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|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2010-03-01                                    |
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[ Note: This item is more than four 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]
March 1, 2010
Full Moon Brings Flood of Toyota ShareLunkers
ATHENS -- Three lakes-Austin, Amistad and O.H. Ivie-spit out Toyota ShareLunkers February 27, the day before the full moon.
Carl Adkins of San Marcos led off the action with Toyota ShareLunker 481, a 13.1-pounder from Lake Austin. Adkins was fishing near the Loop 360 bridge in seven to 12 feet of 51-degree water with a soft plastic lure. The catch came at 6:45 a.m.
ShareLunker program manager and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department information specialist Larry Hodge were on their way to pick up the fish when the phone rang at mid-morning with news of the Lake Amistad catch. Teddy Silcox of Del Rio landed a 13.02-pounder, Toyota ShareLunker 482, from 28 feet of 52-degree water. He was using a Boudreaux bait.
Fish lightning struck a third time while Campbell was charging the hauling tank with water from Lake Austin. Randy Jackson of Mineral Wells caught a 13.03-pound ShareLunker, No. 483, from O.H. Ivie Reservoir. He was fishing in three feet of 43-degree water with a black and blue Easy Jig.
"At that point David Campbell and I were hoping the phone would ring again and hoping it wouldn't," Hodge said. Three fish to be picked up hundreds of miles apart presented a problem, but other TPWD staff from the A.E. Wood Fish Hatchery and the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center volunteered to help. By the time the day ended at midnight, the three crews had logged about 1,200 miles.
And no matter what your opinion is on the influence of moon phases on fish catches, ShareLunker records clearly show that the biggest factor in when fish are caught is not the moon phase. Most fish are caught on weekends, because that's when most people go fishing.
Three or more ShareLunker catches on the same day have come in February only once before, in 1995. All three fish came from Lake Fork. From three to five fish have been caught on the same day seven other times, all in March.
The catches bring the number of entries into the Toyota ShareLunker program for the current season to 12. Since the program's inception, Lake Austin and O.H. Ivie have produced eight lunkers each. Amistad has now gone double-digit with 10 entries.
Because of the number of entries expected in the coming years from Amistad and O.H. Ivie, official ShareLunker weigh and receiving stations have been set up at those lakes. Angler's Lodge serves Lake Amistad, and Elm Creek Village serves O.H. Ivie. Additional stations are being sought; interested parties should contact David Campbell for details. A list of the current stations is at http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/spdest/visitorcenters/tffc/sharelunker/holding/.
Videos of selected ShareLunker anglers talking about their catches can be seen at www.facebook.com/sharelunkerprogram/.
Anyone legally catching a 13-pound or bigger largemouth bass from Texas waters, public or private, between October 1 and April 30 may submit the fish to the Toyota ShareLunker program by calling program manager David Campbell at (903) 681-0550 or paging him at (888) 784-0600 and leaving a phone number including area code. Fish will be picked up by TPWD personnel within 12 hours.
ShareLunker entries are used in a selective breeding program at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center (TFFC) in Athens. Some of the offspring from these fish are stocked back into the water body from which they were caught. Other ShareLunker offspring are stocked in public waters around the state in an attempt to increase the overall size and growth rate of largemouth bass in Texas.
Anglers entering fish into the Toyota ShareLunker program will receive a free replica of their fish, a certificate and ShareLunker clothing and be recognized at a banquet at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens on June 5, 2010. In addition, if a Texas angler catches the largest entry of the year, that person will receive a lifetime fishing license.For complete information and rules of the ShareLunker program, tips on caring for big bass and a recap of last year's season, see www.tpwd.state.tx.us/sharelunker. The site also includes a searchable database of all fish entered into the program along with pictures where available.The Toyota ShareLunker Program is made possible by a grant to the Texas Parks & Wildlife Foundation from Gulf States Toyota. Toyota is a long-time supporter of the Foundation and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, providing major funding for a wide variety of education, fish, parks and wildlife projects.
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[ Note: This item is more than four 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]
March 1, 2010
Toyota ShareLunker 500 Will Be Catch of a Lifetime for One Lucky Angler
Texas Parks and Wildlife Offering $500 per Pound Prize for 500th Fish
ATHENS -- Most ShareLunkers -- 13-pound-plus bass caught between October 1 and April 30 -- are caught by ordinary anglers who enjoy a brief flurry of fame and get a fiberglass replica of their catch and some ShareLunker clothing.
The angler who catches the 500th entry into the Toyota ShareLunker program will get all that and a little something extra: $500 a pound for every pound the fish weighs. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is offering the prize to mark the 500th lunker milestone and celebrate the success of the Toyota ShareLunker Program, which began in 1986. The Texas Parks & Wildlife Foundation is providing the prize money.
A fish that meets the minimum 13-pound weight for entry into the program will be worth $6,500. A 14-pounder would garner the angler $7,000. And should someone catch a new state record weighing, say, 18.2 pounds, they would take home a cool $9,100.
Not bad for someone who just went out to do a little bass fishin' on a day off from work, which is exactly how most ShareLunkers are caught.
ShareLunkers have now been caught from 58 public reservoirs and more than a dozen private lakes, and all of them are capable of producing ShareLunker 500. Part of the reason for that is the reward a lake gets for producing a ShareLunker: a portion of the fingerlings produced by ShareLunkers that season. ShareLunkers -- which are all females -- are paired with males that are ShareLunker descendants, and the resulting spawns are stocked into the lakes.
"Everything we know about genetics leads us to believe that fish that are produced by parents that grew big are more likely to grow big themselves," said Allen Forshage, director of the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens, where the ShareLunker program is headquartered.
Many anglers choose to have their fish returned to the lake where it was caught following the spawning season. ShareLunkers are typically eight to 10 years old, but bass may live as long as 20 years, so they may produce more offspring after they go back home. Survival rate of the big fish during the process is slightly better than 70 percent and has improved dramatically in recent years as biologists have learned more about caring for big bass and as anglers have become more educated about how to take care of fish until they are picked up by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department biologists.
The last thing any angler wants to happen is have a big bass die after being caught. "Two things will do more than anything else to help these fish survive," said David Campbell, ShareLunker program manager. "First, handle the fish correctly. Wet your hands before touching the fish, and hold it by the lower lip with one hand with your other hand under the rear of the fish supporting its weight. Holding it just by the jaw can injure the jaw, and if the fish cannot feed, it will die. Second, don't leave a big bass in the livewell all day. Get it to a marina with a minnow tank, or an official ShareLunker weigh and holding station, as quickly as you can. The less the fish is stressed, the better chance it has to survive."
And of course, as soon as you have the fish weighed on a certified scale and know it qualifies for the program, call Campbell at (903) 681-0550 or page him at (888) 784-0600. He or another TPWD staffer will pick the fish up within 12 hours seven days a week, 24 hours a day.
Remember that an entry is not official until it is accepted by a Texas Parks and Wildlife Department employee authorized to do so. In the case of multiple fish caught on the same day, the times the calls from the anglers are received by David Campbell will determine the order.
For information on the Toyota ShareLunker program, tips for caring for big bass, and a list of official ShareLunker weigh and holding stations, visit www.tpwd.state.tx.us/sharelunker.
And one more thing. Good luck. We'd love to present you with that check for $500 a pound-and the bigger the fish, the better we'll like it.
The Toyota ShareLunker Program is made possible by a grant to the Texas Parks & Wildlife Foundation from Gulf States Toyota. Toyota is a long-time supporter of the Foundation and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, providing major funding for a wide variety of education, fish, parks and wildlife projects.
Keep track of the race to catch 500 on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/sharelunkerprogram. Become a fan and you will receive updates on Facebook.
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[ Note: This item is more than four years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: Tom Harvey, 512-389-4453, tom.harvey@tpwd.texas.gov ] [TH]
March 1, 2010
New Web Site Tells Story of Texas Independence
AUSTIN -- In connection with Texas Independence Day, March 2, the Washington-on-the-Brazos State Park Association is proud to announce the launch of txindependence.org, a new Web site created in collaboration between Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and Blinn College.
The new Web site highlights an important part of Texas history, the convention held at Washington-on-the Brazos in 1836 when 59 elected delegates met to sign the Texas Declaration of Independence from Mexico and create a new nation, The Republic of Texas.
Students can learn more about this story of Texas independence through fun and educational activities on the new Web site, designed to complement the 4th and 7th grade TEKS criteria. Students can watch an animated overview of the Independence Story, look through a timeline of notable events and take a closer look at the Texas Declaration of Independence. They can also create their own story with "Convention Comicmaker," search through a collection of primary historical sources, and play "In Washington Town," a 3-D online video game that allows students to interact with citizens in 1836.
For teachers, the site features lesson plans, TEKS correlation, activities and resources to help students learn in the classroom.
---
On the Net:
http://www.txindependence.org/
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