Wildcard Wednesday – A Little Taste of Everything

| June 28, 2017

I couldn’t wait to hit the keys this morning!

News flowed in last night, and I also burned some old fashion fossil fuel to find out whether one of my stories had finally hit the newsstand – and it did in the last 48-hours.


Lake Travis is now on the list of Texas lakes infested with the zebra mussel. This means the Colorado system is now infected with the zeebs, and that news comes just days after the lake that feeds the famous Guadalupe River – Canyon Lake – was put on the zebra mussel list. My prediction, many years ago, was that now that the zebra mussel has hit near the State Government’s home, we will see more media attention than ever before – paid to the zebra mussel and more money than ever before – spent to study this problem (in perpetuity). Watch the budget-bean-counters try to figure out how to get us to pay for their new millions in expenses — to clean the pipes and dams.

After I heard about the recent find at Canyon Lake, I contacted a scientist quoted in one of the articles about that lake’s situation. My primary question was related to a piece of incidental research I had done at a Denton dive shop last week.

At the dive shop, I had asked the gentlemen working at the dive shop whether zebra mussels were still present at Lake Ray Roberts. (I don’t see them shallow anymore.) They stated definitively that they are deep, and everywhere. So we can deduce the zebra mussel likes cooler water temperatures. REMEMBER, the zebra mussel invaded the north first … call them a re-gift from the yankees.

With that amateur information, I contacted Natalie Goldstrohm, Natural Resources Specialist Inland Fisheries Division – Abilene, and asked about the temperature observation.

“Zebra mussels do have water quality thresholds that are optimal for survival and these would include temperature, but would also include water hardness, pH etc. that could impact where zebra mussels can grow.  I can’t speak to the likelihood of zebra mussel spreading into the Guadalupe River or how a bottom release dam may influence the spread of zebra mussels. However, since zebra mussels are present in Canyon Lake it could be a possibility that the veligers could be moved to down stream locations during flood events if the water level of goes over conservation pool and over the spillway.”

This reply is doubly interesting because I have noticed another thing about the water at Ray Roberts. It seems to (layman’s terms) be HARDER than it used to be. In my simple observation, the Lake’s water leaves spots on my boat motor A LOT LIKE what happens on Texoma. Whether there’s anything to the observation, I do not know.

I did receive another informational lead from her, and want to pursue the science of pH with that person – specific to Lake Ray Roberts, Texas. Heck, if Ray Roberts is salty enough, maybe it’s time for some striper stocking! Imagine that.


In the day and age of dying print media, I am amazed at how f&^%ing difficult it is to even get editors and department heads of print magazines to reply to my story queries. A typical query includes photography as well, all wrapped in a pretty little bow and ready to print. Still, these struggling publications don’t even respond. Most, I think, are scared for their own jobs and don’t want “outsiders” in – who are as experienced as they are (and not on the payroll / benefits roll). THE DRAKE was the exception to these new rules. Tom Bie, Editor of The Drake, was downright complimentary about the article on Danny Scarborough, and immediately wanted it for this summer’s issue of The Drake. (I even threw in one “hell” just to make sure it stood up to The Drake’s scrutiny.) The story on Danny Scarborough runs in the quarterly Summer 2017 issue on page 126. Thank you Danny for all the work we did on this one!

It’s funny though … Even with this little downy feather in my cap, I bet the phone won’t ring. It’s a strange time when folks, like the folks at Living Waters, Tailwaters, Backwoods, Orvis Endorsed Guides, Bayou City Angler, Sportsman’s Finest, newspapers, other outdoor pubs … none of them will ring me up, “HEY! HAVE I GOT A STORY FOR YOU!” Heck, they still won’t return my e-mails, or calls for stories. Mystifying. I don’t care who you are or where you are: If YOU have a story, I WANT TO HEAR IT AND SEE IT. And I will do my best to write, shoot and promote any story that’s fit to print – where it’s fit to print. Feel free to ask about reprinting my stories on your sites as well – YOU ALL need good related content …

All thanks to The Drake Magazine and Lone Star Outdoor News for their new, and continuing support of my writing and photography work.


One cost cutting measure being batted around here is turning in the outrageous “cable box” and going off our cable TV provider, and switching over to internet for all our watching needs. So far, I think my biggest loss will be WFN, which has been pretty average for a long time anyway. HOWEVER, I am finding very good access to shows, like Flats Class, on the internet. Here’s an episode for your Wednesday Watcher viewing.

FC15-03 Lone Star from Forrest Fox Productions on Vimeo.

REMEMBER – The conventional fishing videos, like this one, translate very well into fly language!

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Category: Causes, Complimentary Reading, Culture on the Skids, Fly Fishing Video, Fly Shops, Houston Fly Fishing, Life Observed, Science and Environmental, Texas Water Conservation, Writing

About the Author ()

https://www.shannondrawe.com is where to find my other day job. I write and photograph fish stories professionally, and for free here! Journalist by training. This site is for telling true fishing news stories, unless otherwise noted.

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