|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2006-02-06                                    |
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[ Note: This item is more than 11 years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ] [LH]
[ Additional Contacts: Barry St. Clair, (903) 670-2222, barry.stclair@tpwd.texas.gov ]
Feb. 6, 2006
Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center To Host Fly Fish Texas March 4
ATHENS, Texas -- Flies will be buzzing around the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center March 4, but no one will be swatting them.
Instead, visitors will be learning about flies, fishing with flies and even collecting bugs to use as models when tying flies. And they will be doing it all under the supervision of expert fly fishers from Texas and beyond.
Fly fishers will converge on Athens for the seventh annual Fly Fish Texas event to share tips and techniques during seminars and hands-on demonstrations. Participants can tie flies, practice casting and fish for bass, sunfish and rainbow trout in TFFC's ponds and streams.
Seminars will cover fly fishing for redfish, trout, bass and carp; kayak fishing; urban fly fishing and fishing small streams in Texas and Colorado. Demonstrations and classes will teach everything from tying knots to casting using long rods.
Speakers scheduled to appear include Chuck Scates of Rockport, a pioneer in fly fishing the Texas coast; Billy Trimble, a saltwater fly fishing guide from Aransas Pass; Mark Marmon, a member of Texas Fly Fishers in Houston and urban fly fishing guide; Jim Partin, a fly fishing guide in Arkansas and Colorado; Ronnie Ray, founder of Tejas Outfitters, a fly fishing and outdoor adventure service based in Austin; Steve Watson and Jared Satterwhite, members of Pineywoods Fly Fishers in Lufkin and kayaking addicts; Allen Crise, owner of Hawk Ridge Tackle and Flycasting School in Glen Rose; and Steve Hollensed, past president of the Red River Fly Fishers in the Sherman/Denison area.
No prior experience in fly fishing is needed. Beginning and intermediate fly fishing classes will be offered. Students of all ages will learn what makes good fish habitat and collect and identify bugs from TFFC streams and ponds. Then they will learn how to tie flies that mimic those bugs and use them to catch fish using fly fishing gear provided on-site.
Vendors will display and sell the latest fly fishing gear.
Admission to the day-long event is included with regular admission to TFFC: $5.50 for adults, $4.50 for seniors and $3.50 for children ages 4-12. TFFC is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is located at 5550 F.M. 2495, three miles east of Athens. Athens is 75 miles southeast of Dallas.
Sponsors and vendors for the event include the Sabine River Authority; Orvis; Dwight Cooley Foods; Post Oak Master Naturalists; Boy Scout Troop 1299; Temple Fork Outfitters; Deborah Wade, Dame Julia Fly Tying; Chris Dukeminier, Mariner Sails; Jim Partin, ArkAnglers; Dave Speer, Trash on the Fly; Banning Collins, Class V Watercraft; and Derrick Stratton, American Fish and Game Club.
For more information and a schedule of events and seminars, visit the Web*
or call (903) 670-2222 or (903) 676-2277.
* Correction, Feb. 7, 2006: The original version of this news release included an out-of-date Web address. The correct address is linked below. (Return to corrected item.)
On the Net:

[ Note: This item is more than 11 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. 6, 2006
Spanish Artifacts Unearthed at Mission Tejas State Park
WECHES, Texas -- A decision by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department in 2003 to purchase 291 additional acres of East Texas hardwood bottomlands and pine forest to add to 368-acre Mission Tejas State Park about 20 miles east of Crockett has begun paying dividends.
Spanish artifacts dating to the late 17th century, including musket balls, trade beads and part of a spur, were excavated recently by an Austin archeological firm at three different sites in the new park section. TPWD archeologist Todd McMakin reported those findings to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission at its January meeting.
The artifacts, McMakin says, represent tangible evidence of a Spanish presence in connection with a Nabedache Caddo village mentioned in the historical accounts of early Spanish explorers visiting the province of Texas. Historical accounts of Spanish missionaries and soldiers who visited east Texas at the turn of the 17th century mentioned the existence of a large Indian village on San Pedro Creek just upstream from its confluence with the Neches River.
"It's always been thought that a Spanish mission might have been located in or near the state park property, but we haven't talked much about the Europeans' association with the Caddos other than to tell how the Spanish were driven out by the Indians," McMakin says. "Now, the new discoveries give us this tie between nearby Caddoan Mounds, where the early Caddos lived, and the later Caddos, who lived in this large Nabedache village."
McMakin, who coordinates TPWD's East Texas Cultural Resources Program, explains that Caddo ceramics found in 1994 during excavations conducted by Stephen F. Austin University in the older portion of Mission Tejas State Park provided evidence that the Nabedache Village may have been partially located within the park. That discovery piqued the interest of the TPW Commssion several years ago, especially Commissioner Philip Montgomery, who championed the purchase of the additional acreage.
"The interpretation that's currently at the park will remain," McMakin says, "but we hope to add more interpretive signage when funds become available. We may place signs along the trail overlooking the flood plain describing the large Caddo village and enhance interpretation, adding the tie-in to Caddoan Mounds and use a timeline mentioning the earlier Caddos, the Spanish who came to the area and what occurred after their arrival."
TPWD operates Caddoan Mounds State Historic Site, just up State Highway 21 from Mission Tejas. The site was home to the Early Caddos, who built the temple mounds between A.D. 700 and A.D. 1300. The extensive ceremonial center marks the southwestern-most outpost of the sophisticated Great Mound Builder culture that covered North America's eastern woodlands for 2,500 years.
In 1934, the federal Civilian Conservation Corps constructed a commemorative log structure replicating the first Spanish mission in Texas -- San Francisco de los Tejas -- established in 1690 by Spanish soldiers and missionaries sent to convert the local Native Americans to Christianity. Over the next few ill-fated years, a succession of epidemics, droughts, floods and increasing Indian hostilities led to the Spanish abandonment of Mission Tejas.
The original park site was operated by the Texas Forest Service which deeded the property to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department in 1957. Mission Tejas State Park fronts State Highway 21, which roughly parallels the route of historic El Camino Real. A small portion of the Old San Antonio Road also exists within park boundaries. The old roads served as a major artery during Spanish colonial times for travel into Texas from Mexico and Louisiana.
Mission Tejas State Park ( 936-687-2394) is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday through Monday. Caddoan Mounds State Historic Site (936-858-3218) is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday through Sunday.

[ Note: This item is more than 11 years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ]
[ Additional Contacts: Sam Mason, (956) 381-1264, Icfprotour@aol.com ]
Feb. 6, 2006
Nature Photography Symposium, Launch Party March 18
The Images for Conservation Fund (ICF) is partnering with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to hold a nature photography symposium for landowners and photographers, as well as the launch party for the inaugural Images for Conservation Pro-Tour of Nature Photography coming up in April.
The daytime symposium and evening launch party will be held March 18 in northwest San Antonio.
The Images for Conservation Fund is a Texas-based, non-profit organization dedicated to the creation of a sustainable, self-funded wildlife conservation industry based upon nature photography tourism.
ICF hopes to establish exciting nature photography leasing destinations while simultaneously generating significant income for the private landowners who lease them. To raise public awareness of these opportunities for both landowners and photographers, ICF has created the Pro-Tour of Nature Photography and a number of supporting events.
The symposium will feature two programs open to the public. One is for photographers wishing to learn about wildlife photography techniques and the existing opportunity to photograph wildlife on premier private ranches in the Texas Hill Country, according to Bob Petersen, chairman of the Images for Conservation Advisory Committee.
"The other program is for landowners who are interested in learning about the income potential that nature photo tourism offers for their ranching operations," Petersen said. "The classes will be taught by some of the world's best professional wildlife photographers, plus private landowners and tourism experts."
The symposium will be held at TMI, the Episcopal School of Texas, in northwest San Antonio from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $75 and includes lunch.
The Pro-Tour launch party is also an organizational event leading up to the inaugural Pro-Tour of Nature Photography. At the launch party, professional photographers and Hill Country landowners will be paired into teams for the month-long tournament-style event April 1-30.
The Pro-Tour is the world's first all-professional nature photo competition, and the 20 teams will compete for a share of up to $200,000 in prize money. The launch party will be held at the historic Gallagher Headquarters, located 23 miles northwest of San Antonio. Admission is $50 and includes a light supper.
Petersen noted the symposium and launch party mark the first public events associated with the inaugural Pro-Tour of Nature Photography.
In January, representatives from the 20 Pro-Tour ranches heard suggestions from professional wildlife photographer Larry Ditto on working with their photographer teammates.
For more information, visit the ICF Web site or call Sam Mason or John Martin at (956) 381-1264.
(EDITORS NOTE: The ICF website includes: maps to the symposium and launch party, list of participating Pro-Tour landowners for the inaugural event, background information about the tournament and PHOTOS by Pro-Tour photographers available for news media use.)
On the Net:

[ Note: This item is more than 11 years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ] [AR]
Feb. 6, 2006
TPWD Game Warden Field Notes
The following are excerpts from recent Texas Parks and Wildlife Department law enforcement reports.
It was a net loss -- On Jan. 26, game wardens from Starr County and McMullen County stopped a Mexican commercial fishing vessel on Falcon Lake. Two subjects were apprehended and approximately 2,000 feet of gill net were seized. A 17-foot boat and motor were also seized. The same day, game wardens from Zapata County and Jim Hogg County apprehended a Mexican commercial fishing vessel on the same lake. Two subjects were arrested and approximately 2,000 feet of gill net were seized. An 18-foot boat and motor also were seized.
Easier than fishing -- On Jan. 24, the Midland office received several calls complaining about a woman with a dip net at Beal Park taking trout. A Midland County game warden headed to the community lake but did not locate the woman. Several witnesses who had seen the woman wrote down the plate number to the vehicle she was driving, and the game warden located the woman at her house where he observed her beheading and gutting fish. The woman had 14 fish in her possession, had no fishing license and used the dip net to capture the fish. She claimed that she did not know it was against the law to use a net, even though several witnesses said they told her it was illegal. She received a citation for taking fish with illegal methods.
Oh, y'all have game laws here? -- On Jan. 22, Tarrant and Wise County game wardens teamed-up to patrol southern Wise County for waterfowl hunters. After hearing numerous shotgun blasts coming from a sandpit located about a half-mile from a county road, the wardens entered the property on foot, initiating contact with the hunters. Upon completion of the contact, the wardens found numerous violations including possession of lead shot, exceeding the daily bag limit of redhead duck, and exceeding the daily bag limit of duck. The hunters were found with a total of 17 ducks, five of which were redheads. Appropriate citations and restitution are pending.
And they apply to out-of-state hunters, too? -- On Jan. 20, a Calhoun County game warden teamed-up with a United States Fish and Wildlife Service special agent and arrested six Delaware hunters involved in multiple waterfowl hunting violations near the Guadalupe Delta. The arrest resulted in 32 citations for taking geese in closed season, over the limit in ducks, possession of toxic shot shells, and no non-resident hunting licenses or waterfowl stamps. Criminal cases will be filed in the federal court. Restitution will be filed with the State Attorney General's Office for the birds.
Honestly, we're just bad shots -- On Jan. 21, a Montgomery County game warden was working an area where he believed some hunters had been hunting roosting wood ducks. Sure enough, right at dusk the shots started. Dean apprehended two men for hunting after hours. The two men had two ducks. They said it was because they were not good shots, and they had probably killed most of the birds in the area on previous hunts. Cases are pending.
Just say "no parking" -- A Lampasas County game warden located a vehicle parked alongside the roadway near the Lampasas River. Unable to locate the driver in the riverbed, the warden requested a deputy to stand-by while he attempted to find the driver, suspected of trespassing. The deputy happened to be a K9 officer and after the officers discussed the truck and location, both decided that the dog should make a trip around the vehicle. The K9 alerted on the vehicle, and Hill was able to locate the female driver trespassing on the adjacent property. After a search, 10 grams of methamphetamines, less than 2 ounces of marijuana, pipes, syringes, razor knives and other drug paraphernalia were found in the truck. The suspect was transported to Lampasas County Jail and second-degree felony charges are pending along with existing pending drug charges from Travis, Bell, and Bastrop counties.
Busy New Year's -- On Jan. 1, at approximately 2:00 p.m., game wardens from Clay, Montague and Wise counties were requested to assist the Montague County Sheriff and area fire departments in an attempt to evacuate the public from area residences that were potentially in the path of a large prairie fire. With wind gusts up to 50 mph, the fire quickly spread from Clay County into western Montague County. By the next day, the fire had destroyed approximately 51 homes, and numerous barns, livestock, game animals and birds. Approximately 65,000 acres were destroyed.
Wake-up call -- On Jan. 1, an Angelina County game warden filed charges on two local men for Class A hunting without landowner consent. The first suspect was found passed out in the road ditch on a farm road with his girlfriend. When the first suspect was awakened, he advised that his buddy and the buddy's girlfriend were stuck on a logging road. The buddy and his girlfriend were located, and they had two loaded shotguns with buckshot and a "plugged-in" spotlight.
That's a mighty big varmint -- An Ellis County game warden was ending an investigation in Jan. that included hunting without consent when three pregnant cows were found dead on the landowner's property. Multiple interviews showed two subjects at the location the night the cows were found. The game warden interviewed both; they denied being on the property that night or killing the cows. The subjects did confess to hunting hog and varmints there the day after without permission. The game warden received warrants for both subjects; they were arrested and interviewed by sheriff's office investigators about the cows. The subjects denied killing the cows until they were told a vet had removed the heads of the cows with the bullets in them to match the gun the warden had recovered for evidence. Both suspects confessed and wrote statements that they were varmint hunting when they saw eyes shine in their spotlights and realized too late that what they had shot were not varmints. Both subjects paid restitution over $2,000 to the landowner, and misdemeanor criminal mischief charges and hunt without landowners consent charges were filed.
Owl catches woman -- On Dec. 13, an Irion County game warden received an urgent call from the sheriff's office stating that they had received a 911 call from a woman requesting a game warden. The caller reported that she had stopped on the roadside to assist an injured owl, and the owl had attacked her and now had its talons impaled in her leg and would not turn loose. The game warden called the woman and instructed her to place a towel or cloth over the owl's head, try to remain calm and quiet and maybe the owl would release its hold. When the game warden arrived, he found the woman and her five children in the vehicle, but the owl had left the area. The grateful woman stated that she had done as instructed, the owl released its hold, and she kicked it into the ditch. The warden then advised her to get prompt medical attention for her wounds. The woman stated she would and that she would never touch another wild animal.
Freezer burn -- On Dec. 17, a Bowie County game warden received a call from the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission that they had information on an illegal deer from their state that had been brought to Texas. The warden and an Arkansas warden located the residence and made contact with the owner. The owner stated his son had killed deer in Texas but not Arkansas. The father showed the officers two bucks in the freezer. They were whole, un-skinned and frozen solid since Thanksgiving. The father stated his son had killed one and his 5-year-old granddaughter killed the other around 8 a.m. on Nov. 24. The Texas warden checked for a hunting license through Houston communications, and it showed the son had bought a license Nov. 24 at 10:17 a.m. The Texas warden had the man contact his son. The son arrived and admitted to killing both deer and not tagging them. The son also stated that he had bought the license after the deer were killed. Citations were issued. The wardens had a hard time getting the deer out of the freezer because they were frozen together and to the freezer itself. After an hour of pouring hot water and also trying a water hose running on the deer, they still would not move. The son tied a chain around the deer being seized and tried pulling them out of the freezer with his vehicle, but no luck. That's when the homeowner got on his tractor, and with the use of the front-end loader, chain, both officers, and his son lifted the frozen deer out and into the bed of warden's patrol vehicle.
Tip: don't poach in front of the warden's house -- On Dec. 11, a Shelby County game warden met a small pickup on a state highway just south of the warden's residence. There was nothing odd about the vehicle, but the warden continued to watch it in his rearview mirror. Shortly after it passed, the warden noticed the driver-side mirror appear to "light up." The warden quickly turned around and caught up to the vehicle, which now had a light out each window, one of which was shining into the warden's father-in-law's pasture. A .30-06 rifle, a 12-gauge shotgun and three lights were found in the vehicle. The suspect quickly admitted that he had been traveling the highway to get to work in the early morning hours and had repeatedly seen deer there and wanted to shoot one. Case pending.
What caliber arrow was that? -- On Dec. 8, a call was received from a deer processor stating that a deer that had been taken the previous night needed to be inspected. The processor stated that he thought that the deer could have been taken illegally. Grayson County game wardens inspected the deer. A large hole in the back of the deer's head was observed. The wardens put a hold on the carcass and took the head to a local taxidermy shop where an autopsy was performed by an experienced wildlife surgeon. After several attempts, a large slug was removed from the deer's head. Grayson County is an archery-only county, making this an illegal kill. Upon interviewing the suspect, he admitted to killing the deer with a 12-gauge slug. The deer scored 161 5/8 Boone & Crockett. Case pending.
Wardens to the rescue -- On Nov. 24, a Delta County game warden and a Hopkins County game warden rescued three duck hunters on Cooper Lake when their boat capsized. One of the hunters was disabled and was being held with only his head out of the water by the other two hunters. All hunters were rescued, along with the hunter's wheelchair. It was a day of Thanksgiving for all.