|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2008-02-26                                    |
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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. 26, 2008
TPWD Schedules Seven Sites for Additional Trout Stocking
AUSTIN, Texas -- Trout anglers get an extra bonus this year as the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will stock additional hatchery-reared rainbow trout at seven sites from Feb. 22 to March 7.
TPWD has stocked upwards of 275,000 trout at 115 sites this season. 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.
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.
Schedule of supplemental rainbow trout stockings:
New Braunfels (San Antonio area)
--Feb. 22, Canyon Tailrace -- 2,215 fish
--March 4, Canyon Tailrace -- 2,215 fish (plus extra if available)
Graford (Abilene area)
--Feb. 22, Possum Kingdom Tailrace -- 2,000 fish
--Feb. 27, Possum Kingdom Tailrace -- 2,000 fish
Lewisville (Dallas/ Fort Worth area)
--Feb. 29, Lake Lewisville Tailrace -- 2,000 fish
--March 7, Lake Lewisville Tailrace -- 2,000 fish (plus extra if available)
Llano (Austin area)
--Feb. 27, Llano River, Grenwelge Park -- 1,200 fish
Blanco (Austin area)
--Feb. 27, Blanco State Park -- 1,000
--Feb. 29, Tyler State Park -- 1,000 fish
Wichita Falls
--March 2, Plum Lake -- 1,000 fish (in addition to 1,100 already scheduled)
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: Governor's Press Office: 512-463-1826, Robert Black: robert.black@governor.state.tx.us; Krista Piferrer: krista.piferrer@governor.state.tx.us ]
Feb. 26, 2008
Gov. Perry Appoints Duggins to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission
AUSTIN, Texas -- Gov. Rick Perry announced Feb. 21 that he has appointed Ralph H. Duggins of Fort Worth to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission. The commission preserves and promotes Texas' natural resources and oversees sporting and recreational opportunities in the state.
Duggins is a senior partner at Cantey Hanger L.L.P. He is advisory director of J.P. Morgan Chase in Tarrant County and serves on the Texas Supreme Court Advisory Committee. He is also a director of the Lena Pope Foundation Inc. and the Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show. Additionally, Duggins is past chairman of the Cook Children's Healthcare System and past member of Texas State Bar Federal Judiciary Appointments Committee.
Duggins replaces Philip Montgomery of Dallas for a term to expire Feb. 1, 2013.
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. 26, 2008
Statewide Public Meeting Proposals Updated
AUSTIN, Texas -- A slate of 22 public meetings across the state, set to begin Feb. 25, will include numerous proposed changes to hunting and fishing regulations for the 2008-2009 season.
Among those proposals is one to extend the use of lawful archery equipment for harvest of catfish through Aug. 31, 2011.
The change to allow the use of lawful archery equipment, including cross bows, was due to expire August 31, 2008. TWPD Inland Fisheries Division biologists are still in the process of evaluating the impact of the regulation on catfish populations.
For a complete list of other proposed regulation changes for both hunters and anglers, and a calendar of public meetings, please visit the TPWD Web site.
On the Net:
Hunting and Fishing Proclamation Proposals: http://tpwd.texas.gov/newsmedia/releases/?req=20080130f
TPWD Statewide Public Meeting Schedule: http://tpwd.texas.gov/business/feedback/meetings/statewide_hearings/
Coastal Fisheries Proposals: http://tpwd.texas.gov/newsmedia/releases/?req=20080130b

[ 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. 26, 2008
Outdoor Family Workshops to Morph City Slickers into Nature Buffs
AUSTIN, Texas -- Has your living room TV become the central component of your family's group activities? If so, maybe it's time to head outside for a weekend and become an outdoors family.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's Outdoors Family weekend workshops give families with children between the ages of 5 and 12 a chance to explore the great outdoors and learn skills like camping, fishing, kayaking and archery.
"It offers today's families an opportunity to learn very basic outdoor skills that they may have never been introduced to or that they may have learned way back in their scouting days," said program coordinator Ashley Mathews. "The learning is so easy and fun that there is little chance of embarrassment."
The program began as an outgrowth of the successful Becoming an Outdoors-Woman program. Demand has grown so much that TPWD has scheduled seven additional workshops for 2008.
Mathews attributes the increased interest in the program to the public's growing recognition of our increasing disconnect from nature as a society.
"More and more people are starting to understand that a disconnection between our children, ourselves and our natural environment is harmful to us mentally and physically," she said. "People are trying to find easier ways to expose themselves and their kids to outdoor activities. Time in the outdoors can really help children with attention issues, and provide a setting for them to decompress and be imaginative."
The workshops typically begin Saturday morning and last through Sunday noon. Usually, six to eight classes are offered throughout the weekend. Families are able to rank in order of preference which three classes they would like to attend while registering. All classes are geared toward absolute beginners.
Fees for the course are set by the local parks and recreation departments with which TPWD partners, but average $150 for a family of four. Meals and recreational and safety equipment necessary to participate are provided.
Below is the schedule for the spring and summer 2008 workshops:
--March 29-30 -- Temple, TX
--April 5-6 -- Huntsville, TX
--April 5-6 -- Kyle, TX
--April 12-13 -- Missouri City, TX
--May 17-18 -- San Antonio, TX
--June 3-4 -- Tyler, TX
--September 27-28 -- Georgetown, TX
For registration information contact Ashley Mathews at: Ashley.Mathews@tpwd.texas.gov or (512) 970-9247.
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 ] [AG]
Feb. 26, 2008
Free Coastal Expos Set for Marble Falls and Edinburg
AUSTIN, Texas -- The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will host five Coastal Expos for the public, beginning with events at Johnson Park in Marble Falls March 6-8 and at Edinburg Municipal Park in Edinburg March 13-14.
Coastal Expos are free, interactive events that seek to increase public awareness of the importance of Texas ecosystems and the ways in which people can protect them. Visitors will have the opportunity to interact with live crabs, fish and other coastal animals, while learning about freshwater inflows, coastal conservation issues and beach habitats.
Activities include touch tanks with a wide variety of live coastal animals, such as sea urchins, sea squirts, crabs and other sea life. At the glass-bottom stream, visitors will learn about animals' natural habitats and how bugs can indicate pollution levels in water.
Participants will also have an opportunity to solve a mysterious fish kill, paint images of coastal fish and identify beach objects by touch. They will also learn about fishing and boating safety through a variety of fun and educational devices.
See below for an upcoming expo in your area:
--March 6-8 -- Marble Falls at Johnson Park
--March 13-14 -- Edinburg at Edinburg Municipal Park
--April 26 -- Bay City at the Matagorda County Birding Nature Center, as part of the Earth Week Fair
--May 17 -- Galveston Bay at the Kemah Boardwalk, as part of Galveston Bay Foundation's Bay Day
--July 4-15 -- Freeport at the Freeport Municipal Park, as part of the Fishing Fiesta
For more information or to volunteer for any of these events contact Kris Shipman at (512) 912-7037 or Kris.Shipman@tpwd.texas.gov. No previous experience is necessary. Volunteers can be taught everything needed at the event.
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: Lee Ann Linam, (512) 656-1222 or leeann.linam@tpwd.texas.gov ]
Feb. 26, 2008
Texans Encouraged to "Leap In" for Year of the Frog Activities
AUSTIN, Texas -- Do things still go croak in the night? That's the question that the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the global zoological community are asking this leap year. 2008 has been designated as "The Year of the Frog," and Texas citizens are invited to get involved in activities to promote amphibian conservation.
Amphibian populations worldwide are declining. The World Conservation Union's Global Amphibian Assessment, a comprehensive assessment on the conservation status and distribution of 5,918 amphibian species, has shown that almost one-third (1,896 species) of amphibians worldwide are threatened with extinction and that 122 amphibian species may have already been lost to extinction within the last 30 years. In the Americas, the outlook is even bleaker, with 40 percent of amphibian species threatened, including over 80 percent of those in the Caribbean region.
To date, dramatic declines have not emerged in Texas, but biologists want to keep an eye on the future.
In recognition of the alarming extinction trends for amphibians, which include the frogs and toads, salamanders, and tropical caecilians (soil-dwelling worm- or snake-like animals), many conservation partners have come together to recognize 2008, a leap year, as the Year of the Frog to mark a major conservation effort to address the amphibian extinction crisis. Zoos and aquaria are inviting the public to support conservation and captive breeding efforts to prevent extinction of amphibian species, while state programs, such as TPWD's Texas Amphibian Watch, are asking citizen volunteers to help monitor trends in amphibian populations in the wild.
According to Lee Ann Linam, a Texas Parks and Wildlife Department biologist, there are many ways Texas citizens can get involved in the conservation efforts for amphibians.
"Families and individuals can learn more about the worldwide issue by attending some of the many Leap Year events planned at Texas zoos. Through participation in Texas Amphibian Watch, volunteers can gather data to help us understand how amphibians in Texas are doing," Linam said. "And, finally, people can even help in their own backyards by creating habitat for amphibians, such as ornamental ponds."
Many zoos are planning kick-off events on Leap Day, Feb. 29, while the monitoring season for Texas Amphibian Watch starts right away.
For more information on Year of the Frog, including links to Texas Amphibian Watch materials and workshops, please visit the program Web site. Year of the Frog materials for teachers also are available.
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 ] [SL]
Feb. 26, 2008
Hunting and Fishing a $14.4 Billion Industry in Texas
AUSTIN, Texas -- How does a $14.4 billion Texas-based industry go unnoticed? Easy when you consider most of its participants go about their business cloaked in camouflage or tucked in some secluded backwater hideaway.
Despite not appearing on the stock market rolls, hunters, anglers and wildlife watchers in Texas collectively are a major economic force, according to new findings by the Southwick Associates, a Florida-based research firm specializing in economic and business statistics related to fish and wildlife resources.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's Wildlife Division commissioned the Southwick group to ascertain the economic effect from fish and wildlife-related recreation in Texas, based on data in the 2006 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation. The firm recently completed its Texas-focused report.
According to the Southwick report, the economic effect from Texas hunters, anglers and wildlife watchers was estimated to be $14.4 billion. In other words, if these outdoor enthusiasts were to stop spending money in Texas and not spend these dollars on other in-state items, the state economy would shrink by $14.4 billion.
"These new findings demonstrate the significant roles hunting and fishing play in Texas' economy," said Gene McCarty, TPWD deputy executive director. "They also put into perspective our challenge as the state agency charged with managing the natural resources these industries rely upon."
Expenditures made for fish and wildlife-related recreation support significant industries. Unlike traditional industries, which are often easily recognized by large factories, the hunting, fishing and wildlife viewing industries are comprised of widely scattered retailers, manufacturers, wholesalers and support services that, when considered together, become quite significant.
Original expenditures made by hunters, anglers and wildlife watchers in Texas generate rounds of additional spending throughout the economy. For example, a retailer buys more inventory and pays bills, wholesalers buy more from manufacturers, and all these pay employees who then spend their paychecks. The sum of these impacts is the total economic impact resulting from the original expenditures. According to Southwick, total Texas economic impact from sportfishing accounted for $4.73 billion ($2.93 billion from freshwater and $1.79 billion from saltwater), with $4.63 billion and $5.12 billion from hunting and wildlife-watching, respectively.
The Southwick report also stated that, since outdoor recreation dollars are often spent in rural or lightly populated areas, the economic contributions of fish and wildlife resources can be especially important to rural and outlying suburban-exurban economies.
In many communities, such as those in Llano County, for example, deer hunting is a driving economic force. The same argument can be made for Texas' acclaimed fishing destinations, including Lake Fork and Rockport.
In addition to how much they contribute to the economy, the report sheds demographic insight into the participants of the hunting and fishing industry.
According to the findings, participants are about 40 years old, are predominantly male, and are likely to be married. The average household income for Texas hunters is approximately $66,316, significantly higher than the $43,425 state average (U.S. Census Bureau). About 59 percent have at least some college experience. Non-resident hunters typically have higher income and more education.
Freshwater anglers share demographic characteristics similar to hunters in age and income, while saltwater anglers appear to be a bit older and have higher household incomes.
Wildlife watchers, according to the findings, tend to be older than hunters and anglers, are split fairly evenly between male and female, and are likely to be married. Other demographic traits are also similar to hunters and anglers.
In 2006, there were 1.1 million hunters (residents and nonresidents), hunting a total of 14 million days in Texas. Of the total hunters in Texas, 978,697 were state residents and 122,589 were nonresidents.
Texas whitetail deer hunting has an international reputation, so it comes as no surprise the study found that big game hunting was the most popular in terms of hunters and days, at more than double the participation in migratory bird hunting.
Ironically, despite Texas' reputation for big bass, catfish were targeted most by anglers, according to the findings. In 2006, there were 1.8 million freshwater anglers (residents and nonresidents), fishing a total of 26.9 million days in Texas. Of the total freshwater anglers in Texas, 1.7 million were state residents and 142,821 were nonresidents.
There were 1.1 million saltwater anglers (residents and nonresidents), fishing a total of 15.1 million days in Texas, the survey indicated. Of the total saltwater anglers in Texas, 1.07 million were state residents and 76,946 were nonresidents. Most fishing effort was directed at redfish.
In 2006, there were 955,726 watchable wildlife recreationists (residents and non-residents) participating in activities in Texas. Of the total recreationists in Texas participating in activities more than one mile from home, 778,134 were state residents and 177,592 were non-residents. Altogether, these recreationists spent 13.1 million days in watchable wildlife related activities in Texas.
The primary watchable wildlife activity, measured in terms of number of participants, was observing wildlife, with photographing wildlife the second preferred activity. In terms of days of activity, feeding wildlife ranked higher than photographing wildlife. Please note one participant may engage in two or more activities per trip as these activities are not exclusive.
The number one type of wildlife observed by residential recreationists in Texas was birds. The second most prominent category was small mammals.
Hunters and wildlife viewers depend on a combination of public and private lands. With urban and suburban populations increasing, the study concluded, it is likely that public lands will play an increasing role in supplying residents and visitors alike with opportunities to experience Texas's wildlife resources.
The data shows that wildlife viewers are much more dependent on public lands. One reason among several for this difference might be related to a higher percentage of participants living in non-rural regions and therefore less likely to have access to private lands.
Fish and wildlife provide numerous recreation opportunities for Texas residents. The recreation expenditures benefit Texas with significant jobs, income and other economic activity. These benefits are particularly important in rural or remote areas where other sources of income are limited.
Anglers, hunters and wildlife viewers spend dollars that, in turn, benefit many other industries throughout the state. According to Southwick, the resulting economic benefits reach every corner of the state and its economy.

[ 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: Teresa Laffin, (979) 458-3982, or tdl@tampress.tamu.edu; Tom Harvey, (512) 389-4453 or tom.harvey@tpwd.texas.gov ]
Feb. 26, 2008
TPWD, Nature Conservancy Experts Collaborate on Book of Rare Plants
COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Since 1987, when Texas Parks and Wildlife Department botanists published their first in-house summary of Texas' threatened plants, more than 225 species have been identified and described as endangered, imperiled, or declining. Because most of these plants are too rare to be mentioned, much less pictured, in standard field guides, only a handful of botanists have known what these plants or their habitats look like.
The 656-page, user-friendly guide, complete with 247 photographs, 215 line drawings, and 234 color maps, describes the officially listed, candidate, and species-of-concern plants in Texas. Individual accounts include information on distribution, habitat, physical description, flowering time, federal and state status, similar species, and published references. The authors also provide brief introductory chapters on the state's vegetation regions; the history of plant conservation in Texas; federal, state, and other ranking methods; threats to native plants; recovery methods; and reporting guidelines.
With the growing recognition that native plants support wildlife, conserve water, promote biodiversity, and exemplify our natural heritage, we must also recognize the need for greater understanding of endangered plants, the threats to their existence, and the importance of their survival. Rare Plants of Texas is highly recommended not only for professional botanists and advanced researchers, conservationists, students, range managers, and others concerned with preserving the ecosystems of Texas and the Southwest, but for those who appreciate the unique floral backdrop of the region and want to better understand the landscape in which they live.
"Rare Plants of Texas is a major contribution to knowledge about Texas plants. The detailed information about specific rare plants, excellent line drawings, and extensive photographs make this book indispensable to anyone wishing to learn about the numerous rare plants in the state," said George M. Diggs Jr., Ph.D., an Austin College professor of biology. "Further, anyone generally interested in Texas botany or conservation will find the carefully done introduction extremely valuable, with topics ranging from the natural regions of Texas to the history of plant conservation in the state"
JACKIE M. POOLE is a botanist in the Wildlife Diversity Program of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. She has been working with the rare plants of Texas since 1982. WILLIAM R. CARR, a botanist with The Nature Conservancy of Texas, conducts numerous field surveys and inventories for the conservation of threatened habitat. DANA M. PRICE, formerly a botanist at TPWD with experience in prairie ecology and economic botany, now works for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. JASON R. SINGHURST, a botanist and phytogeographer at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, manages GIS and remote sensing land cover classification projects and conducts status surveys of rare plants in Texas.
Rare Plants of Texas is available at stores or direct from Texas A&M University Press (800-826-8911 M-F 8-5 CT; secure online ordering at www.tamu.edu/upress).