PBS Show – Caddo Camping, Killam Wildlife, Shrimping Family, #2802
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PBS Show – Caddo Camping, Killam Wildlife, Shrimping Family, #2802


– NARRATOR: Coming up on
Texas Parks and Wildlife…
– Caddo Lake is a really
special place to visit. It’s a place unlike any
other within the state. – That’s really one of the most
impressive things about this ranch, the fact that you
can literally see so far. – One of the biggest hunting
violations in Texas is no proof of
hunter education. [theme music] ♪ ♪– NARRATOR: Texas Parks
and Wildlife,
a television series
for all outdoors.
[blues music]♪ Well, well ♪[blues music] – BRANDON LOPES-BACA: You know,
Caddo Lake State Park, it’s the only area in Texas
that you can find this environment,
this habitat. [blues music] There’s not a lot of people
out here to where it’s gonna be crazy! You can really get out here
and just recharge your soul. [music] – Caddo Lake State Park is the
gateway to Caddo Lake. We are located four miles
upriver on Big Cypress Bayou. And Caddo Lake is special
because it is the largest naturally formed
lake here in Texas. And it was formed around the
year 1800 when water from Big Cypress Bayou tried to
merge with the Red River, but met a giant log jam
called the Great Raft. [blues music] – BRANDON: We are a Civilian
Conservation Corp. park. [music] July 4th, 1934 is when the
park officially opened for public use. – KELSEY: The first thing you
see as you drive into the park are iconic pillars that were
built back in the 1930s and are still standing today. And as you drive through the
park, you’ll see the cabin area. Those were the cabins that the
CCC lived in when they were building this park, as well as
the rec hall, which is where they would have had their meals. So, there is a little bit of
magic from the CCC left all over this park. [laughter] – BRANDON: There’s nothing
that’s gonna be too hardcore as far as the trails go. Their pretty standard, a
couple uphill here and there. So, you can come out
here with your family and just be out here for a
couple hours on the trails and enjoy yourselves! – KELSEY: Park programs are a
really great way to get your kids involved in nature. And you just want to
tap it on the bottom. [water gurgles] So, nice good one! – KID: Oh, that’s cool! – KELSEY: The kids are getting
to experience it for themselves, really get to explore
at their own pace, and just see what’s out there. – KID: Ohhhhh! – KELSEY: It’s called a
Cricket frog, and they’ll get
bigger than this, these are just real
little ones. – KID: Oh, can I
hold one of them! – Yes, critters, and mud
and all that stuff– that is their favorite
thing probably ever. I want my kids to actually come
and physically put their hands into the water, to see
the creatures up close. [woodpecker knocking] It’s not just something they
know about in their head but something they feel
in their heart. What did you think,
is it fun! – KID: Yeah! [blues music] – VELMA COWLING: I love it here! Oooh! This is my home! – Mmmmmm, hmmm. I hope I catch em, cause
he’s pretty good size. – Oh honey, I just enjoy
being here. Yeah, have some me time,
for sure. – Oh, I got something! Oh! Oh, I can fish a little bit! [laughter] – VELMA: When I’m sitting
here fishing like this! Oh, come here baby! I don’t have a
care in this world. Oh, I got a gargalli. Hey baby daddy! Ooooooh baby, I love it! [paddles splash] – EASLEY SMITH: Paddling, it’s
nice cause you don’t have the buzz of the motor from a boat. So, you get to hear the
movement of the water, and you get to kind of feel like
you’re supposed to be there, instead of in a big clunky boat where you’re just
kind of rocking. And you get to get really
close to the trees and see the detail of the wood, and the hanging of the moss. And it’s just nice to see
the little intricate details of nature. [blues music] – KELSEY: Caddo Lake is a really
special place to visit. It’s a place unlike any
other within the state. – EASLEY: This is pretty cool! – BRANDON: You really have the
opportunity to come out here and really recharge and
be a part of nature. [blues music] – KELSEY: Here is a mysterious,
quiet, wild getaway that you just don’t
find anywhere else. [blues music] [uplifting music] – DAVID KITNER: This land was
bare dirt when I came here. You were hard-pressed to
find a blade of grass on it. My name is David Kitner and I’m the manager for
Killam Ranch Properties. [ducks call] – My Name is David Killam and
my family is the owner of the Duval County
Ranch Company. [uplifting music] That’s really one of the most
impressive things about this ranch, the fact that you
can literally see so far. [uplifting music] While you look off into the
distance and see these great vistas, you can look
at the ground and you see all the diversity of the
different plants and forbs that are right here. I think that’s a
beautiful thing too. [music] – I told David early on, I said
I am a fix-it kind of guy. I like a challenge. And I’d be happy to work on this
place if you want to fix it. And so, he said do
whatever you need to do. And it’s covered in grass now. And forbs. Where you have a plant cover, the soil temperature is
40 to 50 degrees less than it is on bare dirt. When you look at the diversity
of brush and just this ground cover that we have right here
and the forb production that’s generated in this area, it gives us the kind of
nutrition that, ah, produces these kinds
of antlers right there. – There’s markers all over
this ranch that show anybody how productive and what a
wonderful piece of property this is for wildlife. And just here talking, we’re
listening to quail call. The brush diversity, the
herbaceous plant diversity that we have around us
is just amazing. [music] – DAVID KUNZ: In South Texas,
in our semi-arid environment, it’s hard to have
too much water. – DAVID KILLAM: We are a for
profit ranching enterprise. – KITNER: And fortunately,
the Killams don’t need to take out of whatever we make. And so, I plow that money
back into infrastructure on the ranch. That’s where the 350 miles
of water lines have gotten paid for. I tell everybody who wants
to be a biologist, you better learn how to
manage the land first, because you can’t
manage anything else if you can’t manage the land. We use chemical applications
by an airplane. We use prescribed burning. We use roller chopping. And we always have wildlife on
the forefront of our thinking when we do these practices. [upbeat music] – KILLAM: We look at livestock
as not only being a profit center for the ranch,
but also being an important tool to manage our habitat. [gates slams] – KITNER: We use rotational
grazing exclusively here. We like to see about a year’s
rest on these pastures. [siren wails] We call those cattle every
morning and use that siren to train them. All we have to do is get on a
hill and blow the siren and sit there. Just be a little patient and
those cattle come to us and then they will follow me
wherever I need them to go. [siren wails] The slower you go, the
quicker you get done. [upbeat music] The hunting enterprise is a
very good business for us. [turkeys gobble] – KILLAM: Our leases are geared
towards families. We want them to bring their kids
and their grandkids out here and enjoy the property. It’s something that
should be shared. [energetic music] We do see a lot of value
in outreach and education. And we have wounded veterans. We’ve done that for over
10 years and, we have the opportunity to share this
with others, and have them participate and enjoy the beauty
of the outdoors. And that’s been personally
satisfying to be able to give back just a little bit. – They take extensive records,
which makes my job a lot easier. And I can do a lot with the
extensive data they collect. They run their game animal,
their whitetail deer and turkey and quail just like a business. They take real data and records. We don’t guess. We make real decisions
based on that data. [uplifting music] – KITNER: This land is going to
be here long after we’re gone. To me, to have a positive impact
and carry it forward to future generations in
better shape than it was when I got here is extremely
important to me. And, I love it. That’s part of my passion
of the, of the land. – KILLAM: That’s what we try to
do in all our management is try to keep wild places wild. So, I think that we want this
to always remain a part of South Texas and represent
what South Texas really is. [dove cooing] [gunshot] – HUNTER: Oh wow! – One of the biggest hunting
violations in Texas is no proof of hunter education. The hunter is required to carry
proof of hunter education or deferral on their person
while engaged in hunting. Every hunter born after
September 1, 1971, must successfully complete a hunter education
training course. – Whenever you have a good shot
go a head and take it. [gunshot] – Got it. – Good shot man. Great shot. – JOANN: Minimum age of
certification is nine years. Hunters under nine years
of age must be accompanied by a person who is
at least 17, is a licensed hunter
in Texas, has passed hunter education
or is exempt, and they must be within
normal voice control. Hunters age 9 through 16, you
must successfully complete a hunter education course
or be accompanied. – Good shot son. Look at that. – Awesome. Awesome. – JOANN: And hunters 17 and over
must successfully complete a hunter education course or
purchase a hunter education deferral and be accompanied. The hunter education deferral
allows a person to defer certification
for up to one year. The following persons are exempt
from requirements to complete a hunter education course: active duty members and
honorably discharged veterans of the United States
Armed Forces, The Texas Army National Guard, Texas Air National Guard, Texas State Guard or persons
who are serving or have previously served
as a piece officer. For more information, go
to our website at TPWD and visit our hunter
education tab or call 1-800-792-1112. – Aright! [upbeat music] ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ [boat engine rumbles] [gentle music] [radio chatter]– NARRATOR: Meet
Anthony Stringo.
– We’re going to try
the ship channel.– NARRATOR: This bay shrimper
calls Port O’Connor home.
– ANTHONY: I was born here,
that’s all I’ve ever done. Ya know, Matagorda Bay mainly.– NARRATOR: While Gulf
shrimpers may stay at sea
for weeks, bay shrimpers take
things one day at a time.
– ANTHONY: This right here
is a new concept for me for the last 10 years. This is called a lazy line. So, you don’t have to
pull the whole thing in to get to the back of it.– NARRATOR: A lot has changed
over the decades,
and Anthony has had to adapt.His catch now includes
Atlantic Croaker,
a fish recreational anglers
like to use for bait.
– ANTHONY: Ya know the
weekenders gotta be here, the people that buy
them got to be here. You can catch all you want,
but if there’s no one to buy them you’re not going
to make nothing. You want one about that
size for fishing, that right there, put it back.– NARRATOR: While Anthony’s
been shrimping for most of
his life, he’s still decades
behind his dad.
– ANTHONY: Fifty years I’d say. He’s probably one of the
oldest left out here, might be one or two more
his age left. – One, two, one. See I’m going to reinforce
the edges here. Add another string here
to stay together.– NARRATOR: Jessie Stringo’s
75, and when he’s not
shrimping, he’s mending
his nets.
– Pilings, tires, just so many
different things!– NARRATOR: The Stringo’s have
been shrimping for generations.
Here is Jesse’s dad, Junior, in
Houston Chronicle from 1930.
– Oh yeah, he’s the one
that taught me, yeah, down in the 50s. Oh, there was so much damn
shrimp, we didn’t know what to do in them days.– NARRATOR: Those days were
indeed prosperous says
Marc Fisher, who’s studied the
shrimping industry for 25 years.
– Shrimping in the 1950s,
it was a very good decade. A price of shrimp was very high,
fuel, fuel was cheap, labor was abundant. There was almost no government
regulation back then. If you could work hard
and handle it, it was all for the taking. – JESSIE: Man, there was lots of
shrimp, it kept dwindling down after about 50 years
of working em.– NARRATOR: Yet Jessie
is still out working em.
– Ah, what happened!– NARRATOR: His old boat,
The High Roller, rolls along.
– JESSIE: You know how it gets
old and everything coming apart. I don’t want to stick
my hands in there. Guide the cables back and forth
like you do a rod and reel.– NARRATOR: Jessie has a new
partner, his brother James,
who just sold his
shrimping license.
And his boat.– JAMES: Yeah, I was getting too
old to work by myself now, and I just had to give it up! Whew! I’m all right with it. I know I couldn’t do it no more
so I just went ahead and sold everything, boat,
license, everything.– NARRATOR: While there are
300 or so licensed
bay shrimpers now,back in the late 80s,
Gulf and Bay shrimpers
were out in force with more
than 5,000 licensed shrimpers
on the water.With that much pressure, the
state of Texas started to
buy back shrimping licenses.The reason, shrimp nets bring
in much more than just shrimp.
– MARK: For every pound of
shrimp that is caught, they also catch four pounds
of other species. These species have no commercial
value, they’re just pitched over the side. That really doesn’t sound that
bad, but when you are talking about 60, 80 million pounds of
shrimp caught every year, that’s a lot of bycatch. We would buy back a commercial
shrimp license, and then retire it, which
in turn would reduce the amount of bycatch that
is being caught. – JAMES: Hang on!– NARRATOR: Now James has a
little extra money in his
pocket and he and his brother
Jesse can work together.
– JESSIE: You ready!? – JAMES: Yeah! – JESSIE: I’d go crazy if I had
to sit home and do nothing. I had one brother retire at 62
and he didn’t make it to 64. – JAMES: That’s sorry! There weren’t to many shrimp,
a few croakers and a few ribbon fish. There wasn’t too much
of nothing. – JESSIE: Agh, wasn’t too much!– NARRATOR: It’s the unknown
that’s the constant concern
in this business.– JAMES: You never know there,
ya know. Sometimes you have a good year,
and next year you might not get, ya know, hardly nothing. Always different. It’s not always the same
where you can depend on it all the time. – JESSIE: Ugh, we picked
the wrong place to go to! – JAMES: Get the hell
out of here! – This is it, we’re going home! I’ve had enough bad
luck in one day!– NARRATOR: They can only bet
on a better day tomorrow,
as shrimping still pulls
them back to the bay.
– Well, if I’m able to work,
I’m gonna work. It’s just no hurry no more. I tell ya just let it
go one step at a time! – Oh yeah, he still gets
around good for his age and what he does, he’s one
of the last one’s left. Yeah, he’s gonna do it till
he can’t do it no more. [boat engine rumbles]– NARRATOR: Anthony is
out this morning too.
– ANTHONY: Sunshine with a
northeast wind.– NARRATOR: They’re starting
out by checking what’s called
a try net.– ANTHONY: Agh, we have
the little net down, looking around just to
find the best spot. Where we won’t be dragging
for nothing You’re trying to see
what you can find, and you get an idea. – RICHARD: We have 15, Anthony,
best try so far! You dropping it in? – ANTHONY: Yeah! – RICHARD: We’ll get the jump
chain on this side.– NARRATOR: Anthony grew up out
here, and has literally
shrimped Matagorda Bay
since he was a baby.
– ANTHONY: They put me in a baby
crib, going out there like we went today. Never done nothing else!– NARRATOR: Back then, and even
now, every day is a gamble.
– It’s just the challenge,
cause you don’t know what you are going to catch. You’re liable to get out there,
and make good money today, a thousand dollars today,
and the next two weeks, catch nothing. Like I said, it’s just a
challenge. I love it. – ANTHONY: Looks like shrimp
in there! – RICHARD: Ya love some
shrimp in it! Yah!– NARRATOR: Since these guys
are catching shrimp for use as
live bait, it’s a race to get
them back to the bait shop.
– RICHARD: More money
this a way. About 10 times as much money. – ANTHONY: Takes more effort
to keep them alive, you gotta have pumps running,
you gotta drag shorter drags. – RICHARD: That was pretty
good for live bait, that was a pretty good drag. Ay-eeee! [laughing]– NARRATOR: Anthony’s made
it back to Port O’Connor
and it’s time to unload
today’s catch.
– ANTHONY: We’re picking the
croakers out, the Golden ones. – RICHARD: Get the shrimp
out now. – ANTHONY: Yeah! Here, get me a scoop,
I’ll get rid of this one. A little bit more! – ANTHONY: We got, live shrimp
caught, we caught some bait, we got what, almost
40 quarts of shrimp. It’s a little bit,
pay for the fuel. [splash]– NARRATOR: The fresh from the
sea table shrimp is where
the money used to be made.– ANTHONY: These are the big
shrimp, we ought a be getting four dollars a pound for
them shrimp right there. But the market’s not there cause
they get so much from overseas, and the farm raised shrimp.– NARRATOR: Foreign farm raised
shrimp operations
have taken over.– Aqua cultured shrimp can
they can be raised a much lower price than you can
catch them in the wild.– NARRATOR: Ninety percent of
the shrimp consumed in the U.S.
are farmed raised.– MARK: It’s cheaper to grow
them, than it is to catch them. So, the price of shrimp
has actually dropped. The dockside value of shrimp
today is lower than it was in the 1980s. [sighs] – Kinda throws the wind
out of your sails. Yeah, the price of shrimp fell,
people went to go find something else to do ya know.– NARRATOR: The changes leave
Anthony as the last
in his family’s business.– You can’t make no more
with it… Ohhh. Unless she has kids and
they want to do it but other than that, yeah!– NARRATOR: And yet after
a hard day of work,
in these difficult times,there is reason for a smile.– Nothing broke, so we don’t
have to fix nothing to go out tomorrow, so that’s a
plus, that’s a real big plus. [majestic music]– NARRATOR: Despite the low
prices, the pounding on
the body, the last of the
Stringo’s carries on.
– ANTHONY: It’s just habit,
I mean, it’s just something I’ve done all my life. Somebody ever said
you went to college? Yeah, I went to college,
in Matagorda Bay. [boat engine rumbles] [bees buzzing, light wind blows] [chirping, light wind blows] [chirping, light wind blows] [chirping, light wind blows] [chirping, light wind blows] [chirping, light wind blows] [chirping, light wind blows] [chirping, light wind blows] [chirping, light wind blows] [chirping, light wind blows] [chirping, light wind blows] [chirping, light wind blows] [chirping, light wind blows] [chirping, light wind blows] [chirping, light wind blows] [chirping, light wind blows]

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