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|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2005-09-12                                    |
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[ Note: This item is more than eight years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: Kristen Everett, 512-389-8046, tpwd.news@tpwd.texas.gov ] [KE]
Sept. 12, 2005
'Dirty Dozen' Prohibited Species Brochure Debuts
AUSTIN, Texas -- Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has introduced a new brochure which details prohibited species in the seafood market. The brochure describes the harm to humans and the ecosystem that could result if each of the exotic (non-native) species makes it out into the environment.
For example, in the case of prohibited Tilapia: they may compete with native fish for resources and inhibit reproduction in some native species, and also may destroy vegetation and habitat by digging holes for spawning.
The brochure and companion poster is being distributed to TPWD law enforcement and fisheries offices statewide. Printing was funded through the settlement of a large case involving exotic/prohibited species. TPWD worked closely with the Harris County District Attorney's Office on the project.
A total of 5,000 brochures and 500 posters were printed.
"Posters will be distributed to groceries and markets where there have been problems in the past with these prohibited species. Texas Game Wardens will also distribute them on patrols and in out-reach meetings," said Lance Robinson in Coastal Fisheries who deals with exotic species and works near Houston.
The idea for the project happened when Houston-area game wardens found Asian swamp eels and some prohibited Tilapia, and discovered a huge distribution of water spinach, which is also prohibited but is a staple in the Asian diet. More than a ton was confiscated recently and had been growing for more than a decade, according to investigators. Now water spinach will only be allowed through a permitting process.
"The goal is to try and educate the public about these prohibited items and try to explain WHY they are prohibited," Robinson said.
The species in the new brochure are as follows: Pacific oysters (unless they've been shucked), all species of Cynoscion in the drum family except spotted seatrout, snakeheads, freshwater eels (family Anguillidae) except for the native American eel, mitten crabs (family Grapsidae), tilapia not from a TPWD-permitted facility, swamp eels (family Synbranchidae), several members of the Penaeid shrimp family, all species of giant rams-horn snails, water spinach, a number of Asian or Chinese carp species including grass carp, and piranhas. *
For a complete list of prohibited exotic species in Texas, visit www.tpwd.state.tx.us/huntwild/wild/species/exotic. For a brochure, visit a TPWD Law Enforcement office or call (512) 389-4864.
* Correction, Sept. 23, 2005: The original version of this paragraph has been corrected for spelling and clarity. (Return to corrected item.)
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[ Note: This item is more than eight years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: Kristen Everett, 512-389-8046, tpwd.news@tpwd.texas.gov ] [KE]
Sept. 12, 2005
Dallas Man Gets World Record On Fly Rod
AUSTIN, Texas -- A Dallas man's catch from earlier this year was just certified as a world record by the International Game Fish Association.
Josh Hill, 22, of Dallas caught the smallmouth buffalo on March 29 on a self-tied fly and fly rod at the Pedernales River. It was certified at 20.89 pounds, 33 inches and had a girth of 24 inches.
Hill won the water body record and state record. He received certificates for those awards from Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
"It's an interesting story how I caught the fish," Hill said. "I had just graduated from UT-Austin and had to do a thesis and did it on fly fishing and the white bass run. I found a professor there who had the record smallmouth buffalo (before this catch), Gibbs Milliken. But we actually went out fishing for the white bass for my thesis project. All of the sudden I hit something pretty big and was like, 'this is not a white bass.' I fought the fish for 45 minutes. I eventually landed it by working it into a shallow groove. After that, the professor and I went out and celebrated."
Following is a list of recognition categories.
State Records for Public Waters
--Rod & Reel -- recognition for catching the largest fish of a species from Texas public waters by rod & reel fishing.
--Fly Fishing -- recognition for catching the largest fish of a species from Texas public waters by fly fishing methods using artificial lures.
--Unrestricted -- recognition for catching the largest fish of a species from Texas public waters by any legal method other than rod & reel.
--Bow Fishing -- recognition for catching the largest fish of a species from Texas public waters by bow fishing.
State Records for Private Waters
--Rod & Reel -- recognition for catching the largest fish of a species from Texas private waters by rod & reel.
--Fly Fishing -- recognition for catching the largest fish of a species from Texas private waters by fly fishing methods using artificial lures.
--Bow Fishing -- recognition for catching the largest fish of a species from Texas private waters by bow fishing.
--Water Body Records -- Records for individual locations (reservoirs, rivers, bays, etc.) are also maintained.
--All Tackle -- recognition for catching the largest fish of a species from a particular Texas public water body using any legal method.
--Rod & Reel -- recognition for catching the largest fish of a species from a particular Texas public water body by rod & reel.
--Fly Fishing -- recognition for catching the largest fish of a species from a particular Texas public water body by fly fishing methods using artificial lures.
--Bow Fishing -- recognition for catching the largest fish of a species from a particular Texas public water body by bow fishing.
--Big Fish Award -- for catching a trophy class fish of selected species.
--Catch and Release Award -- for the catch and live release of a trophy class fish of selected species.
There are also categories for the first fish caught by an angler of any age and for a catch that does not meet the requirements of other award programs but still deserves recognition.
Consideration for all state and water body records, except first fish awards, must include the fish's weight on certified scales. Certified scales are scales (either electronic or spring-based) that have been certified as accurate by the Texas Department of Agriculture, the International Game Fish Association (which certifies handheld scales) or a commercial scales calibration company. Feed stores, fertilizer plants, and scales calibration companies are good sources.
Record fish must be weighed on certified scales within three days of the catch, although weights on non-certified scales will be considered providing the scales are certified within 30 days. Applications must be received within 60 days of the catch date and a notary witness is required for State Record applications.
For more information, contact Junior Angler Recognition Awards Program, Attn: Joedy Gray-IF, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin TX 78744, e-mail: joedy.gray@tpwd.texas.gov or phone (512) 389-8037.
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[ Note: This item is more than eight years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: Larry Hodge, 903-676-2277, larry.hodge@tpwd.texas.gov ] [LH]
Sept. 12, 2005
Big Country Gets Big Rains
ATHENS, Texas -- Every time there are widespread rains of half an inch or more across West Texas, the San Angelo Standard-Times puts a drawing of a crowing red rooster, General Rainz, on the front page.
Following flooding rains in mid-August, General Rainz is probably hoarse and looking for high ground.
"The rains were good news for fish and wildlife," says Bobby Farquhar of San Angelo, regional director for Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's Inland Fisheries Division. "We got about 10 inches above our average rainfall last year, and so far this year we are running about four inches ahead. This puts us in really good shape for rains we may get this fall, which is normally our rainy season."
After nearly a decade of drought, rain began returning to the Big Country last year. In the fall of 2004 E.V. Spence Reservoir caught about six feet of water, and O.C. Fisher Lake rose 12 feet. The August 2005 rains augmented the levels of those lakes and caused catastrophic flooding around Lake Stamford, which rose 14 feet in less than three days. Up to 10 inches of rain fell from Big Spring to Temple, causing several deaths from highway flooding.
Many lakes within a 100-mile radius of San Angelo caught at least a foot or two of water. Others saw much bigger rises: Champion Creek, 3.5 feet; J.B. Thomas, six feet; E.V. Spence, eight feet; Oak Creek, seven feet; and O.C. Fisher, 12 feet.
"We will put the lakes that caught water on the priority list for stocking," Farquhar says. "Some that caught water last November were stocked this past spring. If a lake has new flooded habitat, we will put it on the list to be stocked again next spring. While those fish won't be catchable size for a year or two, people are already seeing improved fishing in the lakes that caught water last November. We're hearing that anglers on E.V. Spence are catching limits of white bass and lots of small stripers for the first time in four or five years. That's really good news for them."
Farquhar tempers his optimism with a bit of West Texas humor -- "Like the old-timers say, the next drought starts the day it stops raining"-but the effects the rains have had on the Big Country are apparent even to the casual observer. Normally dried and brown in August, roadsides and pastures are verdant, and stock ponds are brimming.
Timing of the rains may be particularly important, says Mandy Scott, assistant fisheries biologist. "When we have heavy rains in the winter, we sometimes have an outbreak of golden alga," she says. "The fact these rains came in the summer may mean that won't happen."
Fisheries biologist Craig Bonds says monitoring of fish populations and golden alga status will be stepped up to enable TPWD to make the most of the situation. "We will be doing more than routine monitoring to determine where the greatest need is and use that information to prioritize our stocking requests and to keep anglers informed on where the best fishing is," he says.
Scott added that anglers can help in the rebuilding of the fishery on O.C. Fisher by practicing catch-and-release. "We have stocked 9-inch channel catfish and adult largemouth bass, and we encourage anglers to release them so they can spawn," she says.
Rising water levels have also improved access at O.C. Fisher, where the three-lane boat ramp is now usable, and Oak Creek, where the ramp near the dam again reaches the lake.
Lakes receiving stocked fish in the last three years are shown as follows.
Lake	Nearest Town	Year	Species Stocked	Number Stocked	Size
Abilene	Buffalo Gap	2004	Blue catfish	59,893	Fingerling
2004	Channel catfish	53,981	Fingerling
Clyde	Clyde	2004	Channel catfish	21,957	Fingerling
2004	Florida largemouth bass	45,277	Fingerling
Coleman City	Coleman	2003	Channel catfish	33,584	Fingerling
2004	Hybrid striped bass	9,998	Fingerling
Colorado City	Colorado City	2003	Bluegill	162,739	Fingerling
2003	Channel catfish	79,983	Fingerling
2003	Channel catfish	151	Adult
2003	Red drum	177,093	Fingerling
2004	Bluegill	83,251	Fingerling
2004	Channel catfish	149,628	Fingerling
2004	Florida largemouth bass	143,915	Fingerling
2005	Channel catfish	165,719	Fingerling
2005	Channel catfish	359,729	Fry
2005	Florida largemouth	162,134	Fingerling
E.V. Spence	Robert Lee	2003	Channel catfish	132,861	Fingerling
2003	Florida largemouth bass	148,516	Fingerling
2004	Blue catfish	125,000	Fingerling
2004	Channel catfish	85,471	Fingerling
2004	Florida largemouth bass	124,706	Fingerling
2004 	Striped bass	27,041	Fingerling
2005	Striped bass	37,243	Fingerling
2005	White crappie	146	Adult
2005	Largemouth bass	100,885	Fingerling
2005	Channel catfish	187,342	Fingerling
Fort Phantom Hill	Abilene	2003	Hybrid striped bass	63,209	Fingerling
2004	Hybrid striped bass	64,777	Fingerling
2005	Hybrid striped bass	63,400	Fingerling
Graham	Graham	2004	Hybrid striped bass	16,816	Fingerling
2005	Hybrid striped bass	12,867	Fingerling
Kirby	Abilene	2003	Flathead catfish	44	Adult
2003	Largemouth bass	8,775	Fingerling
2004	Channel catfish	1,621	Fingerling
2004	Largemouth bass	76,790	Fingerling
2004	Saugeye	37,425	Fingerling
Nasworthy	San Angelo	2003	Hybrid striped bass	19,410	Fingerling
2004	Hybrid striped bass	19,386	Fingerling
2005	Hybrid striped bass	6,933	Fingerling
New Ballinger	Ballinger	2005	Gizzard shad	196	Adult
2005	Largemouth bass	68	Adult
2005	White crappie	327	Adult
2005	Bluegill	386	adult
2005	Florida largemouth	31,161	Fingerling
2005	Walleye	15,000	Fingerling
Oak Creek	Blackwell	2003	Blue catfish	77,124	Fingerling
2003	Florida largemouth bass	71,789	Fingerling
2004	Channel catfish	42,399	Fingerling
2004	Florida largemouth bass	62,048	Fingerling
O.C. Fisher	San Angelo	2003	Florida largemouth bass	71,426	Fingerling
2005	Bluegill	35,025	Fingerling
2005	Channel catfish	20,018	Advanced fingerling
2005	Channel catfish	75,072	Fingerling
2005	Florida largemouth bass	239	Adult
2005	Gizzard shad	160	Adult
2005	White crappie	394	Adult
2005	Florida largemouth	75,052	Fingerling
Proctor	Proctor	2004	Hybrid striped bass	67,985	Fingerling
2005	Hybrid striped bass	67,524	Fingerling
Twin Buttes	San Angelo	2004	Channel catfish	41,950	Fingerling
2005	Channel catfish	154,733	Fingerling
2005	Florida largemouth	150,017	Fingerling
2005	Florida largemouth	135	Adult
2005	Largemouth bass	295	Adult
Valley Creek	Ballinger	2005	Bluegill	97	Adult
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[ Note: This item is more than eight years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ General Media Contact: Business Hours, 512-389-4406 ] [KE]
Sept. 12, 2005
Stay Tuned
Information from Texas Parks and Wildlife is available on radio and television, as well as the newsstand.
Radio
Passport to Texas, TPWD's radio series of weekday, 90-second stories, is broadcast on more than 100 Texas stations. For more information, visit the Web.
Video News
TPWD provides video news reports that run in newscasts on numerous Texas stations, as well as on cable and satellite outlets around the nation.
Television
"Texas Parks & Wildlife" is a weekly half-hour television series seen on PBS affiliates around the state. This week on PBS: If you want to reduce the odds of there being a fatality on your boat by 80 percent all you have to do is make sure that everyone puts on a life jacket when they get aboard. That's just one of the interesting, and potentially life saving tips you'll get from Boater Education Coordinator Jack Dyess when you take a boating safety course. So why are the "Lost Pines" of Bastrop State Park lost? Explore some of the theories with Assistant Park Manager Todd McClanahan and David Riskind, the Director of Natural Resources for the State Parks. Hunter Education Director Steve Hall has some turkey calling tips for beginning and experienced hunters. Discover the role that coastal marshes play in the state's ecology and economy when we go seining near Rockport with Fish and Wildlife Technician Tommy Garcia. Then head over to the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site with Ted Hollingsworth and Russ Kuykendall to see how the marsh is being restored with dredge material from the Houston Ship Channel. Tag along with some kids, and Dave Buzan, as they look for some creek bugs that will help them determine whether the water is polluted or clean. And finally, get real close to some frogs and toads.
For more information about this week's programs and where they can be viewed, visit the Web.
Magazine
Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine is always available on newsstands throughout the state and by subscription for $19.95 a year. To subscribe, call (800) 937-9393 or order online.
---
On the Net:
Passport to Texas: http://www.passporttotexas.org/
TPWD on PBS: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/newsmedia/tv/
TPW Magazine: http://www.tpwmagazine.com/
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