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|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2012-09-18                                    |
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[ Note: This item is more than a year old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ General Media Contact: Business Hours, 512-389-4406 ]
[ Additional Contacts: Larry Hodge, (903) 670-2255, larry.hodge@tpwd.texas.gov; Juan Martinez, (903) 670-2285, juan.martinez@tpwd.texas.gov ]
Sept. 18, 2012
Toyota ShareLunker Season 27 Just Around the Corner
Toyota renews sponsorship for another three years
ATHENS--The 27th season of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) Toyota ShareLunker program will begin October 1.
Title sponsor Toyota has agreed to fund the angler recognition program for another three years. 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. The person who catches the season's largest entry will be named Angler of the Year. If the Angler of the Year is a Texas resident, that person also receives a lifetime fishing license.
Prizes and funding for the banquet are provided by Toyota, which also provides a Tundra pickup truck for use in picking up and returning the majority of lunkers and their offspring.
Anglers calling in ShareLunker catches this season will be speaking to the new ShareLunker program manager, Juan Martinez. Martinez is a hatchery biologist based at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center (TFFC) in Athens, the home of the ShareLunker program. He has been in charge of caring for the big bass during their stay at TFFC for the past seven seasons.
The numbers to call to report a ShareLunker catch remain the same. The voice number, which is answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week during the season, is (903) 681-0550. If poor cell phone service prevents use of the voice number, anglers can leave a phone number (including area code) at (888) 784-0600. That number is also monitored 24/7 during the season.
Martinez outlined several changes to pickup procedures that will be instituted during the upcoming season.
"We have divided the state into regions based on the locations of our freshwater hatcheries," he said. "Fish will be picked up by personnel based at the hatchery located within that region. This will often reduce the amount of time it takes to retrieve a fish."
In another move designed to reduce stress on the fish, each crew picking up a fish will have a database of the passive integrated transponder (PIT) tag numbers that have been injected into ShareLunkers. Crews picking up a lunker will use an electronic scanner to determine if a fish has been tagged. If it has, the database will allow the crew to determine on the spot if the fish is a pure Florida or an intergrade. If the fish is an intergrade and therefore not eligible to be used in the selective breeding program, it will be returned to the lake immediately. The angler will still receive all the program prizes, but the fish will be spared the trip to Athens.
Fish that have not been tagged will continue to be picked up and will be held pending the results of DNA testing. Pure Floridas will be held for spawning, while intergrades will be returned to the lake as soon as possible.
A featured attraction of the upcoming Toyota ShareLunker season will be the ShareLunker Club Tournament on Lake Conroe, which offers a $100,000 prize to the participant catching the largest ShareLunker entry from the lake between October 1 and October 21. You must be registered in the tournament to win. Details are at www.toyotatexasbassclassic.com. The number to call in an entry into the ShareLunker Club Tournament is the ShareLunker number.
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. Fish will be picked up by TPWD personnel within 12 hours.
For complete information and rules of the ShareLunker program, tips on caring for big bass, a list of official Toyota ShareLunker weigh and holding stations 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 when available, is posted on www.facebook.com/sharelunkerprogram.
To receive text message notifications of ShareLunker catches as soon as they are confirmed by TPWD, text "follow ShareLunker" to 40404 from your mobile device. You do not need to have a Twitter account.
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.
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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On the Net:
How to handle and care for big fish: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/spdest/visitorcenters/tffc/sharelunker/handle/
List of official Toyota ShareLunker Weigh and Holding Stations: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/spdest/visitorcenters/tffc/sharelunker/holding/
Frequently asked questions about the ShareLunker program: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/spdest/visitorcenters/tffc/sharelunker/faq/
-30-

[ Note: This item is more than a year old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ General Media Contact: Business Hours, 512-389-4406 ]
[ Additional Contacts: Tom Harvey, Texas Parks and Wildlife Dept., (512) 389-4453, tom.harvey@tpwd.texas.gov; Kristy Ozmun for Central Market, (512) 474-1501, kristy@ozmun.com ]
Sept. 18, 2012
New video series shows how to cook wild fish and game
Project Links Chef Jesse Griffiths, Texas Parks & Wildlife and Central Market Cooking Classes
AUSTIN - A new series of Eat Local: Cooking Texas Style videos from Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) feature Chef Jesse Griffiths, who is also leading Central Market Cooking School classes this fall in Austin, Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio and Southlake. The classes will feature TPWD experts on hand to answer questions about hunting, fishing and the outdoors.
It's easy to see why TPWD chose culinary Renaissance man Griffiths as a first partner for its new cooking videos. For years the Austin hunter, butcher, chef and sustainable food advocate has been hosting supper club experiences where urban foodies rediscover the original local food movement: fishing, hunting and eating off the land.
Griffiths' new book, "AFIELD: A Chef's Guide to Preparing and Cooking Wild Game and Fish," is just out Sept. 18 through publisher Welcome Books. In it, he serves up vivid tales of hunting, fishing and cooking, with inviting images and savory recipes.
The new video series on the Texas Parks and Wildlife YouTube Channel debuts with four tasty episodes:
--Feral Hog Tacos
--Wild Duck Yakitori
--Grilled Venison
--Redfish Fried 3 Ways
In the information area below the YouTube video window, each of these titles link to online recipes from AFIELD posted on the TPWD website. Put together, these pair the written recipes with visual demonstrations showing how it's done. The videos will also be broadcast in the Texas Parks and Wildlife television series on all Texas PBS stations and dozens of cable outlets. For those inspired to try catching their own grub, TPWD offers basic information online about how to get started hunting.
Last December, Central Market and the TPWD joined forces for classes showcasing wild fish and game cooking. These help foodies explore the renewed interest in hunting or fishing for a meal and preparing their own bounty at home. AFIELD class participants will learn the basics of butchery and how to break down a duck, rabbit and quail while supping on wild boar carnitas, among other dishes. Class cost includes one copy of the AFIELD book.
This month's classes will run 6:30-9 p.m. in Houston on Tuesday, Sept. 25, San Antonio on Wednesday, Sept. 26; Dallas on Thursday, Sept. 27, Fort Worth on Friday, Sept. 28, and Southlake north of the Metroplex on Saturday, Sep. 29. An Austin class is also coming Nov. 18. Designed for ages 18 and up, the AFIELD classes cost $75 per person. Register on the Central Market Cooking Class website. For more information on any class, find store numbers online and phone the store hosting the class.
Jesse Griffiths was nominated as Food & Wine's The People's Best New Chef in 2011, and is the owner and chef of Dai Due supper clubs of Austin with his life/work partner, Tamara Mayfield. The couple received Austin's Edible Communities Local Hero award in 2010. Images for AFIELD were shot by Austin food and lifestyle photographer Jody Horton. AFIELD is available through Welcome Books.
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On the Net:
Eat Local: Cooking Texas Style videos: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLB4DA6A0F6DDB161B
Central Market Cooking School classes: http://www.centralmarket.com/Cooking-School.aspx
How to Get Started Hunting: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/state-parks/parks/things-to-do/hunting
Wild game cooking news photos: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/newsmedia/news_images/
-30-