|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2007-02-12                                    |
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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]
Feb. 12, 2007
TPWD, CCA Texas Team up to Retire Record Number of Inshore Shrimping Licenses
AUSTIN, Texas -- The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and Coastal Conservation Association Texas teamed up to retire a record number of inshore shrimping licenses this year.
Using dedicated funding, TPWD was able to purchase 159 licenses. In addition to that funding, CCA contributed $200,000, which allowed for the purchase of an additional 40 licenses. This brought the total number of licenses offered for this fiscal year to199, representing the largest number ever accepted to purchase in any one round of the license buy-back program.
A total of 226 license bid applications were received from Texas shrimpers to sell their licenses back to the state in the nineteenth buy-back round, which closed in January.
Texas saltwater anglers must purchase a saltwater fishing stamp each year and $3 of that stamp goes to the buy-back effort, generating around $1.4 million annually.
"The ongoing partnership between TPWD and the CCA is unparalleled anywhere in the United States", said Larry McKinney, Ph.D., director of TPWD's Coastal Fisheries division. "The CCA's strong conservation ethic and willingness to put their money where their mouth is translates into direct and positive benefits to our coastal fisheries."
"We feel this is a positive step towards conserving blue crabs, croaker, flounder and other species that are caught as bycatch in bay shrimp trawls, noted Robby Byers, executive director of CCA Texas. "The sooner we can meet the goals of the buy-back program, the better all of our bay systems will be."
The inshore shrimp license buy-back program was established with the limited entry program in 1995 by the Texas legislature. The legislative initiative was designed to more effectively deal with the issue of over-shrimping through capping the sale of new licenses and allowing for a buy-back program to retire licenses from voluntary and willing sellers.
TPWD has spent $9.8 million and purchased 792 bay licenses and 746 bait licenses -- about 47 percent of the licenses in existence -- since then, not including the latest round.
Shrimping effort on Texas bays has declined from about 20,000 days per year in the mid-1980s to less than 10,000 days per year now.
Bay and bait shrimp license holders may still sell their licenses on the open market, or sell them back to TPWD through the buy-back program. McKinney noted that many factors, including increasing competition from farm-raised and imported shrimp and the high cost of diesel fuel, have led some shrimpers to the decision to quit the business.
"We're not telling people they have to get out of the business," McKinney said. "But if, for economic or other reasons, shrimpers decide to hang up their nets, at least we can help them out a little bit. In the end, we'll have a healthier, sustainable commercial fishery for those who stick it out as well as all the benefits of reduced bycatch."

[ 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 ] [SL]
Feb. 12, 2007
Quail Need Help Rebuilding Numbers
AUSTIN, Texas -- For some, the 2006-07 Texas quail hunting season may not have been as rewarding as in recent years, with dry conditions contributing to below-average quail production and fewer birds in the field.
As the season draws to a close Feb. 25, there's hope renewed for the future of this important upland gamebird, so long as there's help from landowners and managers. Now is the time to begin making habitat management decisions that will have positive impacts on quail in the years to come, according to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department biologists.
"This was not a stellar season by Texas standards, but it was still better than in 48 or 49 other states," said Steve DeMaso, TPWD's Upland Game Bird Program Leader. "Right now weather conditions are looking favorable with winter moisture, but quail populations probably won't bounce back immediately; it usually takes a couple of years to get the nesting cover back that we lost during last year's drought."
Quail prefer to build nests in residual dead bunchgrasses left from the previous year's growing season. Drought conditions last year created less productivity and more demand on these grasses for other uses, such as livestock grazing. Looking ahead, biologists predict fewer desirable quail nesting sites will be available this summer, but management practices that protect bunchgrass species can still help carry birds during lean times.
"Quail won't nest in green grass, but they will attempt to nest in forbs and shrubs if the preferred cover is lacking," DeMaso said. "Late winter and early spring is typically the time for prescribed burning to get rid of rank ground cover and open things up. Now is a good time to do any strip disking if you have dense growth that needs to be opened up, but really the biggest contribution for quail right now is for land managers to do some brush sculpting and managed grazing to reduce livestock numbers to protect the nesting cover for next year."
Fortunately, landowners and managers with an interest in helping quail populations now have several resource and incentive options available through TPWD as part of the Texas Quail Conservation Initiative, a recovery plan developed by a consortium of wildlife experts and quail stakeholders.
TPWD's new Managed Lands Gamebird Program serves as the agency's clearinghouse for quail management, connecting landowners with wildlife biologists at the local level for free habitat conservation guidance. Biologists can make recommendations on habitat improvements, assist landowners interested in cost-sharing incentive programs and help small tract owners build management cooperatives with neighboring landowners.
There are also cost sharing programs under the federal Farm Bill to help landowners doing good things for wildlife habitat. Details on these programs are available on the TPWD web site or from you area wildlife biologist. To find a biologist near you, call toll free 1-800-792-1112.
For those with a strong interest in quail, from ecology and management to hunting and economics, a comprehensive book entitled Texas Quails is now available. With input from nearly two dozen quail experts, including several TPWD biologists, this is the first complete assessment of the four species of quail found in Texas. The book is available from Texas A&M University Press and retails for $40.

[ 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 ] [LH]
[ Additional Contacts: Barry St. Clair (903) 670-2222 or barry.stclair@tpwd.texas.gov ]
Feb. 12, 2007
Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center to Host Fly Fish Texas March 3
ATHENS, Texas--Somewhere out there--in Texas, or Colorado, or Alaska, or the Florida Keys or Patagonia--a fish is waiting for you to present a fly to be engulfed.
Are you ready?
The first step in your fly fishing adventure should be attending Fly Fish Texas at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center the first Saturday in March.
There you will learn to cast, tie flies and even build your own fly rod. And you will do it all under the supervision of expert fly fishers from Texas and beyond.
Fly fishers will converge on Athens for the eighth annual Fly Fish Texas event to share tips and techniques during seminars and hands-on demonstrations.
Seminars will cover fly fishing for redfish, trout, tuna, stripers, bass and carp; kayak fishing; teaching youngsters to fly fish and choosing a guide. Demonstrations and classes will teach building a fly rod, knot tying, salt-water fly-tying, dry-fly tying, spinning deer hair, casting using long (spey) rods, accuracy casting and Dutch oven cooking.
Speakers scheduled to appear include Mark Marmon, a member of Texas Fly Fishers in Houston and urban fly fishing guide; 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; Steve Hollensed, past president of the Red River Fly Fishers in the Sherman/Denison area and a specialist in catching Lake Texoma stripers on the fly; Bob Cappallo, a member of the Brazos Valley Fly Fishers and handcrafted rod builder; Mark Eskew, a member of the Dallas Fly Fishers and a well-known fly-tier; and Ken Bohannon, who specializes in tying deer-hair flies for both saltwater and freshwater fishing.
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 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 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 Orvis; Dwight Cooley Foods; Boy Scout Troop 1299; Temple Fork Outfitters; Chris Dukeminier, Mariner Sails; Dave Speer, Trash on the Fly; Derrick Stratton, American Fish and Game Club; Brandon Shuler, Getaway Adventures Lodge; Barkley Souders, Epoch Marketing; Gary Davison, CND Custom Design; and Dan Edwards, Flatstalker.
For more information and a schedule of events and seminars, visit tpwd.texas.gov/tffc and click on Fly Fish Texas in the Quick Links box or call (903) 670-2222 or (903) 676-2277.

[ 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 ] [TH]
Feb. 12, 2007
Springs Documentary Airs Feb. 15, Some Airtimes Revised
AUSTIN, Texas -- The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will air its latest video documentary about water resources, "Texas the State of Springs," the evening of Thursday, Feb. 15 on Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) stations statewide.
Three PBS station have changed scheduled airtimes for the documentary. KTXT-Lubbock and KCOS-El Paso will both air it at 9 p.m. local time. KAMU-College Station will air it 7 p.m. All other Texas PBS stations will stay with plans to air the program at 8 p.m. CDT.
Broadcast news legend Walter Cronkite will again lend his distinctive voice to this latest project, as he did for TPWD's last water resource TV documentary "Texas: the State of Water-Finding A Balance" in 2005.
"Texas the State of Springs" will examine the historical decline of springs across the state and explore current groundwater and land use issues that impact spring flow. It will look at how groundwater pumping and water marketing in rural areas can affect springs, along with how proper land management can enhance and even restore spring flow. It will show how conservation easements and land acquisitions are used to protect key elements of watersheds. It concludes with how urban homeowners can have a positive impact and dramatically reduce their water bills through native plant landscaping and other water conservation measures.
The documentary is made possible in part by funding from Shell Oil Company, with additional support from patron sponsors The Partnership Foundation and supporting sponsors the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority and Lower Colorado River Authority, plus support from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation and public television viewers.
PBS stations based in Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Lubbock, Amarillo, Corpus Christi, Midland-Odessa, Harlingen, Killeen, Waco and Austin have all committed to air the documentary Feb. 15. Below is a listing of these stations showing most cities they serve. See local listings for station cable and broadcast channel numbers.
--KERA: Abilene, Dallas, Denton, Fort Worth, Longview, Lufkin, Marshall, Nacogdoches, Paris, San Angelo, Sherman, Tyler, Wichita Falls
--KUHT: Beaumont, Galveston, Houston, Port Arthur, Texas City, Victoria
--KLRN: Kerrville, Laredo, San Antonio
--KMBH: Brownsville, Harlingen, McAllen, Mission
--KWBU: Waco
--KPFT: Midland, Odessa
--KNCT: Killeen, Temple
--KCOS: El Paso
--KTXT: Lubbock
--KACV: Amarillo
--KLRU: Austin
--KEDT: Corpus Christi
--KAMU: Bryan, College Station

[ 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 ] [SB]
[ Additional Contacts: Sarah Bibbs, (512) 389-4577, sarah.bibbs@tpwd.texas.gov or Tom Harvey, (512) 389-4453, tom.harvey@tpwd.texas.gov ]
Feb. 12, 2007
Texas Buffalo Soldiers Announce 2007 Events
AUSTIN, Texas -- Kicking off the start of a series of statewide events during Black History Month, the Texas Buffalo Soldiers are geared up for a year's worth of educational presentations at historic fort sites, schools and rodeos to increase public knowledge of frontier-era African-American soldiers and their contributions to the Lone Star State.
The Buffalo Soldiers were African-Americans of the U.S. Army's 9th and 10th Cavalry Regiments. In Texas, their contributions were especially significant during the Indian Wars of the late 1800s, when approximately 20 percent of the U.S. Cavalry involved was African-American. It is speculated that that these soldiers' curly hair resembled that of the American Indians' sacred buffalo mane, while their bravery and tenaciousness reflected the buffalo's spirit, hence inspiring the natives to call them "Buffalo Soldiers."
Today, the Texas Buffalo Soldiers Program is a statewide network of volunteers dedicated to youth education and historical interpretation. The program, sponsored in part by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, encompasses not only the African-American frontier story, but also that of Hispanic vaqueros, American Indians, frontier women and other cultural groups of the era.
Though Black History Month marks the beginning of the Texas Buffalo Soldiers' schedule, July is "Texas Buffalo Soldiers Heritage Month," and many of the program's featured events take place in July.
Buffalo Soldiers Events for 2007 are scheduled as follows:
--Feb. 18: "Black Cowboys in Texas: Chronicling History" at Bullock State History Museum
--Feb. 20: "Posting of the Colors" at Texas Travel Industry Association Dinner
--Feb. 24: "8th Annual Heritage Festival at Huston Tillotson University
--Mar. 1: "9th Cavalry on Campaign" at Oakhill Elementary
--Mar. 19-23: "Company A -- 9th Cavalry Buffalo Soldiers and First Ladies of Texas" at Star of Texas Fair and Rodeo
--TBA: "Sgt. Carl Durrah Memorial Youth Camp" -- at McKinney Falls State Park
--July14: "Cowboys of Color Rodeo -- Texas Buffalo Soldier Celebration" at the Travis County Expo Center
--July 14: "Austin Capitol Salute to the Buffalo Soldiers" at the Travis County Expo Center
--Oct. 6-7: "Texas Parks & Wildlife Expo" at the Texas Parks & Wildlife Headquarters
Central Texas:
--June 16: "Cowboys of Color Rodeo -- Military Celebration" at Heart O' Texas Fair Complex, Waco
San Antonio:
--Mar. 9: "Not John Wayne Anymore: The preservation and Interpretation of the West Texas Forts" at Texas State Historical Association Conference
--April 27: Battle of Flowers Parade -- Downtown San Antonio, daytime parade passes in front of the Alamo.
--April 28: Fiesta Flambeau Parade -- Downtown San Antonio, nighttime parade passes in front of the Alamo.
--July 7, 14, 21, and 28: "Texas' Buffalo Soldiers Month Celebration" at Hemisfair Park
--July 28: "San Antonio Capitol Salute to the Buffalo Soldiers" at Hemisfair Park
--Nov. 11: "Bexar County Buffalo Soldiers Association -- Veterans Day Memorial Ceremony" at the San Antonio National Cemetery
--Feb. 10-11: "Remember the Maine" at Battleship Texas SHS
--Sept.15: "Cowboys of Color Rodeo" at the Lone Star Convention Center, Conroe
Dallas/Fort Worth:
--Feb. 1-28: Fort McKavett Exhibit at the Doss Heritage & Cultural Center, Weatherford
--Feb. 15: "Life of a Buffalo Soldier" at Doss Heritage and Cultural Center, Weatherford
--April 13-15: Fort Richardson Days 140th Anniversary at Fort Richardson State Historical Site, Jacksboro
--May 26: "Texas Black Invitational Rodeo" at Fair Park Coliseum, Dallas
--June 9: "Downtown Irving Heritage Festival"
--July 4: "July 4th Parade" in downtown Irving
--Sept. 1: "Cowboys of Color Museum & Hall of Fame Rodeo" at the Will Rogers Coliseum, Fort Worth
--Oct. 12-13: "Fort Griffin Living History Days" at Fort Griffin State Park & Historic Site
--Oct. 27-28: "National Cowboys of Color Rodeo Finals" at the Mesquite Championship Resistol Arena
--Feb. 25: "Black History & Women's History Celebration" at New Trinity Baptist Church in Morton
--June 1 "Prairie Tea" Texas Buffalo Soldiers Heritage Trail -- Trails of the Last Frontier event at Cal Farley's Girlstown in Sudan
--June 2 "Prairie Tea" Texas Buffalo Soldiers Heritage Trail -- Trails of the Last Frontier event at Portales Children's Home in Portales, New Mexico
--June 23-24: "Last Frontier Heritage Celebration" at Cochran County Park, Morton
East Texas:
--May 12: Mission Tejas Folk Festival at Mission Tejas State Park, Grapeland
--May 18-20: "9th Cavalry on Campaign" at the Texas State Railroad State Park, Rusk
West Texas:
--Feb. 25: Buffalo Soldier Heritage Day at Fort Concho in San Angelo
--Mar. 23-24: West Texas Heritage Days at Fort McKavett State Historical Site, Menard
--April 24-26: Texas Buffalo Soldiers workshop at Lake Brownwood State Park, Brownwood
--Dec. 7-9: "Christmas at Old Fort Concho" at Fort Concho National Historic Landmark
Wichita Falls
--May 8-9: "Buffalo Soldier Encampment" at Lake Arrowhead State Park, Wichita Falls
College Station:
--Feb. 22: "Life of a Buffalo Soldier" at George Bush Memorial Library
On the Net: