Bill (NFHB)
- Key Bullet Points of the Plan in its current state
- Non‐regulatory and voluntary
- Locally and regionally based, driven by grassroots partners
- Focused on protection, restoration and enhancement in key watersheds
- Science based
- Linked nationally
- Sustainable and accountable
- Download The National Fish Habitat Action Plan PDF
- Protect and maintain intact and healthy aquatic systems.
- Prevent further degradation of fish habitats that have been adversely affected.
- Reverse declines in the quality and quantity of aquatic habitats to improve the overall health of fish and other aquatic organisms.
- Increase the quality and quantity of fish habitats that support a broad natural diversity of fish and other aquatic species.
- Conduct a condition analysis of all fish habitats within the United States by 2010.
- Identify priority fish habitats and establish Fish Habitat Partnerships targeting these habitats by 2010.
- Establish 12 or more Fish Habitat Partnerships throughout United States by 2010.
- Prepare a “Status of Fish Habitats in the United States” report in 2010 and every five years thereafter.
- Protect all healthy and intact fish habitats by 2015.
- Improve the condition of 90 percent of priority habitats and species targeted by Fish Habitat Partnerships by 2020.
- Discussion: What parts of the Plan are specific to Texas?
- National Fish Habitat Action Plan Unveils 2009 "10 Waters to Watch"
- Lake Houston, Texas – Restoring native aquatic vegetation and reducing sedimentation will improve fish habitat for the entire watershed both upstream and downstream of Lake Houston, as well as within the reservoir, which is an important lifeline both economically and recreationally to the people of Houston.
- Read more about “10 Waters to Watch”
- Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership (SARP)
- The Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership (SARP) was initiated in 2001 to address the myriad issues related to the management of aquatic resources in the southeastern United States, which includes about 26,000 miles of species‐rich aquatic shoreline and over 70 major river basins. The area faces significant threats to its aquatic resources, as illustrated by the fact that 34% of North American fish species and 90% of the native mussel species designated as endangered, threatened, or of special concern are found in the Southeast.
- Visit SARP website: http://southeastaquatics.net/
- Download SARP Fact Sheet PDF
- Desert Fish Habitat Partnership (DFHP)
- Desert fish have declined across these arid lands as a result of habitat loss and alteration and the widespread introduction and establishment of nonnative aquatic species. Despite numerous federal and state laws, regulations, and policies to protect and recover native desert fishes and their habitats, most of them remain imperiled. Current habitat conditions and threats require specific management actions and focused consideration of desert fishes if these species and their habitats are to be protected and remain viable into the future.
- List of species located in Texas: Download PDF of Texas Species
- Visit DFHP website: http://www.nature.nps.gov/water/DFH_partnership.cfm
- Reservoir Fisheries Habitat Partnership (RFHP)
- Reservoirs are inextricable parts of our natural landscapes; they cannot be isolated or dismissed in conservation management. Constructed to meet a variety of human needs, they impact almost every major river system in the United States, affecting to variousdegrees habitat for fish and other aquatic species and, in turn, affected by the health of the watershed in which they reside. Reservoirs, their associated watersheds, and their downstream flows constitute interdependent, functioning systems. Effective management of these reservoir systems – maintaining their ecological function and biological health – is essential to the conservation of our nation’s aquatic resources and their habitats. It requires that we minimize the adverse impacts of reservoirs on their watersheds (and watersheds upon reservoirs) and maximize their utility for aquatic habitat.
- The next Reservoir Fisheries Habitat Partnership (RFHP) meeting will be held in Conroe, Texas on September 30 – October 1, 2010, in conjunction with the 2010 Toyota Texas Bass Classic (TTBC). Conroe Reservoir is home to an active native aquatic plant restoration project and plant nursery. The project engages multiple partners and is part of a larger landscape‐level watershed improvement program to reduce sedimentation and improve fisheries at Lake Houston, one of the National Fish Habitat Action Plan’s “10 Waters to Watch” for 2009.
- Visit RFHP website: http://www.reservoirpartnership.org/
- 0pportunities discussed to assist TPWD based on letter from John Thomas to Carter Smith
- John Thomas reported on his meeting with TPWD officials and reviewed his proposal to create a TOP sponsored clearing house for volunteer requests from TPWD to TOP organizations and from TOP organizations to TPWD
- Visit TPWD Volunteer Website: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/involved/volunteer/
- Actions: Joey Park suggested a small group be formed to come up
with ideas of how an efficient communication system could be put in
place to inform members of TPWD volunteer opportunities, and to discuss
who would be in charge of this system as a point person to filter
information from TOP to individual organizations.
- There is an $11B ‐ $18B revenue shortfall in the next biennium.
- Already TPWD has been asked to cut 5%
- TPWD will be asked to cut an addition 10%
- There is no money, and there is no hope of money
- Note: impact of pending redistricting to be determined
- Action: Item carried over from executive committee meeting… Joey
Park is creating a letter / email to summarize the vast audience of
voters represented by the TOP member organizations. One of the primary
uses of this letter is to clearly communicate why our elected officials
should listen to our combined voice on issues that matter to our
- Visit Texas Legislature Online: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/Home.aspx
- Action: No current actions.
- Senate Committees that directly impact TOP Member Interests
ii. Vice Chair: Sen. Craig Estes
2. Sen. Robert Duncan
3. Sen. Kevin Eltife
4. Sen. Troy Fraser
5. Sen. Glenn Hegar
6. Sen. Juan Hinojosa
7. Sen. Mike Jackson
8. Sen. Kel Seliger
9. Sen. Carlos Uresti
ii. Vice Chair: Sen. Carlos Uresti
2. Sen. Juan Hinojosa
3. Sen. Mike Jackson
- House Committees that directly impact TOP Member Interests
ii. Vice Chair: Rep. Donna Howard
2. Rep. Tracy O. King
3. Rep. Tim Kleinschmidt
4. Rep. Edmund Kuempel
5. Rep. Larry Phillips
6. Rep. Van Taylor
7. Rep. Kristi Thibaut
ii. Vice Chair: Rep. Charles "Doc" Anderson
2. Rep. Joe Crabb
3. Rep. Rick Hardcastle
4. Rep. Joe Heflin
5. Rep. Tim Kleinschmidt
6. Rep. Tara Rios Ybarra
7. Rep. David Swinford
TOP Communication Efforts
- Brief discussion of trying to communicate better.
- www.TexasOutdoorPartners.org supports RSS feed
- TOP Twitter Account to follow: http://twitter.com/outdoorpartners
- If TOP was more engaged using Twitter, Facebook, or an eNewsletter would it matter?
- Action: Jason Parrish is willing to donate time and resources if
the TOP membership identifies a communication need. Reality is email
seems to be the way that TOP members communicate.
- Scheduled for 9/9/10 at Cabela’s.
- Action: Joey will send out meeting invite once Cabela’s location
is reserved and confirmed.
- TOP Budget Update (summarized, but no documentation shared)
- Texas Youth Hunting Program new website launched, www.texasyouthhunting.com
- Angler/Biologist Meeting scheduled for Aug.7‐8, 2010 at Texas
Freshwater Fisheries Center, Athens