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|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2011-09-15                                    |
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[ Note: This item is more than two years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ General Media Contact: Business Hours, 512-389-4406 ]
[ Additional Contacts: Lenny Francoeur, Tournament Director: (479) 715-6103 or lenny@toyotatexasbassclassic.com; Adam Harris, Marketing & Communications Senior Manager: (919) 531-0500 or adam@toyotatexasbassclassic.com; Larry Hodge, TPWD, (903) 670-2255; larry.hodge@tpwd.texas.gov ]
Sept. 15, 2011
Toyota Texas Bass Classic Announces Field of Anglers
Fifty best anglers to compete for world championship
Conroe - The Toyota Texas Bass Classic (TTBC), the world championship of professional bass fishing, announced its final field of competitors today. The three-day event, to be held on Lake Conroe, combines the top Professional Anglers Association members from the Walmart FLW Tour, Bassmaster Elite Series and Bass Pro Shops PAA Tournament Series. The field of 50 anglers will compete for the unified world championship Oct. 28-30.
"The quality of anglers and competition in our tournament is unmatched by any other fishing tournament in the world," said Tournament Director Lenny Francoeur. "We have created an event that truly determines the world champion of bass fishing and sets the standard for tournament fish conservation. We want everyone to experience this great event, so we are now offering free tickets to come and enjoy the festivities."
The TTBC field of 50 professionals is comprised of 2010 defending champion Brian Snowden, the top 15 anglers from the 2011 Walmart FLW Tour Angler of the Year standings, the top 15 from the 2011 Bassmaster Elite Series Toyota Tundra Angler of the Year standings, the top 15 from the 2011 Bass Pro Shops PAA Tournament Series Angler of the Year standings and four tournament exemptions. Mike Iaconelli, Kelly Jordon, Gary Klein and David Walker have been selected as the four exemptions.
The TTBC qualification criteria ensure that the field is representative of the best anglers in the world. The tournament is the only event in the world of professional bass fishing that brings the best anglers from the major tours together on the same lake to compete for one title.
The anglers in the field have combined for at least 136 major tournament wins among 36 professionals, led by Kevin VanDam's 20 titles and 17 for Denny Brauer. In addition, 13 anglers in the field have earned 22 Angler of the Year titles across three leagues. There are also 15 championship titles from the TTBC, Bassmaster Classic and Forrest Wood Cup. All totaled, the TTBC anglers have combined to earn over $60 million in tournament fishing. Texas has the most anglers in the field with 10, followed by Alabama with nine.
Headlining the field of competitors is the top-ranked angler in the world, Kevin VanDam. VanDam is the all-time leading money winner in professional fishing with over $5.5 million earned. He is a seven-time Bassmaster Toyota Tundra Angler of the Year and 2001 FLW Tour Angler of the Year. VanDam has also won four Bassmaster Classic titles including back-to-back championships in 2010 and 2011.
Also returning to Lake Conroe is 2010 runner-up Mike Iaconelli. Iaconelli, the 2003 Bassmaster Classic champion, is a fan favorite because of his outgoing personality and passion for fishing.
David Dudley, the 2011 Walmart FLW Tour Angler of the Year, will also bring his talents to Lake Conroe. He will be joined by 2011 PAA Angler of the Year Todd Auten. Auten has back-to-back top-10 finishes in the TTBC, eighth in 2010 and third in 2009.
Limited quantities of tickets are free this year to the three-day outdoor music festival and professional bass fishing world championship through exclusive tournament partners. Free tickets are only available while supplies last through respective sponsor promotions, by visiting Houston-area Toyota dealerships or Academy Sports + Outdoors stores and online at toyotatexasbassclassic.com. Walk-up tickets the day of the event will require a donation towards the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department and all days are subject to sell out. The daily tickets are valid for admission into the festival grounds for angler weigh-ins and the live concert of that particular day. All activities, including concerts, weigh-ins, interactive expo areas and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Outdoor Adventures Area will take place at the Lone Star Convention & Expo Center's festival grounds in Conroe.
The Toyota Texas Bass Classic tournament functions are operated by the Professional Anglers Association with technical assistance and support from Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's Inland Fisheries Division. Title sponsor for the event is Toyota. Additional sponsors include Evinrude, IKON, Oakley, Carrot Stix, US Reel and Mustang CAT. Corporate partnership opportunities are available for 2011. For additional information, visit toyotatexasbassclassic.com or call 1-866-907-0143.
For more tournament information visit toyotatexasbassclassic.com, Facebook.com/ToyotaTexasBassClassic, Twitter: @TxBassClassic
2011 Field of Anglers
First Name
Last Name
Hometown
State
Qualified Through
Brian
Snowden
Reeds Spring
Missouri
2010 Defending Champion
Kevin
VanDam
Kalamazoo
Michigan
Bassmaster Elite Series
Edwin
Evers
Talala
Oklahoma
Bassmaster Elite Series
Gerald
Swindle
Warrior
Alabama
Bassmaster Elite Series
Ott
Defoe
Knoxville
Tennessee
Bassmaster Elite Series
Steve
Kennedy
Auburn
Alabama
Bassmaster Elite Series
Terry
Scroggins
San Mateo
Florida
Bassmaster Elite Series
Casey
Ashley
Donalds
South Carolina
Bassmaster Elite Series
Alton
Jones
Waco
Texas
Bassmaster Elite Series
Keith
Poche
Pike Road
Alabama
Bassmaster Elite Series
Greg
Vinson
Wetumpka
Alabama
Bassmaster Elite Series
Chris
Lane
Guntersville
Alabama
Bassmaster Elite Series
Randy
Howell
Springville
Alabama
Bassmaster Elite Series
Keith
Combs
Huntington
Texas
Bassmaster Elite Series
Aaron
Martens
Leeds
Alabama
Bassmaster Elite Series
Denny
Brauer
Macks Creek
Missouri
Bassmaster Elite Series
David
Dudley
Lynchburg
Virginia
FLW Tour
Brent
Ehrler
Redlands
California
FLW Tour
Mark
Rose
Marion
Arkansas
FLW Tour
Jason
Christie
Park Hill
Oklahoma
FLW Tour
Tom
Monsoor
La Crosse
Wisconsin
FLW Tour
Stacey
King
Reeds Spring
Missouri
FLW Tour
Wesley
Strader
Spring City
Tennessee
FLW Tour
Bryan
Thrift
Shelby
North Carolina
FLW Tour
Darrel
Robertson
Jay
Oklahoma
FLW Tour
Scott
Martin
Clewiston
Florida
FLW Tour
Shad
Schenck
Waynetown
Indiana
FLW Tour
Shinichi
Fukae
Palestine
Texas
FLW Tour
Stetson
Blaylock
Benton
Arkansas
FLW Tour
Cody
Meyer
Grass Valley
California
FLW Tour
Scott
Canterbury
Springville
Alabama
FLW Tour
Todd
Auten
Lake Wylie
South Carolina
PAA Tournament Series
Mike
McClelland
Bella Vista
Arkansas
PAA Tournament Series
Takahiro
Omori
Emory
Texas
PAA Tournament Series
Chad
Morgenthaler
Coulterville
Illinois
PAA Tournament Series
Gary
Yamamoto
Mineola
Texas
PAA Tournament Series
Derek
Remitz
Grant
Alabama
PAA Tournament Series
Tommy
Biffle
Wagoner
Oklahoma
PAA Tournament Series
Terry
Butcher
Talala
Oklahoma
PAA Tournament Series
Cody
Bird
Granbury
Texas
PAA Tournament Series
Brian
Travis
Conover
North Carolina
PAA Tournament Series
Chris
Brasher
Spring
Texas
PAA Tournament Series
Shane
Long
Sarcoxie
Missouri
PAA Tournament Series
Gary
Clouse
Lavergne
Tennessee
PAA Tournament Series
James
Watson
Waynesville
Missouri
PAA Tournament Series
Harold
Allen
Shelbyville
Texas
PAA Tournament Series
Kelly
Jordon
Mineola
Texas
Sponsor Exemption
Gary
Klein
Weatherford
Texas
Sponsor Exemption
David
Walker
Sevierville
Tennessee
Sponsor Exemption
Mike
Iaconelli
Pittsgrove
New Jersey
Sponsor Exemption
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[ Note: This item is more than two years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ General Media Contact: Business Hours, 512-389-4406 ]
[ Additional Contacts: Brad Newman, Federation of Student Anglers, (830) 832-0315; brad@fishingstudents.com; Larry Hodge, (903) 670-2255, larry.hodge@tpwd.texas.gov ]
Sept. 15, 2011
New Braunfels Student Wins $10,000 Scholarship; Removes Harmful Fish from Guadalupe River
ATHENS--New Braunfels High School sophomore Andrew Cumberland was fishing for sunfish in the Guadalupe River July 12 when he spotted a really ugly fish in shallow water. Thinking it was a carp, he switched to dough bait, which the fish took immediately.
"I was surprised when I pulled it into the kayak," Cumberland said. "I had never seen a fish that looked like it--it seemed to be prehistoric."
With the help of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) fisheries biologists at the A.E. Wood State Fish Hatchery in San Marcos, Cumberland determined that he had landed a suckermouth catfish. The 21-inch fish weighed 3.45 pounds.
Cumberland did not return the fish to the water, the correct action under the circumstances. "These fish are the most destructive exotic fish in Texas," said Dr. Gary Garrett, a fisheries scientist and TPWD's Director of Watershed Conservation. "They take over important habitats such as springs, push out and replace native species (including listed species and species of conservation concern), decimate native vegetation and undermine and destabilize banks. In no way do they have any redeeming qualities."
TPWD recommends that anyone catching a suckermouth catfish follow Cumberland's example and not return it to the water alive.
Invasive and exotic species are a serious and growing threat in Texas. For information on how you can help protect the state from these invaders, visit www.texasinvasives.org.
Cumberland's catch became the new state rod-and-reel record for the species and garnered him two $5,000 scholarships from the Federation of Student Anglers (FSA), an international student angling organization based in Bulverde, Texas. FSA awards a $5,000 scholarship to any student member who catches a Texas state record of any species. The second scholarship was awarded for catching the Texas record while fishing in an officially sanctioned FSA event, FSA's Tuesday Night Fishing Series Tournament.
Cumberland is the son of Dale and Gina Cumberland of New Braunfels.
The Federation of Student Anglers has more than 2,000 members from elementary through college level in school-based chapters nationwide. For information on how to start a chapter in your area, visit www.fishingstudents.com.
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[ Note: This item is more than two years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: Mike Cox, 512-389-8046, mike.cox@tpwd.texas.gov ]
Sept. 15, 2011
Wildfire had significant impact on Bastrop State Park: How the public can help
AUSTIN - Beyond the loss of lives and property, the still-smoldering Bastrop Complex Fire has had a significant impact not only on the iconic and highly-popular Bastrop State Park but much of the entire Lost Pines ecosystem.
The fire, which began north of the park on Sept. 4, claimed two lives, destroyed more than 1,500 homes, and changed the lives of thousands in Bastrop County.
"Texas Parks and Wildlife has been experiencing an outpouring of concern from citizens, conservationists and nature enthusiasts worried about the ecological impact on the park and the ecosystem it anchors," said Todd McClanahan, park superintendent. "People have been offering money, trees, and wildflowers - even wildlife. We'd like to ask the public to be patient while we assess the impact of this disaster and determine what TPWD needs to do, but we have set up a system for the public to offer assistance."
While few areas within the park escaped the fire, most of the Civilian Conservation Corps-constructed buildings and other park infrastructure were saved. Even so, TPWD officials know that the fire has had a profound impact on the Lost Pines vegetation and wildlife habitats, though neither was totally lost.
"There will be remarkable changes in the landscape," Greg Creacy, Natural Resources and Regional Wildland Fire Coordinator for State Parks said. "TPWD staff and cooperating scientists are focusing on assessing and documenting these effects."
On the short term, however, TPWD personnel are still mopping up after the fire - dealing with smoldering stumps and yet-unburned fuel. Flare-ups are still a threat, especially with the continuing drought and red flag fire conditions. Additionally, there are many hazardous trees to deal with--hundreds of which will continue to smolder and fall over the coming months.
The Lost Pines are among the more unique ecosystems in the nation and Bastrop and Buescher State Parks contain one of the best examples of the southwest-most extent of the loblolly pine.
"The genetics of these pines are unique," said David Riskind, Director of Natural Resources for State Parks. "To provide for the long-term recovery and restoration of this plant community we need to use only the genetic stock from this area. Unfortunately no seedlings of this type are available at this moment so we do not want to introduce plants foreign to Bastrop. The same goes for grasses and wild flowers."
Creacy said TPWD will be assessing fire effects to determine the most seriously impacted sites and what the best strategies are to bring about maximum stabilization and recovery. This will involve mapping areas where erosion potential is greatest and working to install environmental fabrics.
"Another focus will be protecting especially sensitive habitats like the Houston Toad breeding ponds," he said. "All our study sites and transects will be monitored to determine effects on insects, wildlife, and vegetation."
The Lost Pines are considered the last stronghold of the endangered amphibian, which once could be found in 14 Texas counties.
Here's how the public can help:
--If you are interested in the ecological restoration of Bastrop State Park and want to donate to habitat restoration or research please send your donations to:
Texas Parks & Wildlife DepartmentAttn: Cashiers4200 Smith School Rd.Austin, TX 78744On the memo line note: Bastrop Recover Project-Habitat Restoration
--If you would like to donate your time or specialty items for both the short and long-term restoration and stewardship of the park, please provide your contact information and area of interest to: david.riskind@tpwd.texas.gov
--If you have suggestions or want to comment on the restoration and stewardship effort, please e-mail your remarks to: david.riskind@tpwd.texas.gov
--If you want to contribute to the TPWD employees who lost their homes and possessions to the Bastrop Complex Fire:
Check:
--Make the check payable to: Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation
--On the memo line please put: TPW Employee Relief
Online:
--http://tpwf.rnbhost.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=159&Itemid=124 (Look for the link to the left labeled "TPWD Employee Relief Fund") or,
--https://tpwf.ejoinme.org/MyPages/TPWDEmployeeReliefFund/tabid/285692/Default.aspx (Direct link to the "TPWD Employee Relief Fund" for credit card donation).
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