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Powers Inducted Into Texas Fishing Hall of Fame
ATHENS, Texas — For his ongoing efforts as a spokesman, role model and mentor for physically challenged outdoorsmen, Michael "Shorty" Powers has become the newest member of the Texas Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame. Powers was recognized here at the recent Texas Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame and Budweiser ShareLunker Banquet.
For the last 35 years, Powers has built a reputation across the state for his "can do" spirit in promoting fishing and hunting participation among the physically challenged. An avid bass angler, Powers has organized numerous fishing derbies over the years, including his Caddo Lake National Bass Championship Tournament for the physically challenged and his annual Bachman Lake Extravaganza. His organization, Turning P.O.I.N.T. (Paraplegics on Independent Nature Trips), is celebrating its 25th anniversary.
Powers has served on several advisory committees, including the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s state parks and freshwater fisheries groups and the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation’s national advisory board.
In addition to Powers’ induction into the Hall of Fame, several others were recognized for their fishing achievements this past year as part of the Budweiser ShareLunker Awards program.
The Budweiser ShareLunker season ended April 30 with 15 largemouth bass weighing 13 pounds or more entered into the program. One fish was caught, marked and released, only to be caught and entered into the program for the second time. Another angler likely released his chance to become the first to "fourpeat" and submit four fish to the program in the same year.
This year’s overall Angler of the Year honors went to Jason Reyes of Humble for his 15.1-pound largemouth entry caught from a private lake north of Houston on Feb. 20.
Once again, Lake Fork led all water bodies for the most entries in the program with seven, bringing the total number of Budweiser ShareLunkers from this trophy bass factory to more than 220.
"We had a couple of high points this year," said ShareLunker Program Director David Campbell. "We had two water body records, including the 14.64 out of Casa Blanca; that lake surprised me the most. You don’t expect smaller lakes like that to contribute but it shows that they can produce. Rumor is there were several more caught on that lake, but the anglers didn’t know about the program."
Campbell said he continues to be impressed with the distribution of entries into the program, with quality bass being landed from a variety of different lakes throughout the state.
One unusual entry this year was actually a repeat ShareLunker. The fish was first caught on Lake Fork last year and the angler opted to have it released into his private lake. This year, the angler caught a big bass from his private lake, but didn’t think it was the same fish and entered it into the program. Identification pit tags implanted in the fish proved it to be the same one he caught the year before.
The Budweiser ShareLunker Program is headquartered at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center here. The visitor center is open to the public Tuesday through Sunday with daily tours of the hatchery. Additional information about the Budweiser ShareLunker Program, rules and regulations, and previous entries is available online (http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/fish/infish/hatchery/tffc/).
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