|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2006-12-27                                    |
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[ Note: This item is more than 10 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]
Dec. 27, 2006
Golden Alga Back in Texas
AUSTIN, Texas -- Fish kills caused by naturally-occurring, toxic golden alga are occurring at several lakes and river systems in North and West Texas.
An active fish kill on E.V. Spence Reservoir north of San Angelo has affected largemouth bass, white bass, and other species; however, 99 percent of the estimated 316,500 fishes killed so far are 3-5-inch gizzard shad.
High golden alga concentrations are believed to result from a strong cold front that came down around the first of December allowing the golden alga to multiply rapidly while other algal species' growth slowed considerably.
E.V. Spence experienced a similar fish kill immediately following the first major cold front in December 2005 and stayed toxic through May 2006.
Another West Texas water body, Red Bluff Reservoir also has an active golden alga kill in progress in the upper section on the Texas/New Mexico border. No estimated losses are available from that reservoir at this time.
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Inland Fisheries biologists and outside partners are also monitoring several other water bodies, including Possum Kingdom reservoir, which showed low concentrations of golden alga last week.
The upstream end of Lake Whitney also shows elevated golden alga levels, although no dead or stressed fishes have been seen or reported from there yet.
Lake Granbury also is reporting increasingly yellow-colored water, and the potential for an alga bloom there appears to be high.
Information about golden alga and fish kills, including the current bloom status for various river systems and reservoirs, is kept updated on the department Web site.
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[ Note: This item is more than 10 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]
[ Additional Contacts: Mike Hill, (432) 426-3533, mike.hill2@tpwd.texas.gov ]
Dec. 27, 2006
Public Meetings Set for Big Bend Ranch State Park Use Plan
AUSTIN -- The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will hold two meetings in January to seek public comment about how Big Bend Ranch State Park should be accessed and used for recreational purposes in the future.
The first meeting on the proposed expansion of public use of Texas' largest state park will be held from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Wed., Jan. 10 at the Presidio County Courthouse in Marfa. A second public meeting will take place in Austin from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Jan. 24 at Recreational Equipment Inc.'s downtown classroom, 601 N. Lamar Blvd.
At roughly 300,000 acres, Big Bend Ranch State Park, located just outside Presidio, is by far the largest in the Texas state park system, stretching from the Rio Grande well into the Chihuahuan Desert's numerous mountain ranges and canyon lands.
Unlike Garner, Inks Lake and most state parks, Big Bend Ranch is minimally developed, offering visitors a rare opportunity to enjoy an uncrowded wilderness experience. Just how to expand park access without negatively impacting its fragile resources is what the public use plan will address, said Mike Hill, TPWD's West Texas regional state parks director.
"Big Bend Ranch is both ecologically sensitive, and archeologically and geologically significant, with 134 free-flowing, fresh water sources and riparian areas that are home to unique plants and animal species," Hill said. "Therefore, careful planning for the expansion of public use is essential and candid public input is imperative."
The public meetings are the continuation of a planning process TPWD began in 2004, but was put on hold by a variety of reasons, including a continuing budget squeeze that forced staffing cutbacks, Hill explained. The park's size is so huge, he said, that it has been divided into nine management zones for planning purposes, each of which is larger than almost any other state park.
A draft of the Public Use Plan calls for retaining five of the 12 existing campsites, 67 miles of trail, roads and river campgrounds, and access points. The initial phase of development would add 35 primitive campsites, 21 trailheads, 88 miles of trails and 40 miles of four-wheel drive roads that would make more of the park's interior accessible.
For more information, or to comment on the plan, visit the TPWD Web site public comment page, or call (512) 389-4661.
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