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|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2008-12-15                                    |
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[ Note: This item is more than five years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: Aaron Reed, 512-389-8046 ] [AR]
Dec. 15, 2008
Game Wardens Continue Search for Missing Boater on Richland Chambers Lake
Update: Follow-up news release issued Dec. 18, 2008.
CORSICANA, Texas -- Texas game wardens continue to search Richland Chambers Lake today for the victim of a boating accident that occurred early Sunday morning.
The boat was returning from a restaurant to a private residence on the lake when it struck a submerged object near the U.S. Highway 287 bridge and sank. Nine passengers made it safely to shore, but the individual said to be the boat operator did not.
Missing is Charles Andrew (Chase) Bergfeld, 23, of Conroe. Bergfeld is a student at Texas A&M University.
Game wardens have been joined in the search by members of the Corsicana Volunteer Fire Department, the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office Dive Team and, currently on-site, the Lewisville Fire Department Dive Team.
The search has been made more difficult due to adverse weather conditions, including strong wind, sleet and rain.
The American Red Cross is supporting recovery efforts from shore.
"We'll be here every day until we recover the victim," said Game Warden Capt. Gary Dugan.
Investigators say that alcohol may have been a factor in the accident, though it is too early to know to what extent.
As of Nov. 30, there had been 253 boating accidents in Texas for the year, resulting in 52 fatalities and 158 injuries. Alcohol is believed to have been a factor in 15 of the fatalities.
The investigation into the accident is ongoing. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will update news media as soon as the victim is recovered.
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[ Note: This item is more than five 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]
Dec. 15, 2008
Lake Conroe Produces Budweiser ShareLunker; New Junior State Record
ATHENS, Texas-Teenager Kyle Nitschke of Willis caught Budweiser ShareLunker No. 456 from Lake Conroe December 13.
The 13.07-pound largemouth bass should qualify as the new junior angler state record by 0.01 pound.
Ironically, Nitschke was fishing in the Ignition Bass Tournament with his friend Tyler Goetzman, who caught the former record from Lake Conroe on January 13, 2008.
"We had a limit by 8:40 and started culling," Nitschke said. "We caught 14 keepers. She [the ShareLunker] hit a crankbait in six feet of water about 12:30."
The fish was 21.5 inches in girth and 25 inches in length.
Nitschke and Goetzman won the tournament with a bag of 32.85 pounds of fish.
Lake Conroe has now produced 13 Budweiser ShareLunkers and ranks number four in the number produced, after Lakes Fork, Rayburn and Alan Henry.
For the past several years Lake Conroe has been the site of intensive management of invasive aquatic vegetation by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department using triploid grass carp and chemicals. Local anglers, homeowners and recreational users have cooperated in developing an action plan that is reestablishing native vegetation in the lake.
The Budweiser ShareLunker program is made possible through support from Anheuser-Busch, Inc. Since 1991, Anheuser-Busch, in partnership with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation, has contributed millions of dollars in funding to support conservation causes and fishing, hunting and outdoor recreation programs in Texas.
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