|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2008-03-31                                    |
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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]
March 31, 2008
TPW Commission Adopts 2008-2009 Hunting/Fishing Regulations
AUSTIN, Texas -- The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission, at its March 26 meeting, adopted changes to hunting and fishing regulations designed to create additional recreational opportunities while effectively managing the state's natural resources.
As part of the annual regulations review process, public input and discussion among agency staff two proposals related to upland bird hunting were withdrawn. Staff recommended turning to the Commission's newly appointed Game Bird Advisory Committee for further discussion on potential changes to quail and pheasant regulations.
One other proposal, which would have extended regulations allowing the take of catfish by means of bow and arrow, was also withdrawn. As of Sept. 1, 2008, taking of catfish by means of bow and arrow will no longer be legal.
Meanwhile, the following changes were approved by the Commission:
Carp Bag Limit
Anglers fishing Lady Bird Lake (formerly Town Lake) in Austin will be allowed to retain only one common carp 33 inches or larger per day. There will remain no limit on common carp measuring less than 33 inches in length.
Community Fishing Lake Pole Limit
Anglers will be limited to using two fishing poles on designated community fishing lakes. This new rule addresses hoarding of limited bank fishing access. The change affects impoundments 75 acres or less totally within a city limits or a public park, but will not be enacted on any waters inside a state park.
Lake Nacogdoches Bass Limit
This rule changes the largemouth bass regulations on Lake Nacogdoches to a 16-inch maximum size limit. The daily bag will be five bass under 16 inches, although one bass 24 inches or larger can be retained temporarily in a livewell and then weighed using handheld scales for possible donation to the Budweiser ShareLunker program.
Purtis Creek/Lake Raven Bass Limit
This rule changes the largemouth bass temporary retention length limit to 24 inches on Purtis Creek State Park Lake and Lake Raven (Huntsville State Park). Both lakes are catch and release only for largemouth bass, although currently one trophy bass may be retained temporarily for weighing purposes and donation to the Budweiser ShareLunker program.
Lake Texoma Spotted Bass
This rule removes the 14-inch minimum length limit for spotted bass on Lake Texoma consistent with the Texas statewide regulation (no length limit) and the limit for the Oklahoma side of Texoma.
Lake Nasworthy/Colorado City Red Drum Limit
This removes the harvest exceptions for red drum on Lake Nasworthy and the 20-inch minimum length limit for red drum on Colorado City Reservoir. Both water bodies revert to the statewide limits of three fish per day and a 20- 28-inch reverse slot limit.
Expand Panhandle Mule Deer Season
This adds Sherman and Hansford counties to the northern Panhandle mule deer season (16 days beginning the Saturday before Thanksgiving) and in Gaines, Martin, and the eastern portion of Andrews counties to the southwest Panhandle season (nine days beginning the Saturday before Thanksgiving). These counties, wildlife biologists believe, have mule deer populations sufficient to allow the harvest of a few buck mule deer.
Eliminate Bowhunting Minimum Draw Weight
This removes the requirement of a 40-pound minimum peak draw weight on bowhunting equipment.
Deer Proof of Sex Requirement Change
This allows special deer permit tags, including Managed Land Deer Permits, Landowner Assisted Management Permitting System, antlerless mule deer, special public hunting and Antlerless and Spike Control, to satisfy proof of sex tagging requirements.
Lower Minimum Age for Hunter Education Certification
This lowers the minimum age a student may receive hunter education certification from 12 years to 9 years.
Quota for Commercial Catch of Gulf Menhaden in State Waters
This rule establishes a quota for the commercial catch of Gulf menhaden in state waters. The move is a precautionary measure that basically limits the fishery at its current level. The total allowable catch from state waters would be set at 31,500,000 pounds
The changes will take effect after the required posting period or as specified in the rule.

[ 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]
March 31, 2008
Texas Parks and Wildlife Receives Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle Awards
Recognition Reflects Recovery of World's Most Endangered Sea Turtle
AUSTIN, Texas -- A host of organizations working to save the Kemp's Ridley sea turtle recognized four Texas Parks and Wildlife Department employees March 27 for playing key roles in helping to recover the turtle, which nests only in Texas and Mexico.
"The Kemp's Ridley still the most critically endangered sea turtle in the world, but we're moving in the right direction," said Patrick Burchfield, Ph.D., director of the Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, and a lead coordinator for the bi-national turtle recovery effort involving Texas and Mexico.
"In 1985, only 702 Ridley turtles came to nest on beaches at Rancho Nuevo in Mexico. Last year, at our six bi-national turtle camps in Mexico we had about 6,000 nesting turtles return. And in our state, a record 128 Kemp's Ridley nests were found on Texas beaches. This could not have happened without the hard work of many people, including four Texas Parks and Wildlife employees who have consistently championed funding and support for this cause for many years."
At the TPW Commission meeting March 27, Burchfield and several partners took turns recognizing the four TPWD employees. Several awards were presented from commercial shrimping organizations. A little history explains why shrimpers are applauding the Ridley's recovery.
Shrimpers had been blamed as one reason for the turtle's decline, and in the 1990s they were required to start using Turtle Excluder devices, essentially holes in shrimp trawls (nets) that allow sea turtles to escape and avoid drowning.
In 1995, Burchfield took an olive branch to the industry, going to speak at a Texas shrimp industry meeting. His talk intrigued Les Hodgson, co-owner of Marco Sales, a Brownsville shrimp wholesaler. Hodgson and others began a crusade to involve shrimp fishermen in the Ridley recovery.
Shrimpers in Texas and elsewhere in U.S. got behind the project, including Wild American Shrimp, the marketing arm of the organization that represents shrimpers in eight southern U.S. states along the Gulf and the Atlantic. They approached their Mexican counterparts with the organization CANAINPES. Together the groups built facilities and provided all terrain vehicles for scientists and volunteers patrolling Mexican beaches for nesting sea turtles.
At the March 27 meeting, Les' brother Larry Hodgson, representing Ocean Trust, an education and research foundation connected with the fishing industry, recognized Larry McKinney, Ph.D., TPWD Coastal Fisheries Division director.
Les Hodgson, representing Wild American Shrimp, then recognized Scott Boruff, TPWD deputy executive director for operations, calling him one of the "Ridley rangers."
Harley Londrie, Texas Shrimp Association vice president, then recognized Mike Ray, TPWD Coastal Fisheries Division deputy director, who has handled most of the details and logistics for the agency's sea turtle conservation efforts for many years.
Burchfield, representing the zoo and bi-national partners, concluded the presentation with an award to Gene McCarty, TPWD deputy executive director for administration.
Burchfield concluded the awards presentation by urging continued conservation action.
"We stand now on the brink of recovery for the Kemp's Ridley," Burchfield said. "We're on the way back, but we're in the fourth quarter on the one yard line. We must keep the ball in play."
More information about the Kemp's Ridley sea turtle is on the TPWD 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 ] [AR]
March 31, 2008
Fannin County Game Warden Honored by Conservation Group
AUSTIN, Texas -- Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Game Warden Eddie Hines of Bonham was honored for his work with the National Wild Turkey Federation in a ceremony before the TPW Commission here March 27.
Hines was named the NWTF Enforcement Officer of the Year for Texas. Paul Ferrell, East Texas regional director for the NWTF, cited Hines' ongoing community involvement, his work in youth education and his work with other law enforcement agencies in northeast Texas.
Hines also was instrumental in forming a Fannin County chapter of the NWTF and helped raise more than $16,000, some $3,000 of which will be used for Texas projects such as wild turkey habitat enhancement and restoration and education.
"Eddie is one of those types of game wardens any district supervisor in the state would want a whole district full of," said Game Warden Capt. Garry Collins, district supervisor for seven counties in northeast Texas.
"He's very conscientious, very professional. He's very involved with the community. He's just a really professional game warden."
Hines also can be counted on to put in for a little time off when spring turkey season rolls around, Collins added with a chuckle.
"I guess turkeys have kind of been my favorite game animal," Hines said. "Turkeys have always been my passion."
Accepting the award in Austin with Hines were his wife Marsha and mother Mildred.
"The National Wild Turkey Federation has really done a lot for the wild turkey and for sportsmen and they reflect the same goals and hunting ethics that I have, and that makes it even more an honor to receive that award," Hines said. "I appreciate the backing I get from my captain, who nominated me for the award, and also from Col. Flores and the department. It's just an honor to be recognized."