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|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2005-05-09                                    |
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[ Note: This item is more than eight years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: Tom Harvey, 512-389-4453, tom.harvey@tpwd.texas.gov ] [TH]
May 9, 2005
New Report Details Threats To, Ways To Save Texas Bays
AUSTIN, Texas - Texas bays and estuaries teeter on the brink of a challenging future, according to a new report that reviews past and present threats and suggests options to protect bays in the future.
The report notes that the Texas coastal zone is home to one out of every three Texans, two of the nation's largest ports, and one of the nation's longest coastlines. Two-thirds of Texas drains to the coast.
"The Texas coast's ecological richness rivals its size and fuels the state's economy to the tune of billions of dollars," said Larry McKinney, Ph.D., and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department coastal fisheries director. "However, that ecological richness and economic productivity are challenged by future threats that need to be addressed."
McKinney said a state population on track to double in the next few decades will increase the pressure on water resources that are a fundamental element to the health and productivity of Texas bays. Conservation scientists and others are concerned that the state's growing population, especially on the coast, will increase the pressure to convert homes for fish and wildlife to homes for people, and will increase the amounts of runoff pollution from developed lands.
"Between the ecological health of the coast and the growing threats to its health lies the need to engage all Texans in stewardship of coastal ecosystems," McKinney said.
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department collaborated with Texas Sea Grant to publish "Texas Coastal Ecosystems: Past, Present and Future." The report sets the stage by describing in detail the state's coastal region and trends in critical coastal habitats like wetlands and seagrasses. It then focuses on five critical issues for Texas bays - water quantity and quality, protection of natural habitats (particularly those affected by urban development), unique economic development opportunities like birding, and effective communication and outreach to coastal residents.
"In recent years, Texans have seen the mouth of the once-proud Rio Grande go completely dry," said Dave Buzan, TPWD coastal studies team leader, who co-authored the report with McKinney and former TPWD scientist Dan Moulton. "Will we work together to find ways to make sure other rivers continue to flow to the coast?"
The report outlines Smart Growth and the Preservation 2000/Florida Forever program as approaches to proactively minimizing coastal habitat loss while meeting development needs. Ecotourism development such as birding is outlined as a positive economic engine for coastal communities. The report says birding tourism generated more than $100 million in economic impact for the lower Rio Grande Valley in 1997.
"Environment-based education is important," Buzan said. "It not only helps students understand ecosystems but is showing student improvements in reading, language and math. It's a way for students to master academic skills and make connections that lead to higher-level thinking."
Limited copies of the report are available from Texas Parks and Wildlife Department by contacting Buzan at david.buzan@tpwd.texas.gov or (512) 912-7013.
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[ Note: This item is more than eight years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: Larry Hodge, 903-676-2277, larry.hodge@tpwd.texas.gov ] [LH]
May 9, 2005
Budweiser Sharelunker Program Has Biggest Year in a Decade
ATHENS, Texas-The Budweiser ShareLunker 2004-2005 season closed April 30 with 24 fish entered, the highest total since 1996.
A large measure of credit for this year's performance goes to Lake Alan Henry. The 2,880-acre lake southeast of Lubbock produced nine ShareLunkers, largemouth bass weighing 13 pounds or more. Lake Fork contributed seven, Sam Rayburn Reservoir two, and Lakes Falcon, Ray Roberts, Austin and Choke Canyon one each. Two lunkers came from private waters.
Nine of the fish spawned. Genetic testing showed that six of the big females were pure Florida largemouth bass. They produced 101,000 fry. Most of the fingerlings produced from these fry will be stocked into lakes which produced this year's ShareLunkers. In addition, 20,000 will be reared to 6 inches and used for growth research studies.
Three females classified as intergrades (crosses between Florida largemouth bass and northern largemouth bass) spawned and produced 70,000 fry that will also be stocked into public waters.
The 171,000 fry are the most produced in one year since the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center opened.
Budweiser ShareLunker program manager David Campbell expects to have most of the donated fish returned to their lakes of origin by mid-May.
Details on the fish entered into the program this year follow, in chronological order.
Oct. 29. Danny P. McBride of Hatchett, Ark., landed a 13.16-pound largemouth bass that became the season's first entry into the Budweiser ShareLunker program. McBride's fish was the first ShareLunker from Lake Fork caught in the month of October and only the fifth October fish entered into the program since its inception in 1986.
McBride hooked the big fish in 12 feet of water while using a Carolina rig. The fish was 25 inches long and measured 21 inches around.
Dec. 2. Scott Farmer of Yantis pulled the season's second Budweiser ShareLunker from Lake Fork. The 13.6-pound largemouth had a girth of 21.5 inches and was 24.5 inches long.
Farmer caught the big fish at a depth of 32 feet in the middle of the lake. It bit on a black jig.
Dec. 4. Falcon Reservoir produced its first Budweiser ShareLunker in nine years, when San Antonio resident Jerry Campos pulled a 14.28-pound largemouth from the lake.
The Campos fish was caught in 5 feet of water on a soft plastic bait. The fish was 26 inches long and 21.5 inches around.
As the Texas resident catching the largest fish of the season, Campos will be honored as Budweiser ShareLunker Angler of the Year at the annual banquet scheduled for May 28 in Athens. In addition to receiving a fiberglass replica of his fish made by Lake Fork Taxidermy and a ShareLunker jacket and cap, Campos will be awarded a lifetime fishing license.
Jan. 29. Rickey D. Williams of Lubbock kicked off a record-setting weekend for Lake Alan Henry when he hooked ShareLunker No. 4, a 13.14-pound fish, on a spinner bait in 8 feet of water shortly before noon. The 26-inch-long fish had a girth of 20 inches.
Jan. 29. Later that day Ben J. Kirkpatrick of Wolfforth went 40 feet deep with a black and blue jig to hook a 13.48-pounder that stretched 25 inches long and 22 inches around. It was the second fish of the day from Lake Alan Henry.
Jan. 30. Lake Alan Henry stayed hot. Kevin Ray Phillips of Sundown caught a 13.45-pounder in 6 feet of water up the river on a Norman DD-14 in Tennessee shad pattern. The fish was 25.5 inches long and 20.625 inches around.
Jan. 30. The fourth fish from Lake Alan Henry in two days just barely made the cut at 13 pounds even, but it marked the first time in the 19-year history of the Budweiser ShareLunker program that four entries were caught from the same lake in a two-day period.
Fishing the main lake in 6 feet of water, Lubbock resident Coy Callison used a chartreuse Norman DD-22 to pull in the 25.25-inch-long, 20.25-inch girth fish.
Feb. 12. Jim Lee of Winnsboro caught ShareLunker No. 8, a 13.91-pound largemouth, from a 55-acre private lake in Wood County. The fish measured 25.5 inches long and 22.125 inches around. Lee was using a 1/8-ounce Bass Assassin jighead with a white Team Luck E Strike three-inch curly-tail grub.
Feb. 19. Andrew Elder, a sixteen-year-old from Deville, Louisiana, caught Budweiser ShareLunker No. 9 from Lake Fork.
Deville was fishing in 3 to 4 feet of water in Pension Creek when a 13.67-pound largemouth hit his crawfish Rat-L-Trap. The fish was 25 inches long and 22.125 inches around.
March 3. Derrell Maltsberger of Denton caught a 13.19-pound largemouth from Lake Fork about 2:15 p.m.
Maltsberger pulled the fish from 9 feet of water near the dam. The fish was 24.75 inches long and 22 inches in girth.
Lakes Fork and Alan Henry were now tied for the season lead with four ShareLunkers each, but the battle was just beginning.
March 5. Mark A. LeBlanc of Orange caught a 13.59-pound lunker from Sam Rayburn Reservoir on March 5. It was 25.5 inches long and 21 inches around.
Le Blanc was fishing in 5 feet of water with a Senko plastic bait in a watermelon red/green flake pattern.
The Le Blanc fish was the first ShareLunker caught from Sam Rayburn since 2002 and only the third since 1998, when it produced six ShareLunkers. That lake has contributed a total of 22 fish to the Budweiser ShareLunker program.
March 6. Roger Frazier Jr., of The Colony was fishing Ray Roberts Lake when he caught a 13.9-pound fish measuring 25.5 inches long and 20.75 inches around.
Frazier's fish hit a fluke in 2 feet of water in the north end of Ray Roberts. The fish was the first ShareLunker taken from Ray Roberts since 2000 and only the fourth in that lake's history.
March 10. Mike Modisett of Lubbock caught ShareLunker No. 13 from Lake Alan Henry on March 10. The 13.82-pound fish bit a bass minnow in 15 feet of water under a crappie house. It measured 25.75 inches long and 20 inches in girth.
The fish was the tenth to be entered in the Budweiser ShareLunker program from Lake Alan Henry and the fifth to be caught from the lake this season.
March 11. Lake Fork contributed its fifth fish of the season when Art Price of Crowley hooked a 13.25-pounder while fishing a black and blue jig with Zoom trailer in 9 feet of water on the side of a point. The fish was 26 inches long and 21.5 inches in girth.
March 12. Far to the south of those lakes, Dwayne Kinley of Austin pulled a 13.07-pound largemouth from 4 feet of water in Lake Austin. Kinley was fishing a secondary point using a Brush Hog. The fish was 26.25 inches long and 20 inches around.
Kinley's fish was the sixth to be entered into the program from Lake Austin.
March 12. At about the same time Kinley caught his fish, George Shaw of San Antonio was battling a 13.26-pounder on Choke Canyon Reservoir. Shaw was fishing in 8 to 9 feet of water when the big bass bit a watermelon red Brush Hog. The fish was 24.75 inches long and 20.25 inches in girth. Shaw's fish is only the fourth to be entered into the Budweiser ShareLunker program from Choke Canyon.
March 20. Douglas Garland of College Station landed the second-largest fish of the 2004-2005 season, a 14.12-pound largemouth, from a private lake in Wood County. The big bass was 26.5 inches long and 21.75 inches around.
Garland was using a Stanley spinner bait in 5 to 6 feet of water.
March 20. Gary Boyles of Lubbock caught the sixth Budweiser ShareLunker of the year from Lake Alan Henry on March 20. The 13.61-pound bass was 25.25 inches long and 21 inches in girth.
Boyles was fishing in 12 feet of water in Grape Creek with a Berkley Power Worm.
March 28. Guide David Strahan of Alba put Lake Fork into a tie with Lake Alan Henry when he brought in Lake Fork's sixth Budweiser ShareLunker of the season, a13.05-pound fish that was 24.75 inches long and 21.25 inches around.
Strahan caught the fish in 5 feet of open water using a white lizard on a beautiful sunshine-drenched morning.
March 30. Mark Gibertini of Albuquerque, New Mexico, caught the season's seventh ShareLunker from Lake Alan Henry, a 13.68-pound largemouth that stretched 26.25 inches long and 20.75 inches around.
Gibertini was fishing in 4 feet of water in the Big Grape area when the fish bit a waterdog.
March 31. Lake Fork pulled back into a tie with Lake Alan Henry for most fish entered into the Budweiser ShareLunker program during the current season.
David Meeks of Texarkana pulled a 13.03-pound bass from 2 feet of water in Wright Creek. The fish bit on a watermelon Senko. The big bass was 24.25 inches long and 21.75 inches around.
April 14. Lakes Alan Henry and Fork continued their see-saw battle to produce the most ShareLunkers during the current season. Jimmy McMahon of Big Spring entered the eighth Budweiser ShareLunker of the season from Lake Alan Henry.
McMahon was fishing in 3 feet of water using a Mad Man White Craw when he hooked the 13.03-pound fish. It measured 26 inches long and 20.5 inches in girth.
April 15. Lake Alan Henry tightened its grip on first place in the race to produce the most ShareLunkers this year.
Matthew Kent Jolly of Lubbock caught the ninth ShareLunker of the year from the lake, a 13-pound fish boated about 2:30 p.m. from 6 feet of water on the south side of Gobbler Creek. Matthew's father hooked the fish first, but she tangled the line in a tree and got off. Matthew hooked and landed the 25-inch-long, 20-inch-girth fish a few minutes later.
April 20. Nick Brinlee of Longview caught the final Budweiser ShareLunker of the 2004-2005 season from Sam Rayburn Reservoir on April 20.
Brinlee was fishing a grass bed in 8 feet of water when the 13.36-pound largemouth took a pumpkinseed worm on a Carolina rig. The fish was 26.5 inches long and 21 inches around.
A total of 391 fish have been entered into the program since its inception in the fall of 1986. Of those, 376 * were caught from 52 bodies of public water. The remaining 15 ** were caught from private lakes.
This season marked the first time in the 19-year history of the Budweiser ShareLunker program that Lake Fork did not produce as many or more lunkers than any other lake in Texas. Sam Rayburn Reservoir and Lake Fork each produced six ShareLunkers in 1998.
* Correction, May 10, 2005: The original version of this news release incorrectly showed 375 fish caught from public waters. (Return to corrected item.)
** Correction, May 10, 2005: The original version of this news release incorrectly showed 16 fish caught from private lakes. (Return to corrected item.)
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[ Note: This item is more than eight years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: Kristen Everett, 512-389-8046, tpwd.news@tpwd.texas.gov ] [KE]
May 9, 2005
Man Pleads Guilty in Deer-Trapping Case
AUSTIN, Texas -- A six-month long investigation conducted by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's Special Operations Wildlife Crimes Unit came to a close during the last few days with Larry Grimland of the Dallas area being charged with 20 counts of illegally trapping wild whitetail deer from his Bosque County ranch.
Grimland was apprehended by TPWD Investigators Sgts. Adam Chrane and Brad Chappell for illegally delivering and selling three whitetail deer in Bosque County. The next morning a search warrant was executed on Grimland's ranch where records were seized indicating Grimland had sold numerous wild whitetail deer for the last several years, netting thousands of dollars.
In a plea agreement reached, Grimland has agreed to cooperate with investigators, pay $40,000 in fines and make a $40,000 contribution to the Operation Game Thief fund. An additional 45 charges have been filed against 10 individuals that purchased illegal deer from Grimland.
In a spinoff investigation, Bosque County resident David Deeley agreed to pay $10,000 in fines and make a $6,000 contribution to Operation Game Thief fund. Deeley was charged with five counts of illegally trapping wild whitetail deer. Bryan Hanus, a Bosque County deer hauler, was arrested on felony arrest warrants for "felon in possession of a firearm, and tampering with physical evidence," both 3rd degree felonies. Hanus was placed in the Bosque County jail with bonds set at $10,000 per charge.
The scope of this investigation revealed illegal whitetail deer commerce over a significant portion of Texas and demonstrated the importance of having a centralized investigative group such as TPWD's Special Operations Unit. The unit received invaluable assistance from game wardens throughout the state in conducting interviews and taking statements.
Bosque County Attorney David Christian prosecuted the cases and Game Wardens Preston Spiller and Mike Sibila provided the initial lead.
Col. Pete Flores said, "This investigation serves as a deterrent to those who engage in the illegal commerce of Texas' wildlife resources. This case also safeguards the legitimate interests of deer managers and conservation in Texas."
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[ Note: This item is more than eight years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: Tom Harvey, 512-389-4453, tom.harvey@tpwd.texas.gov ] [KE]
May 9, 2005
Gulf Shrimp Season To Close May 15
AUSTIN, Texas -- The Gulf of Mexico commercial shrimp season for both state and federal waters will close 30 minutes after sunset on Sunday, May 15 until an unspecified time in July.
The closing date is based on samples collected by the Coastal Fisheries Division of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department using trawl, bag seine and other information gathered from the shrimping industry. Data regarding TPWD brown shrimp bag seine catch rates, mean lengths of shrimp in April 2005, percent of samples containing shrimp, and periods of maximum nocturnal ebb tidal flow indicate a May 15 closing date is appropriate. Typically, once the shrimp reach about 3 1/2 inches long, they begin their migration back to the Gulf of Mexico.
"The closure is designed to allow these small shrimp to grow to a larger, more valuable size before they are vulnerable to harvest," said Larry McKinney, Ph.D., and TPWD coastal fisheries division director. "The goal is to achieve optimum benefits for the shrimping industry while providing proper management to protect the shrimp."
The Texas closure applies to Gulf waters from the coast out to nine nautical miles. The National Marine Fisheries Service has announced federal waters out to 200 nautical miles also will be closed to conform to the Texas closure.
While the statutory opening date for the Gulf season is July 15, the Coastal Fisheries Division will be sampling shrimp populations to determine the optimum opening date for both the shrimp and the shrimpers. No announcement will be made concerning the re-opening until June data are collected.
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[ Note: This item is more than eight years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ General Media Contact: Business Hours, 512-389-4406 ]
May 9, 2005
TPWD Calendar
The following meetings may be of interest to the public. Check the master calendar for all TPWD events.
--Private Lands Advisory Board, May 25, 1-3 p.m., room A-200,TPWD Headquarters, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin.
--The Bighorn Sheep Advisory Committee, May 6, 1 p.m., large conference room of the newly remodeled Range Animal Science (RAS) Building at Sul Ross State University in Alpine. The RAS is located on US Highway 90/67 on the east side of Alpine, just south of the highway.
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[ Note: This item is more than eight years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ General Media Contact: Business Hours, 512-389-4406 ] [KE]
May 9, 2005
Stay Tuned
Information from Texas Parks and Wildlife is available on radio and television, as well as the newsstand.
Radio
Passport to Texas, TPWD's radio series of weekday, 90-second stories, is broadcast on more than 100 Texas stations. Airing May 9-13, we'll head down on the farm, with presidential roots. Plus we'll tell how birds give new meaning to the word "recycling." And we'll tell you all about a camp that gives disadvantaged children the opportunity to enjoy the excitement and the thrills of hunting.
For more information, visit the Web.
Video News
TPWD provides video news reports that run in newscasts on numerous Texas stations, as well as on cable and satellite outlets around the nation.
For more information, go to the Web.
Television
"Texas Parks & Wildlife" is a weekly half-hour television series seen on PBS affiliates around the state. Airing May 8-15: The comeback of the American Alligator is a success story, especially in southwest Texas. With more gators comes the need for more information on their biology and habitat. A team of biologists led by Amos Cooper of Port Arthur has been spending a lot of time in the swamps studying these interesting creatures. Join researchers Marc Early, David Lobpries and David Heinicke as they look into some Texas gators; parks interpreter Lupita Barrera explores the history and culture of Mission Espiritu State Historic Site and Goliad State Park; flashlight technology has changed over the years. Get some help in finding a useful flashlight; learn how millions of years of geologic changes have shaped the landscape of Big Bend Ranch State Park; and finally bikes and birds go together at San Angelo State Park.
For more information about this week's programs and where they can be viewed, visit the Web.
Magazine
Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine is always available on newsstands throughout the state and by subscription for $19.95 a year. To subscribe, call (800) 937-9393 or order online.
---
On the Net:
Passport to Texas: http://www.passporttotexas.org/
TPWD Video News: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/news/tv/vnr/thismonth/
TPWD on PBS: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/tv
TPW Magazine: http://www.tpwmagazine.com/
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