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|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2013-06-27                                    |
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[ Note: This item is more than nine months old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: Mike Cox, 512-389-8046, mike.cox@tpwd.texas.gov ]
June 27, 2013
Game Warden Field Notes
The following items are compiled from recent Texas Parks and Wildlife Department law enforcement reports.
--High Speed Internship A Mitchell County game warden and a Texas Parks and Wildlife summer intern were on patrol late one evening when they heard radio traffic about a subject in the neighboring county firing shots from his vehicle. Nolan County authorities attempted to pull the subject over, which resulted in a multi-agency pursuit. The subject drove into Mitchell County where the Department of Public Safety set up a spike strip; the game warden and intern were set up about 200 yards away from the spikes. The subject was then taken into custody. After the pursuit, authorities began a search for a pistol that was tossed out of the window by the subject; and found it two days later. Speeds during the pursuit ranged from 45 mph to 110 mph. The incident was a result of a family disturbance.
--Size Matters Game wardens from Freestone and Anderson County were patrolling Cedar Creek Lake in Henderson County for water safety and fishing violations when they saw four people fishing from a boat. When the wardens got closer to the boat, they saw a stringer of catfish in the water, and a couple of them seemed to be undersized. The fisherman said they normally fish on Lake Palestine, which has no minimum length on channel or blue catfish. The wardens informed them that the standard length is 12-inch minimum for channel and blue catfish on Cedar Creek. One citation was issued.
--BWI on Lake Austin Four Travis County game wardens were patrolling Lake Austin when they stopped a vessel for a water safety inspection. During the inspection, one of the wardens noticed that the operator showed signs of being intoxicated, so they instructed him to board the patrol boat. After leading the subject though a series of float tests, the wardens saw that the boat contained several empty beer cans. The operator was transported to the shore for a field sobriety test and then taken to the Travis County jail for boating while intoxicated.
--Alcohol and Water Don't Really Mix A Sabine County game warden was on patrol on Sam Rayburn Reservoir when he saw a boat moving though a restricted area. The warden made contact with the vessel and conducted a water safety inspection. During the inspection, a strong odor of alcohol was coming from the operator. The operator refused on-the-water tests, but he did agree to go to the bank for a field sobriety test, which he failed. The subject was arrested for boating while intoxicated.
--Too Many CatfishFreestone and Anderson County game wardens were patrolling Cedar Creek Lake in Henderson County when they saw two people fishing on a boat. The wardens approached the vessel and asked how the fish were biting. One of the fisherman said, "Not too good, just a few chicken heads." One of the wardens began to count and measure the catfish that were in the two coolers onboard and found that one of the coolers held 10 undersized catfish and that they were two fish over the 25-fish bag limit. The other cooler contained three undersize catfish and was 14 over the bag limit. Each individual was issued a citation for undersize catfish and for exceeding the bag limit. One subject also received a citation for no fishing license. The illegal fish were confiscated and donated.
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[ Note: This item is more than nine months old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ General Media Contact: Business Hours, 512-389-4406 ]
[ Additional Contacts: Chad Lorance, (817) 720-4367, Chad.lorance@trwd.com; or Mike Cox, (512) 389-8046, mike.cox@tpwd.texas.gov ]
June 27, 2013
Zebra Mussels Confirmed in Lake Bridgeport
AUSTIN - Zebra mussel larvae, known as veligers, have been confirmed in Lake Bridgeport. The news comes days after the discovery of the invasive exotic in Lewisville Lake.
A zebra mussel population is suspected in Lake Bridgeport because zebra mussel DNA was found in the fall of 2011 and 2012, and some veligers were detected this spring in plankton tows. Samples collected by the Tarrant Regional Water District (TRWD) from Lake Bridgeport on June 6 were examined using cross polarized light microscopy and suspect veligers were detected. Dr. Bob McMahon with The University of Texas-Arlington (UTA) confirmed these results on June 17.
It is important to note that to date no settled juvenile or adult zebra mussels have been found in Lake Bridgeport to suggest a self-sustaining population. Given the high mortality rates of zebra mussel veligers it's not a guarantee that a population exists but given these results and the DNA results from the past two years it is likely that the lake is infested.
Routine monitoring by the TRWD, UTA and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) will continue on the reservoir to determine if there is any growth or spread of the mussels. Also, because lakes Eagle Mountain and Worth are downstream of Lake Bridgeport they are also at risk and will continue to be monitored.
Zebra mussels can have economic and recreational impacts in Texas reservoirs. They can clog public-water intake pipes, harm boats and motors left in infested waters by covering boat hulls and clogging water-cooling systems, annoy boat-dock owners by completely covering anything left under water and can make water recreation hazardous because of their razor-sharp edges.
From the environmental perspective, zebra mussels are filter feeders, which mean they compete with baitfish such as shad for available forage. Any impact on baitfish in turn can affect their predators -- game fish such as bass, striped bass and catfish. Zebra mussels are also very harmful to native mussel populations because they will colonize on their shells and essentially suffocate them.
The spread can be slowed by making sure boats that operate in zebra mussel-infested waters are not used in any other body of water until they have been cleaned, drained and dried. In addition, TPWD adopted rules regarding the transfer of zebra mussel larvae in water from lakes Texoma, Lavon, Ray Roberts and Lewisville. To comply with these rules, boaters and anglers need to drain all water from their boats (including live wells) before leaving those lakes.
TPWD and a coalition of partners have been reaching out to boaters in Texas with an advertising campaign to educate them not to transport the tiny mussels or their microscopic larvae, which are invisible to the naked eye and can stay alive inside livewells, bait buckets and other parts of the boat for up to a week. These partners include: Tarrant Regional Water District,North Texas Municipal Water District, Trinity River Authority, City of Dallas Water Utilities Department, Upper Trinity Regional Water District, Sabine River Authority, Canadian River Municipal Water Authority, San Jacinto River Authority, Brazos River Authority, City of Grapevine, City of Houston, City of Waco and Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.
Originally from the Balkans, Poland and the former Soviet Union, zebra mussels found their way to the Americas in the 1980s via ballast water of a ship. The small invaders were first found in 1988 in Lake St. Clair, Mich., and are currently known to have infested 29 states and more than 600 lakes or reservoirs in the United States.
Anyone wishing to receive a supply of informational brochures, wallet cards or posters about zebra mussels to distribute to boaters around lakes Bridgeport, Lewisville, Ray Roberts or Texoma, please contact marketing@tpwd.state.tx.us. For more information regarding zebra mussels visit www.texasinvasives.org.
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