|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2007-12-03                                    |
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[ Note: This item is more than nine 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]
Dec. 3, 2007
Annual Winter Trout Stocking Begins Nov. 29
AUSTIN, Texas -- For an inexpensive, entry-level fishing experience the entire family can enjoy, it doesn't get much easier than winter rainbow trout fishing in Texas.
Beginning Nov. 29 and continuing through March, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will stock upwards of 275,000 hatchery-reared rainbow trout at about 120 sites across the state. Many of the fish stockings will be conducted at small community fishing lakes, state park lakes and popular river tailraces offering easy angling access.
TPWD has been stocking rainbow trout each winter since the 1970s, providing Texans a simple and economical opportunity to go fishing.
Catching these hungry fish can be easy, making the experience ideal for both novice anglers and kids. The fish will bite almost immediately after stocking and typically will take a variety of baits, from whole kernel canned corn or commercial soft bait to artificial flies and even small spinner baits.
Fishing gear can be as basic as an inexpensive spincast rod and reel combo, a small plastic bobber, a fishing weight and a hook. It's also a good idea to carry along a pair of needle-nosed pliers to help remove hooks, and a five gallon bucket, small ice chest or a fish stringer to keep your catch. Be sure to keep freshly caught trout cold on ice or refrigerated.
A list of stocking sites with detailed driving directions is available on the TPWD Web site. The posted stocking dates are the days the trout are available to the general public. Many sites offer special events for youth prior to allowing the public to fish and those are usually the day before. Folks should check with local parks and recreation departments or water authorities for additional information.
While most sites get an annual dose of between 1,000-2,000 trout, popular fishing holes like the Guadalupe River below the Canyon Reservoir Dam, which includes the tailrace, receive multiple stockings from December through March.
As the only fishable place in Texas where rainbow trout can survive during the summer months, the Guadalupe River will get about 17,000 fish, which includes about 5,000 trout donated to TPWD by the Comal County Water Oriented Recreation District..
There are several public access points along the Guadalupe River that have been leased by TPWD specifically for trout fishing. Maps and directions to these sites are available on the TPWD Web site.
Anglers should note there are special harvest restrictions in place along the 10-mile stretch of the Guadalupe River below the tailrace. In this area, anglers may retain only one trout per day, which must be at least 18-inches in length, and any trout harvested must be caught on artificial lures.
For additional details about the special harvest regulations and the location of that river stretch, please consult the TPWD Outdoor Annual. The special regulations zone does not include the area immediately below Canyon Lake Dam. There, as in other Texas waters, the daily bag limit is five trout and there is no minimum length.
A valid Texas freshwater fishing package is required to fish for trout. Youth ages 16 and younger and all anglers fishing from the bank in state parks are exempt from the fishing package requirement.
On the Net:

[ Note: This item is more than nine 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]
Dec. 3, 2007
Give a Gift of the Great Outdoors This Holiday Season
AUSTIN, Texas -- Give a gift of the outdoors this holiday season to that favorite someone on your shopping list and you'll get a present as well under a special Texas Parks and Wildlife Department promotion.
If you order a Texas State Parks Pass certificate before Dec. 31, you will receive a commemorative Texas State Parks holiday tree ornament. The Texas State Parks ornament also can be purchased separately for $4.95, plus taxes and shipping.
The 2008 version of the annual Texas State Parks brass-plated tree ornament pays tribute to the Sebastopol House and Dinosaur Valley among other state parks and historic sites. Parks Pass certificate sales benefit state park operations.
The parks pass-ornament offer is just one of a number of conservation-themed gifts available through on-line shopping on the TPWD Web site. Texas State Parks Pass gift certificates can only be ordered by calling the TPWD Customer Service Center in Austin at (512) 389-8900.
The $60 parks pass entitles the pass holder and persons riding in the same non-commercial vehicle to free entry at more than 90 state parks for 12 months, as well as discounts on state park store merchandise, recreational equipment rental, camping and more. Pass holders also can order a year's subscription to Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine at a special rate of $9.95.
In addition to the parks pass certificate, holiday shoppers can visit TPWD's "Shop the Outdoors" Web page to choose from a variety of other conservation gift items.
Featured products this year are "Life's Better Outside" t-shirts and bumper stickers; Texas Parks & Wildlife Expo fine arts posters; the 2007 Collector's Edition of fish and wildlife stamps; Texas Wildlife Trail maps; five different conservation license plates; and a colorful Hummingbird Wheel featuring the 16 species documented in Texas.
Online shoppers who order two gift subscriptions to Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine for $24.95 (74% off the regular newsstand price) will receive a bonus gift of either The Saltwater and Freshwater Fish Pocket I.D. Guides or the Go Fish Texas map.
If the person on your shopping list is an avid reader, order from a number of books with nature themes or the Official Guide to Texas State Parks.
On the Net:

[ Note: This item is more than nine 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]
Dec. 3, 2007
Texas State Parks Celebrate The Holiday Season
AUSTIN, Texas -- For those who prefer Texas history, colorful traditions and the occasional outdoor setting for holiday festivities, Texas state parks are offering a variety of special events and opportunities for the public during the 2007 holiday season.
Christmas was a very special time for the sailors and officers who served aboard Battleship TEXAS, and the Battleship TEXAS State Historic Site near Houston is inviting the public to celebrate the way the crew members who served aboard her did while serving their country.
The site will be hosting Yuletide Texas throughout the month of December, complete with hundreds of lights, ornaments and decorations in the spirit of the season. The cost is free for Texas State Parks Pass members, $10 for non-members, $5 for senior citizens and children 12 and under are free.
Visitors can step back in time to an 1850s Christmas festival at the Barrington Living History Farm at Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site near Brenham. Located at Anson Jones' home, the public is invited to participate in taffy pulling, 1850s crafts, games, hay wagon rides and Chuck wagon cooking Dec. 8. Live music will also be provided by the Grammy-nominated Celtaire String Band. The event will be from 1-8 p.m. and the cost is $2 for Texas State Parks Pass members, $6 for non-members, $4 students and free for children six and under.
Estero Llano Grande State Park near Weslaco, one of the newest additions to the state park system, will be celebrating the Christmas season with Breakfast with the Birds and Santa Dec. 15. Texans of all ages are encouraged to enjoy breakfast on a magnificent covered deck situated right on one of their lakes and take some time to visit with Santa.
Afterwards, Santa's elves -- knowledgeable park naturalists -- will be conducting a guided nature walk through the park. Breakfast will begin at 8:30 a.m. and reservations are required. For additional information call (956) 565-3919 or visit http://www.worldbirdingcenter.org.
A longstanding Christmas tradition continues in the Hill Country region with the 38th Annual Tree Lighting at the Lyndon B. Johnson State Park and Historic Site. Throughout the evening refreshments will be served and the public is welcome to enjoy a live nativity, carolers and Santa Claus, as well as the tree lighting. Later, get a taste of history as the Sauer-Beckman Living History Farm will provide cookies amid glowing lanterns and a traditional German Christmas tree. The ceremony will begin at 6 p.m. on Dec. 16.
Other special holiday events at Texas state parks include:
Through Dec. 24 -- Candlelight Christmas Dinners -- Starr Family State Historic Site -- Marshall, Harrison County -- Pineywoods
By advance reservation, Starr Family State Historic Site will again offer their annual catered Candlelight Christmas Dinners for group and individual bookings. Vocalists serenade guests with beautiful Christmas melodies while costumed hosts/hostesses serve dinner at the beautifully restored Blake Home.
Following dinner and music, guests will follow a beautifully lit pathway through the grounds to tour the magnificent Starr Mansion. Tickets are $28 per person, including dinner, entertainment and the tour. Reservations for small groups and couples can be accommodated through the evening of Dec. 24. Proceeds go towards preserving the rich heritage of the park for future generations. Phone the site for available dates and details at (903) 935-3044.
Dec. 1 -- Simple Christmas -- Brazos Bend SP -- Needville, Fort Bend County -- Gulf Coast
Escape the hustle and bustle of the season. Enjoy an afternoon and evening of the simple life: making s'mores, Dutch oven cooking, piñatas, hayrides plus a visit from a "Southern Santa." Bring a picnic supper to enjoy while you listen to the sounds of The Brazos River Pickers, an old-time, bluegrass band at the outdoor amphitheater. Refreshments available. 3-7 p.m. (979) 553-5101
Dec. 1, 7, 8, 14, 15 -- Trail of Lights -- Monument Hill & Kreische Brewery SHS -- LaGrange, Fayette County -- Prairies and Lakes
Enjoy a fantastic quarter-mile trail illuminated with thousands of lights that decorate the Monument Hill and Kreische House portions of our park. Walk a trail overlooking the town of La Grange. Experience the more traditionally decorated 1850s-era German home of H.L. Kreische, bedecked in Christmas splendor, in a Texas-German style. Bring your children to tell secrets to Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus and enjoy the genuine seasonal hospitality of the Friends of Monument Hill and Kreische Brewery, who sponsor the event. Get into the season's spirit with us! 6-8 p.m.; fees $3 adults, $1 children 3-12; (979) 968-5658
Dec. 8 -- Christmas Caroling Hayride -- Stephen F. Austin SP -- San Felipe, Austin County, Prairies and Lakes
Enjoy caroling through the park on a hayride, then share cookies and hot chocolate afterwards. 6-8 p.m.; admission is one canned good per person (979) 885-3613
Dec. 8 -- Pancake Breakfast with Santa -- Stephen F. Austin SP -- San Felipe, Austin County -- Prairies and Lakes
Join Santa for a breakfast of pancakes, sausage, juice and coffee and let him know all your dreams for this Christmas. 8-10 a.m.; fee $4 per person (979) 885-3613
Dec. 8 -- Candlelight Christmas -- Barrington Living History Farm-Washington-on-the-Brazos SHS -- Washington, Washington County -- Prairies and Lakes
Come share a traditional Christmas with the Jones family at their annual gathering of friends and neighbors. Enjoy a festive atmosphere with a sampling of 1850s crafts, games, music and dancing. Wassail and cookies will be served. 1-8 p.m.; fees: $2 Texas State Parks Pass members, $6 non-members, $4 students, free for children 6 and under. (936) 878-2213
Dec. 8 -- Caroling Through Penn Farm -- Cedar Hill SP -- Cedar Hill, Dallas County -- Prairies and Lakes
We will begin the evening with a lantern lit tour of Penn Farm then have a Christmas carol sing-along around the campfire. Afterwards we will enjoy hot chocolate and cookies. 6-7:30 p.m.; call to confirm program (972) 291-3900, ext. 232
Dec. 15 -- Holiday Celebration -- Martin Dies, Jr. SP -- Jasper, Jasper County -- Pineywoods
Join us for a fun-filled afternoon of activities and music. At 2 p.m. we will hold our Annual Gingerbread House Design and Construction Marathon, with the Friends of Martin Dies, Jr. State Park supplying all supplies to create truly unique creations. At 4 p.m. we will have a festive sing-along live-band concert of seasonal songs and hymns. All activities held in the Dining Hall. 2-5 p.m.; call for more information (409) 384-5231
Dec. 15 -- Holidays with Nature -- Sheldon Lake SP -- Houston, Harris County -- Gulf Coast
Celebrate the holidays the wild(life) way! Join us in creating wildlife tree ornaments that can be taken home or put in a tree at park. Along with hot cocoa and apple cider, children can enjoy coloring and writing letters to Santa to receive a post card from Ole Saint Nick himself! 1-4 p.m. (281) 456-2800
Dec. 22 -- Christmas Carols -- Lake Texana SP -- Edna, Jackson County -- Gulf Coast
Celebrate Christmas as we sing carols around the campfire. 6-7 p.m. (361) 782-5718
Dec. 22 -- Santa Swingin' 40s Christmas -- Battleship TEXAS SHS -- LaPorte, Harris County -- Gulf Coast
Visit the Battleship TEXAS and enjoy the spirit of the holidays. Write and mail letters to Santa, see dancing to swing music performed live onboard, enjoy hot wassail, meet and have your picture taken with Santa and much, much more. 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; fees free for Texas State Parks Pass members, $10 non-members, $5 senior citizens, free for children 12 and under (281) 479-2431
Dec. 22 -- Christmas Crafts -- Lake Texana SP -- Edna, Jackson County -- Gulf Coast
Make your own Christmas crafts to give or decorate your home. Held at the Nature Center. 2-3 p.m. (361) 782-5718
Dec. 22 -- Campfire Program -- Goose Island SP -- Rockport, Aransas County -- Gulf Coast
Join us at the Recreation Hall for an evening of food and fun as we get ready for Christmas with an old-fashioned campfire gathering. Bring your s'mores fixin's and enjoy hot chocolate and roasted marshmallows as we share our favorite Goose Island holiday stories. 7-8 p.m. (361) 729-2858
Dec. 29 -- Holiday Dinner -- Landmark Inn SHS -- Castroville, Medina County -- Hill Country
A special candle-lit dinner served in a festive holiday atmosphere, catered by one of Castroville's gourmet dining establishments. Seating is limited to 40 for this fundraising event, proceeds benefiting Friends of the Landmark Inn. 6:30-8:30 p.m.; fee $25 per person; reservations required, deadline December 22, 2007 (830) 931-2133

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[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ] [TH]
Dec. 3, 2007
Master Naturalist Program Seeks Applicants
AUSTIN, Texas -- Twenty-two chapters of the Texas Master Naturalist program are conducting spring training classes for volunteers wanting to learn about natural resource and conservation management.
The Texas Master Naturalist program, with 41 chapters located across the state, aims to develop a corps of well-informed citizen volunteers who educate their communities about the management of natural resources.
The main qualification needed to become a Certified Texas Master Naturalist is an interest in learning and playing an active part in conservation. Volunteers will receive a minimum of 40 hours training from educators and specialists from places such as universities, natural resource agencies, nature centers and museums.
Training topics include interpretation and management of natural resources, ecological concepts, eco-regions in Texas and natural systems management. Volunteers are expected to give 40 hours of service a year in community education, demonstration and habitat enhancement projects. They are also expected to pursue a minimum of eight hours of advance training in areas of personal interest.
Texas Master Naturalist Chapters offering volunteer training this spring are listed with contact information. Enrollment is limited in most chapters. Some registration deadlines are fast approaching so contact a chapter near you to see if seating is still available.
--Abilene -- Big Country Chapter. Training begins April 7, 2008 and registration closes April 2. Contact 325-672-6048 or email: jaeger@hughes.net
--Austin -- Capital Area Chapter. The 2008 class registration has closed. Contact the chapter to be included on the wait list for the next class. For chapter information visit: http://camn.org
--Brenham -- Gideon Lincecum Chapter. Classes begin Feb. 2. Registration deadline is January 25. For details call 936-878-1988 or email http://gideonlincecum.org
--Burnett -- Highland Lakes Chapter. Training starts March 6 and registration accepted until then unless the course limit is reached. For information email: hlmninfo@281.com
--Cameron -- El Camino Real Chapter. The initial class of this new chapter begins on Jan. 15 with an early December registration deadline. Enrollment information available at 254-605-0669 or email michael.mitchell@tpwd.texas.gov
--Conroe/Huntsville -- Heartwood Chapter. Classes begin March 1 and the registration deadline is February 15, 2008. For information call 832-381-6921 or email training@heartwoodtmn.org
--Dallas -- North Texas Chapter. The chapter will host an Open House on Jan. 8, 2008 and the registration deadline is Jan. 12. Classes begin Feb. 12. Call 972-248-7980 or email: glferris@mac.com for more information.
--El Paso -- Trans Pecos Chapter. Register no later than Jan. 17, 2008 to begin the class on Feb. 13. Class is limited to 25. For specific information call 915-851-2515.
--Galveston -- Galveston Bay Area Chapter. Training begins Feb. 14 and registration ends Feb. 8. Class is limited to 20 students. For details phone 281-534-3413, ext.2 or email: jk-massey@tamu.edu
--Houston -- Gulf Coast Chapter. Classes begin Feb. 25 and the registration deadline is February 9. Phone 281-855-5600 or email: gcmn@tamu.edu
--Jefferson -- Cypress Basin Chapter. This new chapter starts classes on Feb. 7 and needs applications no later than Feb. 1. Details available by calling 903-679-9817 or email bwbailey1@peoplepc.com
--Lubbock -- South Plains Chapter. The first class is set for Jan. 17 with a registration deadline set for Jan. 11. More information available by calling 806-785-5079 or email samcwhitehead@nts-online.net
--Midland -- Llano Estacado Chapter. Classes begin Jan. 19 and your registration is needed by Jan. 5. Details available by email at lsh@lyntegar.com
--Navasota -- Cinco Tierra Chapter. Training starts Jan. 12 and the registration deadline is Jan. 1. More information is available by calling 936-825-9242 or email cinco_tierra@yahoo.com
--Plano -- Blackland Prairie Chapter. The first class is set for Feb. 13 and applications due by Feb. 1. Call 972-248-6283 or email svevans@sbcglobal.net for information.
--Rockport -- Mid Coast Chapter. Training begins Feb. 9. For dates and information call 979-245-4100 or visit: http://midcoast.tamu.edu
--San Antonio -- Alamo Area Chapter. Classes start Feb. 28 with applications accepted until Feb. 1. For information phone 210-842-7967 or email: pball0908@earthlink.net
--San Benito -- Rio Grande Valley Chapter. Training begins Feb. 6 with a registration deadline of Jan. 25. Call 956-361-8236, email: fwiseman@rgv.rr.com or visit the chapter website: www.rgvctmn.org
--San Marcos -- Hays County Chapter. Classes begin in February. For details email jcheath42@msn.com
--Tyler -- East Texas Chapter. Classes begin Jan. 19 and registration ends January 11. Contact 903-849-2939 or email: genedgordon@aol.com
--Waco -- Heart of Texas Chapter. Training begins Jan. 19 with the registration deadline being Jan. 4. For details contact at 254-848-9654 or noras@ci.waco.tx.us
--Wichita Falls -- Rolling Plains Chapter. Training begins March 25 with the registration deadline on March 14. For details contact Mark Howell at 940-766-2383 or mark.howell@tpwd.texas.gov
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and Texas Cooperative Extension co-sponsor the Texas Master Naturalist Program. For more information about existing chapters or forming a new chapter contact Sonny Arnold, Assistant Program Coordinator, 111 Nagle Hall, 2258, TAMU, College Station, TX 77843-2258. Call (979)458-1099 or email: sarnold@ag.tamu.edu.

[ Note: This item is more than nine 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: Mona Farmer, (903) 670-2228 or mona.farmer@tpwd.texas.gov ]
Dec. 3, 2007
Nominations Sought for Texas Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame
ATHENS, Texas -- Individuals or organizations that have made a lasting contribution to freshwater fishing in Texas may be nominated through Feb. 29 for induction into the Texas Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame.
Nominees may be anglers, fisheries professionals or organizations. The nominee must be a Texan or Texas organization. Individuals may be either living or deceased. One nominee will be chosen by an independent selection committee and formally inducted during the annual Hall of Fame banquet at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens.
Prior inductees include Floyd Mabry, Jackie Hewlett, R.D. Hull, Bob Kemp, Nick Crème, Charlie Inman, Sugar Ferris, Leonard Ranne, Earl Golding, Kathy Magers, the Sabine River Authority, Skeeter Boats, Michael ("Shorty") Powers, Ray Murski, Albert S. Bradley, Richard M. Hart and William B. ("Doc") Shelton.
Nomination forms and instructions are available on the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department web site or by calling (903) 670-2228.
On the Net:

[ Note: This item is more than nine 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]
Dec. 3, 2007
State-Fish Art Contest Calls for Entries
ATHENS, Texas -- Texas students in grades 4 through 12 are invited to enter the tenth annual Wildlife Forever State-Fish Art Contest. Deadline for entries is March 31, 2008.
Contestants must create an illustration of an officially recognized state fish and write a one-page composition about its behavior, habitat and conservation. One Texas winner will be selected from each of three grade levels: 4-6, 7-9 and 10-12. Those winners will then compete at the national level for best of show and art of conservation stamp honors.
Every Texas entrant will receive a fishing lure from Strike King Lure Company. In addition, the Toyota Texas Bass Classic Foundation will provide funding for prizes for Texas winners and for travel expenses for Texas winners and their chaperones to the national expo at the Mall of America in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in July 2008.
Texas entries are judged at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens. For details on the contest and how to enter, visit the State-Fish Art Contest page on the TFFC web site.
The Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center is a facility of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department that incorporates a visitor center, educational programming and a production fish hatchery. It is located 75 miles southeast of Dallas and is open Tuesday through Sunday. For more information call (903) 676-2277 or visit the web site.
On the Net:

[ Note: This item is more than nine 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]
Dec. 3, 2007
Whooping Crane Numbers Break Record Fifth Year In A Row
AUSTIN, Texas -- Wildlife scientists report that for the fifth year in a row a record-breaking number of whooping cranes have completed their winter migration to the Coastal Bend area of Texas. So far, 257 whoopers have reached Texas, breaking the previous count of 237 whoopers present during last year's winter, and experts predict more are on the way.
"I estimate that more than 97 percent of the flock has completed the migration so far. We know of four birds that are still in migration, so that raises the estimated flock size to 261," said National Whooping Crane Coordinator Tom Stehn.
In addition to increasing their numbers, whoopers have also expanded their range. The Aransas National Wildlife Refuge is the primary wintering home for the cranes, but this year a record-high 82 cranes were documented on Matagorda Island, a record 13 on the Lamar Peninsula, and the 31 cranes at Welder Flats tie the previous record high there.
Whoopers have also settled on private lands such as San Jose Island and the Lamar Peninsula, and private landowners are also playing a significant role by providing flock activity updates and observations.
"We've passed the highest number we've seen since counts began in 1937 said Lee Ann Johnson Linam, TPWD wildlife biologist. "The good news is that for the last several years we've set a new record each year, so we're on the right track."
Whooping cranes have been on the endangered species list since 1970, when only 56 birds survived in the wild in a flock that wintered in Texas and nested in Canada. That flock passed the 100-bird mark in 1986 and the 200-bird mark in 2004. Texas continues to play a key role in the survival and recovery of this endangered species, and today the flock that winters in Texas continues to be the only self-sustaining wild population in the world.
Although the majority of whoopers have completed the migration, conservationists are still asking the public to report any sightings of whooping cranes to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department at (800) 792-1112, ext. 4644 or (512) 847-9480. Sightings may also be reported through e-mail (leeann.linam@tpwd.texas.gov). Additional information about the whooping cranes and how to see them may be found on the TPWD Web site.
On the Net: