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Media Contact: Tom Harvey, 512-389-4453, tom.harvey@tpwd.texas.gov [KE]

TPWD Website: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us

TPWD News Release — June 21, 2004

Seven Sites in Running for New Texas Fish Hatchery

AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation has received proposals from seven entities vying to be the site of a new freshwater fish hatchery for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

Proposals were received from San Augustine County, Jasper County, the South Sulphur River Development Association, the Newton First Committee, Tyler County and the City of Woodville, the Sabine River Authority and Dow Chemical Company.

“We are extremely pleased with the level of interest shown by these communities and organizations in having the new hatchery located in their area," said Rob Alberts, Foundation executive director.

"Freshwater fish hatcheries help maintain the quality of fishing that anglers expect and fisheries managers need in Texas," said Phil Durocher, TPWD inland fisheries director.

Durocher noted that fishing is a vital part of the Texas economy. Freshwater anglers in Texas generated $1.49 billion in retail sales in 2001 based on data collected by the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service. This angling activity generated $733 million in wages and salaries annually.

The hatchery proposals will be evaluated on technical merit and value-added criteria to provide anglers with the most value for the monies spent. Independent consultants will be utilized to fairly evaluate the proposals.

"We hope to provide the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission with a site recommendation by late summer or early fall," said Alberts. A final decision is likely by the end of the year.

The new hatchery will replace the present Jasper Fish Hatchery, which was opened in 1932 and has had no major renovation or modernization since. Funds for the new hatchery and for improvements at other hatcheries in the TPWD system will come from a new $5 freshwater fishing stamp that will be required beginning Sept.1, and from local support.

Information on sponsorship opportunities may be obtained from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation (formerly the Parks and Wildlife Foundation of Texas) at (214) 720-1478.

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