|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2010-03-23                                    |
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[ Note: This item is more than seven 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]
March 23, 2010
Wildflowers Starting to Pop Up Across Texas
AUSTIN -- Someone forgot to give Texas wildflowers a wakeup call, but they are slowly rising from their winter slumber and promise a dazzling display in coming weeks.
In most parts of the state, a colder-than-average winter has gotten the wildflower season off to a slow start, but Texas Parks and Wildlife Department botanists predict a great year after the last several lackluster, drought-impacted years.
"It should be a really good year from what I've seen in the field due to all the rain, but some recent cold, cloudy weather might delay spring flowering a week or two," says TPWD botanist Jackie Poole. "Look for good displays at places like Enchanted Rock, Inks Lake and Palmetto state parks where sandy soils contribute to a good mix of species. LBJ should have several fields filled with bluebonnets and Indian paintbrush soon."
Recent reports from other TPWD botanists traveling highways such as U.S. 183 and Texas Highway 84 in warmer South Texas climes around Gonzales and Victoria indicated strong showings of bluebonnets, Indian paintbrush, tickseed, Drummond phlox, toad flax and baby blue eyes.
In parts of central and northeast Texas, Texans are already being treated to the colorful blooms of such flowering trees as redbuds, peach, pear and Mexican plum. Judging from the profusion of pink blooms on peach trees recently spied around Fredericksburg and Stonewall, barring late spring freeze like the one that occurred last year, peach lovers are in for a stellar season.
While wildflower worshippers can find 700,000 acres along Texas highways and by-ways to indulge their passion, they can stop safely to view, photograph and smell the flowers at more than 90 Texas state parks. Some parks, such as Goose Island State Park near Rockport, host guided wildflower walks each spring weekend unless Mother Nature intervenes as it did this past Saturday with a blue norther, forcing cancellation of the outing. Nonetheless, park staff report a profusion of wildflowers throughout the coastal park, where in a couple of weeks Huisache trees will be in full bloom perfuming the air along the bayfront.
Already in West Texas parks like Big Bend Ranch, cacti are in bloom, the giant desert bluebonnets are out and yuccas are thrusting their flowering stalks toward the azure Chihuahuan Desert skies.
In East Texas, visitors to Purtis Creek, Martin Creek and other nearby state parks will soon be treated to the flowering dogwoods that light up the piney woods in mid to late spring.
One of the most prolific wildflower crops traditionally are found in rolling, verdant Washington County. Bluebonnets are just starting to make their appearance along twisting rural roads and at places like Washington-on-the-Brazos State Park. To keep track of the latest wildflower sightings, visit the Brenham and Washington County Web site.
For updated statewide wildflower reports, visit the Texas Department of Transportation's Web site or call 1-800-452-9292 that details where noteworthy stands of wildflowers have been sighted along the state's highways.
On the Net:

[ Note: This item is more than seven 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]
March 23, 2010
Lake Fork Toyota ShareLunker 489 Makes Big Bass Top 50 List
Catch qualifies angler for $11,550 in cash and prizes
ATHENS -- James Quisenberry moved to the Lake Fork area in hopes of catching the bass of a lifetime.
That dream came true March 22 when he caught a 15.61-pound largemouth from Lake Fork, but when he weighed the fish at Lake Fork Marina, an official ShareLunker weigh and holding station, he got even better news.
The bass ties for the number 33 spot on the list of top 50 biggest largemouth bass caught in Texas, which qualifies Quisenberry for $10,000 in cash from the Lake Fork Area Chamber of Commerce's Lake Fork Bounty Bonanza tournament. Added to that will be $500 for catching a bass weighing 13 pounds or more, likely another $300 for the biggest bass weighed in during the month, $250 in tackle from Berkley and $500 in tackle from Lake Fork Marina.
Quisenberry caught the fish in 10 feet of water while fishing with a waterdog. The fish was 23.25 inches in girth and 25.25 inches long.
The fish is the biggest ShareLunker to come from Lake Fork since 2002.
Anyone legally catching a 13-pound or bigger largemouth bass from Texas waters, public or private, between October 1 and April 30 may submit the fish to the Toyota ShareLunker program by calling program manager David Campbell at (903) 681-0550 or paging him at (888) 784-0600 and leaving a phone number including area code. Fish will be picked up by TPWD personnel within 12 hours.
For complete information and rules of the ShareLunker program, tips on caring for big bass and a recap of last year's season, see http://tamus.pr-optout.com/Url.aspx?513992x774680x-46784. The site also includes a searchable database of all fish entered into the program along with pictures where available.
Information on current catches, including short videos of interviews with anglers, is posted on www.facebook.com/sharelunkerprogram.
The Toyota ShareLunker Program is made possible by a grant to the Texas Parks & Wildlife Foundation from Gulf States Toyota. Toyota is a long-time supporter of the Foundation and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, providing major funding for a wide variety of education, fish, parks and wildlife projects.