+-------------------------------------------------------------------------+
|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2014-05-19                                    |
+-------------------------------------------------------------------------+
|  This page contains only plain text, no HTML formatting codes.          |
|  It is not designed for display in a browser but for copying            |
|  and editing in whatever software you use to lay out pages.             |
|  To copy the text into an editing program:                              |
|    --Display this page in your browser.                                 |
|    --Select all.                                                        |
|    --Copy.                                                              |
|    --Paste in a document in your editing program.                       |
|  If you have any suggestions for improving these pages, send            |
|  an e-mail to webtech@tpwd.state.tx.us and mention Plain Text Pages.    |
+-------------------------------------------------------------------------+

[ Note: This item is more than three 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]
May 19, 2014
New Pilot Reporting Program Aims to Ensure Texas Anglers Get Share of Red Snapper
AUSTIN- Red snapper are a favorite among anglers for its tenacious fight and, arguably, as the tastiest fish in the Gulf. But management of the species over the years has been challenging and controversial.
In light of those challenges, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Coastal Fisheries Division staff is asking recreational anglers for assistance to help manage red snapper.
Beginning June 1, Texas anglers (with the exception of party boat anglers) are asked to report their red snapper landings via a short online survey at www.tpwd.texas.gov/snapper. At the end of each day's trip or soon afterwards, parties that land red snapper are asked to submit basic information about the trip's total red snapper catch, the date it occurred, number of fish landed, etc. Only one person needs to report for the entire angling party.
Anglers fishing from party boats are exempt from reporting as the captain reports for then. Party boats are generally larger boats where people pay per person, as opposed to paying a single fee (for one or more persons) for a guided trip.
This data will be used in conjunction with current harvest monitoring programs, and will be useful in designing future harvest monitoring programs. It will also serve as an indicator of the health of the red snapper fishery off Texas shores.
"Anglers are strongly encouraged to report their landings," said Robin Riechers, TPWD Coastal Fisheries Division Director. "Not only does it help manage the fishery, but it allows all red snapper anglers to get involved in the management of the species."
Texas and the other four Gulf states, cooperatively with National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), manage red snapper in federal waters. One of the key pieces of information in the management of the red snapper fishery is the total recreational harvest, that is, how many red snapper are landed by recreational anglers in a given year.
Texas state waters (less than 9 nautical miles from shore) are open year-round for red snapper with a four fish bag limit and a minimum size limit of 15 inches. Regulations in federal waters (greater than 9 nautical miles from shore) may differ from state regulations. This year, the recreational season in federal waters will run June 1-9 with a two fish daily bag limit and 16-inch minimum length limit. For more information on federal fisheries regulations go to www.gulfcouncil.org or call toll-free 888-833-1844.
While TPWD currently performs routine dockside creel surveys to monitor the landings and fishing effort for a variety of species along the Texas coast, this pilot program will utilize angler reported data to compliment these routine surveys allowing for better estimation of the recreational red snapper landings in the state.
If you have further questions regarding red snapper management and/or the reporting program, contact the TPWD Coastal Fisheries office at 361-825-3356.
-30-

[ Note: This item is more than three 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 ]
May 19, 2014
East Texas Man Convicted in Game Warden Assaults
AUSTIN -- A man arrested last fall for assaulting two Texas game wardens following a high-speed pursuit in Limestone County has been convicted of four felonies in connection with the case.
Two game wardens had been on routine patrol early on the morning of Oct. 5, 2013 in McLennan County looking for illegal road hunting when they attempted to stop a vehicle they had seen operating on a public road without headlights. The driver of the vehicle rammed the state vehicle the two wardens were in, but both vehicles were still drivable.
The driver of the suspect vehicle left the scene and the wardens gave pursuit. During that pursuit, someone in the fleeing truck shined a bright light into the eyes of the wardens and their vehicle went off the roadway, striking a culvert. Both game wardens were injured, one requiring hospitalization.
Taken into custody by local and state officers two days later was Teddy Wayne Davenport, 44. He was arrested in a wooded area two miles southeast of Teague in Freestone County and booked into the Limestone County jail, since the assaults had occurred in that county.
A Limestone County jury found Davenport guilty on Friday of four felony charges: Two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon (a first-degree felony), burglary of a building (third-degree felony), felony evading arrest (third-degree felony).
The jury then considered punishment and assessed Davenport with a 50-year prison term for each of the aggravated assault counts and 10 years for each of the third-degree felony counts. The terms will run concurrently.
-30-