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|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2013-08-12                                    |
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[ Note: This item is more than eight months old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: Steve Lightfoot, 512-389-4701, steve.lightfoot@tpwd.texas.gov ] [SL]
Aug. 12, 2013
Texas Dove Season Prospects Bright
Special White-wing Area expands; higher possession limit
AUSTIN -Texas dove hunters should see plenty of opportunity this fall as conditions are shaping up for an above average season, according to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD). Dove season kicks off Sunday, Sept. 1 across most of the state.
Texas dove hunters number upwards of 250,000 and collectively bag between 5-6 million doves during the 70-day season. Thanks to new rules approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) this year, hunters can possess up to 45 birds -- three times the daily bag limit. Previously, the possession limit was twice the daily bag. Daily bag limits still apply.
The USFWS also approved for this year an expanded Special White-wing Dove Area (SWWDA) in South Texas. The SWWDA will now extend eastward along its current boundary and continue south along Interstate 37 from San Antonio to Corpus Christi, effectively doubling its current size.
"For the last two decades, white-winged dove populations have steadily expanded both their numbers and their geographical extent," said Dave Morrison, Small Game Program Director with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. "We believe, and the Service agrees, an expansion is appropriate to take advantage of additional hunting opportunities."
To take advantage of the earliest possible opening dates for the special area, the season will run Sunday, Sept. 1 through Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 2, and then reopen Saturday, Sept. 7 and Sunday, Sept. 8. The daily bag limit during the combined four-day season is 15 doves in the aggregate to include no more than two mourning doves and two white-tipped doves and hunting during the early season in the SWWDA is permitted only from noon to sunset.
Dove season in the North and Central zones will run concurrent from Sept. 1-Oct. 23 and Dec. 20-Jan. 5. The South Zone dove season is set for Sept. 20-Oct. 27 and Dec. 20-Jan. 20, with the regular season in the SWWDA Sept. 20-Oct. 23 and Dec. 20-Jan. 20.
According to Shaun Oldenburger, TPWD's Dove Program Leader, hunters can expect to see an increase from last year in dove numbers.
"It appears that breeding dove numbers have increased from last year in many regions of the state," he said. "Increased precipitation helped improve dove production and generate ample food supplies. It should be a good season."
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[ Note: This item is more than eight months old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ General Media Contact: Business Hours, 512-389-4406 ]
[ Additional Contacts: Jim Booker, (903) 670-2266, james.booker@tpwd.texas.gov ]
Aug. 12, 2013
Bluegill Family Fishing Tournament September 28 at Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center
ATHENS, Texas--The Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center's annual Bluegill Family Fishing Tournament will take place this year on Saturday, September 28.
Numerous prize packages will be awarded, including an X-Box 360 with game, fishing equipment and gift cards from local businesses. More than $2,500 in prizes will be awarded.
Sponsors of the event include: Wulf Outdoor Sports, Lake Athens Property Owners Association, Aaron's Sales and Lease Ownership, Best Western Royal Mountain Inn, Holiday Inn Express Hotel and Suites--Athens, WalMart Supercenter of Athens, Chicken Express and First State Bank.
Sponsors also include Lake Fork Trophy Lures and Brookshire's Grocery. Brookshire's will provide free bottled water to contestants.
The tournament awards prizes for the heaviest stringers of sunfish, but the event is really about adults and children having fun fishing together.
Teams must consist of one adult 18 years of age or older and one child under 18 years of age. Each team can weigh in a maximum of four fish. Multiple teams can fish from the same boat, making it possible for both parents to partner with different children and still fish as a family. Team members are not required to be related.
Teams may choose to fish either on Lake Athens, which is adjacent to TFFC, or in TFFC's ponds and streams, some of which have been stocked with bluegills.
All species of sunfish or bream (except largemouth bass) are allowed; for information on identifying them, see http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/landwater/water/aquaticspecies/inland.phtml.
Pre-registration is required. Mail registration must be received by Wednesday, September 25. To request a registration form, call (903) 670-2222.
You may register in person on the day of the event by going to the admissions booth at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center AFTER 7:00 a.m.
A $15 entry fee per team will be charged. The entry fee includes admission to TFFC. Fishing will take place from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., with the weigh-in at the Anglers Pavilion at TFFC at 2:30.
For more information or to request an entry form, contact Craig Brooks at (903) 670-2222.
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