|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2004-02-23                                    |
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[ Note: This item is more than 13 years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ] [RM]
Feb. 23, 2004
Kids Fishing Clinics, Contests on Tap at Texas State Parks This Spring
AUSTIN, Texas -- Texas State Parks' yearlong Family Fishing Celebration shifts into high gear this spring and summer with how-to clinics, contests and events at a number of state parks designed to help families get outdoors and enjoy one of America's favorite pastimes.
The Family Fishing Celebration, which kicked off last Labor Day weekend and runs through Aug. 31, waives the need for a fishing license for Texans and out-of-state visitors fishing within the boundaries of more than 70 Texas State Parks.
Inks Lake State Park near Burnet is hosting how-to fishing clinics for youngsters on multiple dates this spring. Inks Lake's "Go Fishing with a Ranger" events, which start April 3 and last through June, provide children with basic fishing skills instruction from park rangers and camp hosts every Saturday evening, except May 15. Clinic participants will meet at 6 p.m. at the Inks Lake park store. Space is limited. For additional information, call (512) 793-2223.
On June 5, Inks Lake will join with Cedar Hill, Lake Arrowhead, Lake Livingston, Martin Dies Jr. and McKinney Falls state parks to host various children's fishing events, including contests offering prizes to top kid anglers. Parents are encouraged to bring their own fishing tackle, since most parks have a limited amount of fishing equipment on hand.
Parents can introduce their children to Texas history, as well as fishing, on July 17 at Landmark Inn State Historic Site in Castroville. The 2nd annual Catfish Kid Fish event offers children ages 4-16 the chance to try their luck reeling in a "cat" from the Medina River using tackle provided by the park.
Galveston Island State Park Manager Angela Deaton reports that the word about the Family Fishing Celebration is really starting to spread.
"One of the first things Winter Texans ask when they show up at headquarters is whether they can fish for free at the park," Deaton said. "They're delighted they don't have to have a Texas fishing license."
To help inform out-of-state travelers and Texan motorists as well about the yearlong fishing event, 100,000 Family Fishing Celebration brochures are being distributed through the state's Travel Information Centers and more than 70 participating Texas State Parks. In addition, participating parks will be distributing "Water Works Wonders" coupon books offering manufacturers' discounts and other special fishing and boating related promotions, while supplies last.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department launched the Family Fishing Celebration to make it easier for parents to fish with their kids. Not requiring adults 17 and older to have a license to fish in a state park also encourages families to share quality time outdoors with their children and gives them an additional reason to visit Texas state parks to experience the joys of fishing.
The fishing license exemption saves Texas residents fishing in state parks the $23 cost of a fishing license and non-residents $50. Park admission fees, as well as fish catch and size limits, will still apply during fishing events. Any fish requiring a tag, such as oversize red drum and tarpon, must still be tagged.
Through Aug. 31, license-free angling will be restricted to bank and pier fishing, and to fishing in bodies of water totally contained within the boundaries of a state park, such as Lake Raven in Huntsville, according to Kevin Good, project coordinator for Texas State Parks. If anglers launch boats from state park property to access an adjacent lake or other water body, he said, they will still need a fishing license because the waiver will not apply outside state park boundaries.
Good said that the yearlong no-license policy applies to piers operated by the state, such as Copano Bay Fishing Pier, and to wade fishing where applicable within the boundaries of a state park. The license waiver does not apply to the state's 50 Wildlife Management Areas.
To facilitate the fishing experience, many state parks have lighted piers, fish-cleaning stations, boat ramps, lakeside campsites and other facilities. If you don't have a boat, some parks will rent you watercrafts, such as kayaks and canoes. Numerous water bodies in and adjoining state parks are regularly stocked by TPWD.
Park visitors may also want to take advantage of the new Texas State Parks Pass, which provides free entry to all 120 state parks and historic sites for members and their guests, camping discounts and other benefits for a year. Similar in appearance to a credit card, the new annual pass retails for $60 for one wallet-sized pass card. Families who often visit state parks and arrive at different times or in more than one vehicle may opt to make a same-day purchase of a two-card pass package for $75. For more information about this pass, please visit (http://tpwd.texas.gov/parkpass/).
A complete list of state parks offering fishing opportunities and dates of upcoming Family Fishing Celebration events and seminars can be found on the TPWD Web site (http://tpwd.texas.gov/familyfish/), or by calling (800) 792-1112.

[ Note: This item is more than 13 years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ] [RM]
Feb. 23, 2004
Digital Photo Workshop Scheduled at Big Bend Ranch State Park
PRESIDIO, Texas -- Big Bend Ranch State Park has scheduled a May workshop to demonstrate how a newfangled technology -- digital photography -- has a home on the range.
Veteran Houston photographer Jim Carr will conduct the three-day workshop, May 7-9, that will include hands-on instruction about how to capture the park's spring wildflowers and wildlife with a digital camera and how to correct the images using the latest photo editing software.
Carr has been conducting trail rides and photo workshops at the scenic 300,000-acre West Texas park and working ranch for 10 years. He says the timing of the workshop coincides with the blooming of a variety of the Big Bend's cacti and other flora, making for some exceptional nature photography opportunities.
The cost of the workshop is $300, which includes meals, lodging, all park fees and transportation in connection with the on-site workshop. Workshop participants will meet on Friday, May 7 at Fort Leaton State Historic Site in Presidio and be transported to the state park.
Photographers will shoot photos Friday afternoon, eat dinner and receive instruction about correcting digital images using one the latest photo editing software. Participants will take photographs of the park's natural history the next day and receive further hands-on photo editing instruction Saturday evening. There will be another opportunity to take photos Sunday morning and question-and-answer session following lunch. The workshop concludes at about 2 p.m.
To register for the workshop, call Big Bend Ranch State Park at (432) 229-3416 or (432) 358-4444. For more information about the workshop, call (281) 486-8070 or e-mail (jcpic@aol.com).

[ Note: This item is more than 13 years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ]
Feb. 23, 2004
TPWD Game Warden Field Notes
The following are excerpts from recent Texas Parks and Wildlife Department law enforcement reports.
Jackpot of Violations -- Recently, a Travis County Game Warden was patrolling the edge of Lake Travis checking for fishing violations. He observed a vehicle pull up next to him in the parking lot and saw feathers hanging from the rearview mirror. He exited his truck, and after identifying himself, asked the suspects what kind of feathers they were. The man and woman responded that they did not know. The warden shined his flashlight on the feathers and saw a marijuana roach clip attached to the feathers. As the warden got the suspects out of the vehicle, he saw there was a syringe cap in the woman's seat. After a search of their persons and finding more drug paraphernalia, some marijuana and an illegal weapon, the warden did a search of the vehicle assisted by the Lago Vista Police, and more drugs were found. The back seat of the vehicle was full of stolen merchandise from a burglary the night before. In addition, the woman was in possession of stolen credit cards. The woman gave false identification, and it was later discovered she was wanted out of state for robbery, theft and assault.
Illegal Dog-and-Hog Hunting -- A Camp County Game Warden caught four men hunting hogs during closed season with dogs on the White Oak Creek Wildlife Management Area. They entered the WMA on an All-Terrain Vehicle from private land by taking the management area fence down. Two hogs were caught. Cases are pending.
Cock Fights Equal Felony Charges -- Game Wardens in Zapata County arrested two local men on cruelty to animal charges. These individuals were running a "cock fight" when the wardens interrupted their party. The wardens escorted the two men to jail and felony charges are pending.

[ Note: This item is more than 13 years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ] [KE]
Feb. 23, 2004
Stay Tuned
Information from Texas Parks and Wildlife is available on radio and television, as well as the newsstand.
Passport to Texas, TPWD's radio series of weekday, 90-second stories is broadcast on about 100 Texas stations. Airing the week of Feb. 23-27, join us for a story about the state's most historic rest stops; we'll celebrate the 168th birthday of Texas by introducing you to one of the men responsible for it all; and one man's trip to Mexico helps to tell the full story of one state park.
For more information, visit the Web (http://www.passporttotexas.org/).
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. This month's stories include: the story of the Buffalo Soldiers, African Americans who helped open the west for settlement; state parks and historic site destinations for romantic getways; TPWD's game warden academy is seeking Spanish-speaking cadets; and this March 2, celebrate Texas Independence Day by taking a trip down the Texas Independence Trail.
"Texas Parks & Wildlife" is a weekly half-hour television series seen on PBS affiliates around the state. Stories airing the week of Feb. 22-29 are: managing the Trinity & Colorado Rivers; gators galore at Brazos Bend State Park; booming sounds of the prairie chicken; Black Bean mural; and a morning moonset.
For more information about this week's programs and where they can be viewed, visit the Web (http://tpwd.texas.gov/tv).
In the February issue of Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine, Lee Leschper takes readers spring turkey hunting in the Panhandle and John Jefferson recalls fishing the white bass run in East Texas, past and present. Also read about how landowners and researchers are working together to save the bobwhite quail, and how a prescribed burn restored habitat at Lake Tawakoni State Park.
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 at (http://www.tpwmagazine.com/).