|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2008-02-04                                    |
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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 ] [AR]
Feb. 4, 2008
Flat Out Fishing -- Lake Jackson Highlights Gulf Angling Opportunities
AUSTIN, Texas -- For the fifth year, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will host a Flat Out Fishing seminar in Lake Jackson to help anglers start the new year with an edge. The event will be held at the Lake Jackson Civic Center Feb. 9 from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.
The day-long events include seminars and presentations from noted guides and experts covering a variety of offshore, nearshore, kayak and fly fishing techniques
"Flat Out Fishing is full day of professional fishing seminars for beginning to experienced fishermen to learn how to become better anglers in a relaxed and friendly setting that offers plenty of opportunities for interaction with the presenters. The speakers are some of the most knowledgeable authorities in their field in Texas." said TPWD Coastal Fisheries Outreach Specialist Art Morris.
Flat Out Fishing -- Lake Jackson features the following speakers and presentations:
--Capt. Frank Kubin of Underwater Adventures (formerly Capt. Elliott's Party Boats) will draw on 17 years of overnight and long-range offshore fishing trips to help attendees understand how to get the most out of long-range tuna trips, especially those targeting Yellowfin tuna.
--Bill Balboa, TPWD's Galveston Bay ecosystem leader, will discuss the importance of sargassum to offshore and nearshore fisheries.
--Capt. Charles Foster of Blue Chip Charters, will discuss the ins and outs of finding offshore structure.
--Capt. "Lefty" Ray Chapa, an FFF-certified fly casting instructor and former kayak fishing guide, will talk about saltwater fly fishing.
--Jeff Herman, an ACA-certified paddling instructor, member of Team Ocean Kayak and kayaking editor for Harold Well's Gulf Coast Fisherman magazine will introduce attendees to the finer points of kayak fishing.
--Award-winning outdoor writer Larry Bozka will wrap-up the seminar with a presentation on jetty fishing.
Participants will be eligible for door prizes and "goody bags."
The cost is $20 per person or $30 per couple, payable by cash, check or money order at the door. Registration fees are tax-deductible. Proceeds benefit the Texas Abandoned Crab Trap Removal Program. Children under 17 may attend free with an adult. Seating is limited so register early to ensure your participation.
To register for the event, contact Art Morris at 361-825-3356 or by e-mail at art.morris@tpwd.texas.gov.
The Lake Jackson Civic Center is located at 333 Hwy 332 East, Lake Jackson, Texas.
Flat Out Fishing is underwritten by Anheuser-Busch and sponsored by the Texas Parks & Wildlife Foundation, CCA Texas, the Coastal Bend Bays & Estuaries Program, Texas Saltwater Fishing Magazine, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, Shimano, Daiichi and others.

[ 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]
Feb. 4, 2008
Free Web Service Offered to Landowners with Hunting Leases
AUSTIN, Texas -- The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is inviting Texas landowners to advertise their hunting leases at no cost through a new Internet service the agency is developing called "Hunt Texas Online Connection."
In the first half of 2008, the department wants landowners to register for the new free service. In May, TPWD plans to begin promoting it to the hunting public. Hunters are advised to check back in May after landowners have had a chance to register leases.
The service allows landowners to list hunting lease opportunities in Texas for free, including last minute openings. It provides complete anonymity for landowners until they are ready to contact potential customers. Hunters will eventually be able to search for hunting opportunities by lease type, county, game species and other parameters.
"We want to make it easy for people looking for a place to hunt to connect with landowners offering hunts on their property," said Mike Berger, TPWD wildlife division director. "This is one way we're trying to better serve our license-buying public. It's important to keep the Texas hunting tradition strong, since hunting supports wholesome family recreation, pumps more than a billion dollars per year into Texas local economies, and provides an economic incentive for private land stewards to protect wildlife habitat."
To register, landowners can visit the main Hunt Texas Online Connection Web page on the TPWD Internet site. Click "Get Started," select a username and password, log in, and begin typing in fall 2008 lease opportunities.
The department is reaching out to landowners this winter and spring, hoping to build up a substantial base of lease opportunities for the public. In mid-May, TPWD will begin promoting the new service to hunters via hunting publications, online and through print, radio and TV news coverage.
Anyone can send questions, comments and suggestions about the new service to hunt.texas@tpwd.texas.gov, with separate email addresses also available for support and general inquiries not related to Hunt Texas Online Connection. Interested parties may also phone (512) 389-4505 for more information.
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 ] [AR]
Feb. 4, 2008
Sites Announced for Crab Trap Clean-Up Feb. 15-24
AUSTIN, Texas -- Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Coastal Fisheries Division officials have announced drop-off sites for the 7th Texas Abandoned Crab Trap Removal Program, running this year from Feb. 15-24.
During this 10-day period, all Texas bays will be closed to crabbing with crab traps and any traps left in the bay will be presumed to be abandoned and considered litter under state law, thus allowing volunteers to legally remove any crab traps they find.
Volunteers are needed to assist in the coast-wide effort to remove the numerous wire mesh cages used to catch crabs that have been lost or abandoned since last year's cleanup and in years past.
To facilitate volunteer trap removal efforts this year, TPWD staff has designated sites in each of the eight major bay systems for trap collection.
Areas that are relatively free of abandoned traps will have stand-alone sites with dumpsters marked for trap removal.
In other areas where more effort is need, sites will be manned until noon on Saturday, Feb. 16, weather permitting, and have stand-alone dumpsters for the duration of the closure. For those who choose to work on their own, TPWD requests information about the number of traps that are collected.
Volunteers can work at their own pace during the closure as time and weather permit, but cannot remove traps before Feb. 15 or after Feb. 24. Any crabs found in the traps must be set free. Last year, volunteers with the aid of numerous sponsors removed more than 2,000 traps.
To participate, volunteers can pickup free tarps, gloves, trap hooks and additional information at each of the sites or their local TPWD Coastal Fisheries Field Stations.
(Facilitated sites will be manned from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Sat., Feb. 16)
Sabine Lake -- Local TPWD coordinator Jerry Mambretti (409) 983-1104
--Walter Umphrey State Park Boat Ramp on Pleasure Island -- Stand-alone Feb. 15-24
Galveston Bay -- Local TPWD coordinator Bill Balboa (281) 534-0100
--Jones Lake State Ramp (Fat Boys) -- Facilitated Feb. 16 & stand-alone through the 24th.
--Ernie's Bait Barn -- Facilitated Feb. 16 & stand-alone through the 24th
--Stingaree Boat Ramp -- Facilitated Feb. 16 & stand-alone through the 24th
--Seabrook SH 146 Bridge Public Ramp -- Stand-alone Feb. 15-24
--Fort Anahuac County Park -- Stand-alone Feb. 15-24
Matagorda Bay -- Local TPWD coordinator Josh Harper (361) 972-6253
--Mitchell Cut Boat (ICWW) Ramp @ Sargent -- Stand-alone Feb. 15-24
--Matagorda Harbor -- Stand-alone Feb. 15-24
--Railroad Park @ Palacios -- Stand-alone Feb. 15-24
San Antonio Bay -- Local TPWD coordinator Norman Boyd (361) 983-4425
--Charlie's Bait Stand -- Stand-alone Feb. 15-24
--Port O'Connor TPWD Docks -- Stand-alone Feb. 15-24
Aransas Bay -- Local TPWD coordinator Dennis Pridgen (361) 729-2328
--Goose Island State Park Boat Ramp -- Stand-alone Feb. 15-24
--Cove Harbor Boat Ramp -- Stand-alone Feb. 15-24
Corpus Christi Bay -- Local TPWD coordinator Tom Wagner (361) 729-2328
--Conn Brown Harbor Boat Ramp @ Aransas Pass -- Stand-alone Feb. 15-24
Upper Laguna Madre -- Local TPWD coordinator Todd Neahr (361) 825-3353
--Bluff Landing Marine -- Stand-alone Feb. 15-24
--Kaufer Park Boat Ramp -- Stand-alone Feb. 15-24
Lower Laguna Madre -- Local TPWD coordinator Mark Lingo (956) 350-4490
--Adolfe Thomae County Park @ Arroyo City -- Stand-alone Feb. 15-24
--Port Mansfield Navigation District Ramp @ Port Mansfield -- Stand-alone Feb. 15-24

[ 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]
Feb. 4, 2008
Call Goes Out for CCC Veterans to Attend Bastrop State Park Celebration of Federal Work Program's 75th Anniversary
BASTROP, Texas -- Most of the men whose skilled hands during the 1930s and early 1940s helped build the structures that form the backbone of the Texas State Park system have passed on as the 75th anniversary of the Civilian Conservation Corps approaches. Those CCC workers who are still alive today are in their 80s and 90s.
The Texas Parks & Wildlife Department is trying to track down as many surviving CCC workers as possible to invite them to a special event on March 28-29 at Bastrop State Park. The event coincides with the 75th anniversary of the CCC's creation in 1933, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the executive order to put the Depression-era's young men back to work conserving the nation's natural resources by planting forests, building parks and other means.
Former CCC workers are invited to contact Janelle Taylor (512-389-4665), so she can extend an invitation to the March 28-29 celebration. Bastrop State Park is one of only six state parks in the United States built by the CCC designated a National Historic Landmark.
"We really need to find these guys and honor them," Taylor said. "We need the public's help." This group is so humble that unless someone tells them they need to contact me, they probably won't call."
About 100 former CCC workers attended a celebration at Bastrop State Park in 2003 for the 70th anniversary. During previous CCC reunions, Taylor and others have been collecting oral histories that provide a rich archive chronicling the CCC veterans' significant achievements so that future park visitors and others can learn about these remarkable men's achievements.
Thirty Texas state parks operated by TPWD bear the distinct mark of the young CCC laborers who erected permanent structures that reflect the National Park Service's trademark "rustic style." By 1935, 27 CCC companies were working in Texas state parks, building roads, bridges, swimming pools, dams and hundreds of sturdy, handsome rock-and-timber structures, such as Indian Lodge in Fort Davis. The 101 companies of young men at 130 CCC camp locations throughout the state developed 56 parks in Texas between 1933 and 1942 before many of them headed off to World War II.
For more information about the celebration, call (512) 389-4665.
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 ]
[ Additional Contacts: Buddy Turner (512) 389-4626 or Lawson.Turner@tpwd.texas.gov ]
Feb. 4, 2008
McBride Named OGT Board Chairman
AUSTIN, Texas -- Austin sporting goods retailer and mainstay in Texas wildlife conservation Joe McBride has been named board chairman for Operation Game Thief.
McBride will serve a one-year term as chair of the state's wildlife crime-stopper program, succeeding Ray Bailey, who will remain on the OGT board of directors.
Begun in 1981 as a result of laws passed by the 67th Legislature to help curtail poaching, the program offers rewards of up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction for a wildlife crime. OGT is a function of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's Law Enforcement division and has been responsible for the payment of over $200,000 in rewards and the assessment of well over $1 million in assessed fines.
Privately funded, the program is dependent on financial support from the public through the purchase of OGT merchandise and memberships, donations, sponsorships, and gifts. The program also hosts annual fundraising events, including the Claystoppers Shootout near Austin April 25 and the Bandana Ball in Houston May 31.
For more information about these events, e-mail gnevents@austin.rr.com.
Through his career as a firearms dealer, McBride has built a network of support for Texas Game Wardens and OGT. He has been recognized by numerous groups, including conservation organizations, law enforcement, and the firearms industry for his achievements.
On the Net: