PBS SHOW February 10-16, 2019, #2718
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 and. Wildlife I saw, a lot of families, standing, out there with. Nothing it, was the saddest day in my life. Another. Half mile you hit perhaps down and. They've got the stuff the fur tapestry, but. It's spreading pretty quick. They. Were finding, male, fish with, exit' when, they first discovered this, really. Didn't believe it. Texas. Parks and Wildlife a television series. For, all outdoors. There's, the same that, tornado. In. His own right can be a destructive, force but, a hurricane, is, a destroyer, of cities. Our, employees, and our staff and their job is to collect fisheries data in the Corpus Christi Bay ecosystem. The two days prior to Hurricane Harvey, we were out sampling, on a Wednesday we're out in the Gulf and we got the phone call that we needed to come back Thursday we had to button up the lab and prepare, it for the hurricane impact. And, has just been upgraded to a hurricane. Every, couple an hour we get an update from the Hurricane Center it's like oh well, now it's a category two and oh you, know two hours later well it's been upgraded to a category, three hurricane Harvey. Has just been upgraded to a category, four, storm, so. On August, 25th, when Harvey, made. Landfall. Most. Of us had evacuated it's, a dramatic thing to be evacuated. And not know about. Your facility, or your home if you have not left the police say they, cannot, come and get you if something happens you. Are on your own from this point forward I didn't. Evacuate I chose, to stay. At. The. Time it sounded like a just a big, ol freight train right, there right next. Getting. Up the next day, going. Out I. Saw. A lot of families, standing, out there with nothing. No. Clothes no house no, car, nothing. It. Was the saddest day of my life. Several. Of our co-workers had, suffered major. Damage, to their homes and property, we. Had two, big oak trees fall one, put a big hole in, our kitchen, chaos. All over we. Have a guest room the roof came off of it we, had a tree, go, through the roof of the house and a ceiling fell in been, living here for eight years and, I, got lost a lot of the roads were flooded so you couldn't even actually see the roads you know the damage to the infrastructure. Was what was first very, noticeable, we didn't have electricity here for about two and a half weeks and, we didn't have computers or internet or anything for quite a while, basic, things that people take for granted in their daily lives that when they take it away you, realize wow I really. Took that for granted. The. Agency is full of great people and those. People are, what made the quick response possible. Before. Our insurance. Adjusters had come by we had our art directors, here and they, brought a truckload of stuff you. Know they helped us out a lot and it was getting to have something to come back to because a lot of people didn't have a job to come back to you parks, my life actually brought a trailer down and we stayed in that for. The first couple weeks everybody, was reaching out for one another and trying to help to, me adversity. Is almost like a challenge, you. Either give. Up or you, push, on. We. Came back and we evaluated, everything, we started getting putting, everything back together again, one. Of the most important, things was going around this parking lot and picking up nails people, were getting flat, tires left. And right we would work all day to clean up our offices. And try to get our facilities. Back up and running and then we would go after work and help, clean up our colleagues, home. It's. Crazy how long it takes to recover from a storm that lasts, 12, hours and. Even though our homes were blown up and our families might have been scattered. We. Had a job to do and we. Were we were needed he'd be amazed about two weeks after the hurricane came while, we were up and running even. Though. You're going through hard times there's people that haven't even been back in their house but. They still have the strength and hope and now is to keep moving I. Know. There's still a lot of people who are hurting and it's you know it's sad to see that there's there's a lot of people didn't have insurance I see.
It Getting better and better every day the. Coastal, Maine residents, they're, a hardy Bunch you, know some refer to as too salty. I saw, the residents. Of this town go, through a pretty traumatic event, and. We. Will recover, fully and, we'll be prepared for the storm. And. You know mother nature has their own ways. The same things but I just, hope no, one has to go through this. And. If they do we. Will be there to help them like they were here to help us all I, could say is thank you. One-eighty okay, to this mic Eckert's, lives just outside of Fredericksburg. He's. Heading down to his Creekside, to, check on one heck of a pesky, problem best. I understand that don't spread the seeds it spreads from pieces. Of it washing out and lodging somewhere. Girl yeah he's, talking about giant, read or, run dodo nax and this, Kane invader, threatens, just about every, river system, in Texas. We're. Almost pert, analysis, another. Half a mile you hit the pardon out of staffing and. They've got this stuff in the car down the street like. It spreading pretty quick and. It's all over everywhere you go it's there so it's, gonna take a massive effort that will wipe it out and I'm not sure they'll ever wipe it down. Aquatic, invasive. Species, specialist, Monica McGarrity is a team of biologists. Are fighting, back they, are using an herbicide that. Will hopefully kill, this introduced, invasive weeds. Indigenous. To the Mediterranean. Giant, Reed's been thriving and spreading, across North, America since, the 1800s, a. Rondo. Is a, grass, but, it's a grass, on steroids, it grows 30, to 40 feet tall. Huge, dense, canes so dense that wildlife. Really even can't get through it and so. This is a really aggressive plant, and it's important to take equally aggressive action, to manage it. The, team's top priority. Protecting. The jewel of the Texas, Hill Country, the pert. Analysis. Creek Barrens, Creek is in the upper Pedernales, watershed. We've, done an aerial survey looking for this plant the invasive Rondo and found that this is really the source Behrens Creek it doesn't go farther upstream and, so we're trying to tackle that working, from upstream down this, opens up a little bit back here. Here. It grows to nearly 30 feet high it creates what we call a monoculture, so it just dominates, the, vegetation, crowds everything, else out. Any. Small fragment, of this plant just a single node can root and create a new plant and so when you have a flood that comes through when someone mows, or. Chops it up fragments, go downstream that can create new plans to create a whole new problem. Yeah. That might be about it, we'll go refill, and get back at it so. What does it take to kill this read thoroughly. Evaluated. By the EPA, it's, a mix of herbicides, that attacks the plant in different, ways what the roundup. Is gonna do is it's gonna bake it in the Sun just like if you sprayed roundup on weeds at the house. This. One is clear cast and this is just another herbicide, like roundup and it's going to be a more a long-term, released. Herbicide, so. We're applying this chemical to, each area only once per, year and, we're. Applying, it as sparingly as we can and trying, to ensure that we have as little runoff into the Creek as possible. These are approved for use over, aquatic. Habitats. And if you threw sponsible, can have very little impact on the environment. Spraying. Herbicide, into a creek sounds alarming, but this ecosystem. Is closely monitored. For any damage, and breaking they're breaking Limburger or getting a lot of gravel, just downstream. Aquatic. Biologists. Study a section, of Barrens creek that has already been sprayed. Wanting. To see if the aquatic herbicide treatment is having a negative effect on the fish in the invertebrate community, Bruce we, can sayin we can elect your fish Oh.
Looks. Like we'll pull a few out of here yeah, and then we can get a general idea about the health of the, stream based upon the health of the fish, communities, and then vertebrate communities, that were simply. You. Got some redbreast, sunfish that's. Mainly what you're seeing oh yeah look, at that holy crap you, see this yeah dang look how big that fish is got. A meal that is crazy, never. Seen that before well that snake seems happy, and healthy and it appears there are plenty of fish here at the Cree of a large up to 169. This. Biologist. Wants to make sure some smaller creatures are just as healthy in order Brits are really great indicators. Of water quality, because. They, depend on good water quality to. Complete their lifecycle. Dr.. Arches grub studies, aquatic, invertebrates I primarily, focus, on the invertebrates, little, small critters you'll. See dragonfly, larvae, stone flies mayflies. Just. Beautiful creatures on the water. You. Might think of some alien creatures, pretty. Much right on head. The. Question, here is if the chemical, spray has affected, the mayfly, larvae, dragonfly. Larvae, and other microscopic, wonders. The. Fish feed on these bugs and they are a key component of, this ecosystem. The. Thing with fish is when the water quality recedes. They, can actually avoid that bad. Water area and move further downstream, but the invertebrates, they can't really move they're not as mobile. Let's. See if there's anything else on this rock, see, those case builders right here there's, a whole bunch of them here and they build a shell out of sand particles, oh. Yeah. Beautiful. The. Pod let me see fine catch them for you there's. A damselfly larva that one super small oh this. One's a beautiful, catified green one dobson. Fly in no, biting no biting so. Far I got but. 85. Of them in this jar, seems, like a lot but there's a lot of dirt also packed in there while, it seems plenty, of tiny bugs are still alive after, the treatment, the, arunda, taking, hold has already, had an impact so. In a typical Creek, you. Might find a huge diversity, of invertebrate, just. From a visual estimate what I have seen so far is in the round of stance we do find a lot fewer invertebrates. These. Invertebrates, which, are native to this area are not used to the exotic vegetation. The. Rondo tends to take over and it causes huge changes, to the channel, shape that, can really impact, the quality of the habitat not only on the banks but, then also within the stream or the river itself. They. Didn't get the chemical, vector now. As for Mike he, had the aquatic, invasive team spray his arunda outbreak, in hopes more folks along the creek who will join the fight. What, you need to do really and truly it's half a beer and barbecue they'll have the whole town come to it and everybody know about it. The Germans like free beer and barbecue here. Here, we want to be as careful as we can of their trees while. Barons Creek looks, like it just might win the Arundel battle. To. Win the war that's, going to take a buy-in from, everyone. Lots, of landowners, are getting involved in taking action to manage a Rondo on their crease and also reaching out to their neighbors and, their friends to get more people on board.
And By. Everyone. Getting involved, we have a really good chance of making a really big difference for the health of the streams in the hill country. This. Project, was funded in part by a grant from the sport fish restoration program. So. That's what we're gonna use today to, try and figure out what these animals are I'm gonna bring out some furs and some skulls where's your skull fantastic. For the kids they learn about nature respecting, nature or place in nature, the. Kids get to learn and do and lesson. Our from Houston. Beautiful, scenery got the pileated woodpecker, here, excellent. Interpretive. Services from the Park Rangers. Well. We're close to Houston area and there's a lot of organized youth groups in the Houston area and they like to come out here because it is close to home they don't have to go as far it's, nice and quiet it's safe we have a real real nice environment, in, good facilities, and so, they just come out here and and they have a good time. We. Have the hardwood bottomlands we. Have some magnificent. Trees down in there and birding some of the best birding in this part of Texas on. Those trails down there we have about five miles of trails that meander, around the Brazos River, very. Scenic and folks, really enjoy them and now, with the mountain. Bikers it's, caught on here now and so the mountain bikers, come out and ride the trails on their bikes as well. When. I first came out we saw that the park was it's. Just a wonderful park get you out of the city we. Came out in. 2001. And there, was probably about 2 and 1/2 miles of trails and we went ahead and put in another 3, to 4 miles of trails and there's about six miles of trails. Most. Of these trails probably, wouldn't be here if it wasn't for the, houston, off-road bicycle Association. And mountain bike groups they, came out and they've done a tremendous amount, of Workforce they, come out and they help us with trail maintenance so it's really been we've been blessed. The. First time I saw a dad and his kid riding one of the trails I just, kind of made it all come together why, it's a good thing to build trails in the state parks and, all the wonderful, zigzaggy. Trails. Yeah. You got a lot of exercise, and this, is the big part it's, wonderful, things to see and everything. Don't. Have to go far to get the beauty of it just. Pretty and it's peaceful out here and lots of, good hiking, well. My Saturdays are basically, spent. Doing. Just, education, doing, hikes and programs, and today, it's been. I'm. About halfway done I've done two programs, and now I'll do two hikes and then a program this evening so. Saturday. Is the busiest time of the week and it's it's the time that I get to do all this this fun stuff I have the eyes facing, forward it's, a predator, but. It's really, trying. To get them to enjoy it as much as possible by giving them a little bit more information about what they're seeing and.
I. Love, this part it's just a wonderful park just, a nice place to be. These. Twelve high-school students, are spending a week getsy camp on the campus of Texas A&M University. In Galveston. Their. Class is forensics, solving. Mysteries through. Science, sergeant. Brad mentioned yesterday that it's very important, that you know some Anatomy when. You're working with forensics. Becky, Brimmer is leading the class we're dealing with mysteries, this week and using the different physical sciences, to solve them whether it be biology, or chemistry or, physics because. All three of them and, all the science that's come into play when you're trying to solve mysteries this. Is molded from a real school he, died of a bullet wound you can see it right here you, can tell from this side too like the beat is like wave. Smoother, right here did you find anything over here it might be a, mongoloid, or. A Caucasian, there it is is, it Caucasian. Yes, very. Good Christine. Pathos is a high school science teacher who's, here to inspire and, be inspired you, have to use those critical thinking skills to, think. Outside the box because the, world's problems are not in a textbook you, do have straws if you can find the trachea and then blow into it you, might be able to inflate the lungs. Future. Careers are always a question to a lot of students you know you ask the student what they want to be when they grow up you know they have no idea and and. This could be something that could inspire them to, possibly. Look into these types of things because those, jobs are the ones that are always need. Shut in the light of day in a house filled with people, that's. Cold-blooded erasing, it. It's. As cold as, ice. It's. Easy to lose yourself in, silly television, programs but. What about real mysteries, what, about a whodunit, that real scientists. Are grappling with. Here's. One. It. Has to do with fish and why, males take, on female, characteristics. They. Were finding, male, fish with, eggs in when. They first discovered this really didn't, believe it. Enough. Estrogen-like, compounds have. Been put out that, there's. Effects. On the, reproduction, of fish. We. Don't want to have fish populations, develop, where they're, all feminized, because, if there's not enough males, to, fertilize the fish then we we, risk, decimating. A population, not. Too many men would volunteer, for for, that and I don't guess the fish are volunteering, for it either. Here. In the laboratories, of the AE would, fish hatchery, these. Scientists. Are investigating the, effects of chemicals, like pharmaceuticals. Cosmetics, and. Toiletries. After. They're flushed down our sewers, only. To resurface, in our rivers, and lakes. They. Started, looking at the extent of it and, it. Opened, everybody's eyes this. Has nothing, to do, with a specific, location it. Has specifically. To do with a, large population and. A. Stream. Or water, body that a. Large, percentage, of the water ends. Up coming through the wastewater treatment plant that supplies the flow to the river.
Wastewater. Treatment plants, are designed to take out nutrients. They. Are not designed, to take out pharmaceuticals. Personal care products. Scientists. Have known for years that fish are vulnerable, to estrogen and the thousands, of products, that mimic, estrogen. But. What about other species, can. It affect an entire ecosystem and, if, so how, far up the food chain does, it go. All, these questions have remained a mystery because no, one has tried to get the answers until. Now. This. Machine is, measuring, trace amounts, of compounds. Known as endocrine, disrupting. Chemicals which. Can interfere with the hormonal, activities, of fish. Now. Pamela, Hamlett and her team are working, to answer the question, of whether these same, compounds. That cause feminization. And fish exist. In other species we're, starting, at Ground Zero because, there's, not much data on how, much of these pharmaceuticals. Are. Leeching. Out running, off being, absorbed. On. The terrestrial side, this, is an area where there really hasn't been much study. Nobody's. Looked at what, the implications, might be things, like river otters, or you. Know great, blue herons, organisms. That rely on those. Fish, for. Their food supply. The. Project we're doing here, is specifically. Looking at biosolids. Biosolids. Are, the. Solids, from a wastewater treatment plant. For. A long time they've been used as, agriculture. Fertilizer. It's. A good source of nitrogen phosphorus. Organic. Matter for the soil and. We're. Trying to see if anything, is moving up into the food chain moving, out of the soil. We're, looking at earthworms. And, crayfish. And, snails, and, beetles. To. See if at the very bottom of the food chain we. Can see any of these compounds, moving into. As. A. Chemist, doing. This is this. Is about as fun as it gets doing, something truly interesting. That, could begin a questioning, process towards. An answer or, determine. That maybe, we really don't have to worry about this that much it's. Okay, but. It's a complete mystery. Your. Choices are listed because, you're looking at the scale type right now do. You see you at home I can't, these. Students, they're, gonna be the ones who are gonna have to deal with all these things that are happening in the world today. 10. To 15 years from now they're, gonna be the ones who are going to be in charge and they're gonna have to make the decisions, and learn the new tools, and use them to solve the, new mysteries. You. 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. A sir.