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Media Contact: Larry Hodge, 903-676-2277, larry.hodge@tpwd.texas.gov [LH]

TPWD Website: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us

TPWD News Release — April 6, 2010

Toyota ShareLunker 498 Comes from O.H. Ivie

Catch information to be blacked out until No. 500 is caught

ATHENS — Raymond Ivy of Brownwood caught Toyota ShareLunker 498 from O.H. Ivie April 5. It weighed 13.06 pounds and was caught in seven feet of water on a Strike King swim bait.

Unless you just arrived from another planet, by now you know that the Texas Parks & Wildlife Foundation will pay $500 per pound to the angler who catches Toyota ShareLunker 500.

No further announcements will be made of ShareLunker catches until No. 500 has been officially accepted into the program by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD). That fish will be X-rayed, and the angler will be given a polygraph test to verify the fish was legally caught and entered according to program rules, which require that the fish be turned over to TPWD within 12 hours of being caught.

Ivy’s fish was weighed and cared for until pickup at Elm Creek Village Marina, an official Toyota ShareLunker weigh and holding station.

O.H. Ivie Reservoir has now produced seven ShareLunkers during the current season.

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 receive a free replica of their fish, a certificate and ShareLunker clothing and are recognized at a banquet at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens. In addition, if a Texas angler catches the largest entry of the year, that person receives 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.

Information on current catches, including short videos of interviews with anglers, is posted on www.facebook.com/sharelunkerprogram.

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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