|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2010-11-18                                    |
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[ Note: This item is more than six years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ]
Nov. 18, 2010
Master fly-fisher to teach class at TFFC Jan. 15
ATHENS--Expert fly-fisher Bob Cappallo of Corsicana will teach fly-fishing for beginners at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens January 15, 2011, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
The class is open to adults 18 and older. No fly-fishing experience is required. Equipment will be provided, but students may bring their own. The $50 fee for the class includes entrance to TFFC for the day of the class, lunch and a season pass to TFFC so students can return for more fishing as often as they like.
Instruction will focus on equipment selection, knot tying, casting and fishing for rainbow trout in TFFC's 1.5-acre casting pond. Catch-and-release fishing is free, but anglers may pay $5 for the opportunity to catch and keep up to five fish.
Cappallo is a member of the Brazos Valley Fly Fishers and lives on Richland Chambers Reservoir. He fly-fishes for trout in New Mexico and redfish and tarpon on the Texas coast. Cappallo also builds handmade fly rods and ties flies.
Reservations are required, and the class is limited to 10 persons. Registration deadline is January 14. Checks should be made payable to "Friends of TFFC." For more information or to register for the class, call Craig Brooks at (903) 670-2222.

[ Note: This item is more than six years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ]
Nov. 18, 2010
Game Warden Field Notes
The following items are compiled from recent Texas Parks and Wildlife Department law enforcement reports.
Sometimes modesty's the best policy
Val Verde County Game Warden Chrissy Plant made contact with hunters at a camp in West Val Verde County Nov. 7, the second day of general deer season. Although the hunters had no deer, one hunter started bragging about the four javelinas he had killed. They'd scared off his deer at the feeder, he said. Not impressed, Warden Plant cited him for exceeding his bag limit. At another nearby camp, Plant checked some hunters who had been luckier, having taken a nice buck. An hour and a couple flashlight batteries later, Plant found the carcass of a javelina that had been dumped the day before, and a case for waste of game is pending.
Unwise poaching in Wise County
Nov. 5, Wise County Game Warden Chris Dowdy and Tarrant County Game Warden David Vannoy were patrolling Wise County on the eve of the rifle season opener. While investigating a call about a possible poacher, warden Dowdy received another call from a landowner about a deer that had just been shot from the road. After the first call was cleared, the wardens responded to the second call. When they arrived, the wardens found two very upset landowners and one dead white-tailed doe. Darkness had not yet fallen, and the wardens figured that the poachers would soon be back for their take. They didn't have to wait long before the poachers returned. As a pickup truck crept to a stop on the county road, the driver got out and gleefully ran through the field laughing and shouting back to his buddies, "I got it, I got it!" As the driver attempted to return to the truck with the deer, wardens Dowdy and Vannoy surprised the two men and one juvenile. In the truck, the wardens found a rifle, spotlight, headlamps, and beer. Another doe poached from a neighboring county also was found in the bed of the truck. Multiple cases are pending.
Case made by just a hair
Houston County wardens Eddie Lehr and Zak Benge were checking camps in the national forest on opening day of general deer season when a truck pulled up. When asked, the men said they had not killed anything. But Lehr noticed what appeared to be a red stain in the bed of the freshly washed truck and dropped the tailgate. After the wardens found a single deer hair, the suspects finally confessed to killing an illegal buck. After a short interview, the suspect also admitted shooting the deer with a shotgun from Highway 7 near Ratcliff. Cases and restitution pending.
Case of the Misplaced Anger
Sabine County Game Warden Sam Smith and Capt. Tom Jenkins checked a hunter coming out of a wildlife management area on opening day. The man did not have an annual public hunting permit, and as warden Smith wrote the citation, the subject said he was angry at the store that sold him the license for not informing him that he needed a permit to hunt on a wildlife management area, and that he would be having the store pay his fine. Capt. Jenkins, who had walked into the woods while Smith talked with the annoyed license holder, found a permanent stand, corn, and a freshly killed white-tailed doe. The man admitted to all the violations and said he was no longer mad at the store that sold him his license. Cases pending.
Nice deer…too bad it's illegal
Tyler County Game Warden Roy Eddins received a call Nov. 7 that a hunting club member had exceeded the bag limit by killing two bucks with antlers greater than 13 inches. A 10-point buck was seized, and a citation was issued for exceeding the bag limit for a single county. The buck scored 128 5/8. Case pending.
Sometimes waiting's a good thing
Houston County Wardens Eddie Lehr and Zak Benge checked a camp Nov. 7 and found two untagged deer. After interviewing a father and son, it was determined that they had each killed a deer. Unfortunately, the son hadn't wanted to wait in line the previous Friday to buy his license so the father offered to tag each deer. Case pending.
Didn't take CIS to figure this one out
On Nov. 7, Houston County Wardens Zak Benge and Eddie Lehr received an Operation Game Thief tip concerning an illegal buck. They located a deer head in an open field on a private road. It appeared that an animal had dragged the head there. With the tag still attached, locating the suspect was fairly easy. Case pending.
Undersized oysters R a violation
Nov. 6, Chambers County Game Wardens Hector Gonzalez and John Feist filed on three oyster boat captains for possessing a cargo of undersize oysters. Ninety-five sacks of oysters were returned to the reefs. Two days later, Galveston County Game Wardens Mack Chambers, Brain Scott, Vu Nguyen and Lt. Fred Ruiz filed on three oyster boat captains for possessing a cargo of undersize oysters. Seventy-eight sacks of oysters were returned to the reefs. Cases pending.
I Spy
On Nov. 6, Hutchinson County Game Warden Lance Lindley was contacted by a citizen watching a group of hunters through a spotting scope across Lake Meredith. He said one of the hunters had shot a mule deer doe. Warden Lindley went to the location and contacted the hunters. One of them was found to have shot two doe mule deer. Cases and civil restitution filed accordingly.
All in the family
On Nov. 5, Lamar County Game Warden Bryan Callihan and Hopkins County Game Warden Jarrod Bryant caught three groups of spotlighters in Delta County inside two hours. One man said his wife had warned him about road hunting before he left the house. This same man went home and told his son to watch out for game wardens, but the boy didn't listen. An hour later the wardens caught the son on the same road where he dad had been caught.
Jumping the gun with a .22
On Nov. 7, Red River Wardens Daniel Roraback and Benny Richards got a tip on a subject who allegedly killed a buck with a .22 rifle on the Friday before deer season. After a short investigation, the subject confessed to shooting a buck with the rifle the day before deer season and failure to tag the illegal buck deer or fill out his harvest log. Cases and restitution pending.
Well, there was that little deal last year
Morris County Warden Michael Serbanic interviewed a suspect on Nov. 11 after a Morris County deputy stopped him and found a gun and spotlight in the vehicle. The suspect would not admit to road hunting but decided to tell warden Serbanic about the 8-pointer he killed last year and didn't tag. After looking at the man's old license and finding no tags missing and getting the deer head from his residence, citations were issued.
Jig's up for flounder giggers
Nueces County Game Warden Mike Wheelington responded to an Operation Game Thief call that resulted in a man being filed on for gigging five flounder during the November flounder gigging closure.
Nothing accidental about it
On Nov. 12, Refugio County Game Wardens Pinky Gonzales and Danny Kelso received a call from a Refugio County deputy concerning a vehicle he had stopped with a white-tailed buck deer in the back of the vehicle. The two subjects in the vehicle told the wardens that they had accidentally hit the deer with their vehicle. But the wardens found a receipt showing they had purchased a box of bullets about an hour earlier. Checking the deer, the wardens found one shot to the head and one in the neck. Confession, confiscation, impoundment, citations, and a trip to jail followed. Cases pending.
Catching was good for wardens, too
Cameron County Game Wardens Santana Torres, Marc Vela, and Libby Balusek received information on Nov. 10 that several subjects were catching oversize red drum off the Port Mansfield jetties. The wardens headed up the beach and made contact with several vehicles, all of which had at least one violation. A total of 13 cases were made for violations including untagged red drum, improperly tagged red drum, and no fishing license. Civil restitution was filed for one oversize red drum.

[ Note: This item is more than six 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]
Nov. 18, 2010
18 Schools, Nonprofits Win Healthy Habitats Grants
AUSTIN -- A total of $174,469 in Texas Healthy Habitats Grants has been awarded to 18 schools and non-profit youth organizations across the state, including ones near Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, Houston, Bryan, Lubbock and other cities.
Each organization will receive up to $10,000 to support students doing service-learning projects to benefit wildlife and the environment.
The students will address priorities in the Texas Wildlife Action Plan, a blueprint to "keep common species common" and avoid more species from becoming threatened and endangered. Texas is believed to be the first state offering grants for student service projects to support a state wildlife action plan.
The grants are being administered by Service Learning Texas and are made possible through a donation from EnCana Oil & Gas (USA) to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation. Scientists from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department met with student-teacher teams last October in Austin, and TPWD experts will continue to guide grant projects as they unfold over the next year.
Students will research and define a local environmental issue, investigate public and organizational policies related to the issue, design and implement a service-learning project in collaboration with at least two community partners (including TPWD staff), evaluate and publicize the results to public officials and community members, and develop Web profiles for each project for inclusion on the TPWD and SLT Web sites. Students will likely do field work next spring.
In 2009, EnCana donated $486,000 to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation. The major portion of the donation helped initiate the Healthy Habitats program. In 2010, Encana donated an additional $200,000 to continue support of Healthy Habitats, based on successful grant project outcomes and positive comments from teachers and students.
Since 1991, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation has been the official non-profit partner of TPWD. By bringing together companies, corporations, communities and individuals, the foundation has raised more than $60 million benefiting a wide variety of projects.
EnCana is one of North America's largest independent natural gas producers and has a long history of supporting conservation and education causes. Encana's commitment to high environmental, social and business standards has earned Encana international notice for five years running on the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index (DJSI World), where they are listed as a global leader in sustainability.
Service Learning Texas is a statewide initiative of Region 14 Education Service Center and the Texas Education Agency that seeks to improve student achievement through service-learning, an integration of community service with academics. SLT assists students, teachers, administrators, and communities in Texas with training, technical assistance, and resources to develop and strengthen service-learning. It is supported by the Learn and Serve America program of the Corporation for National and Community Service.
Below are descriptions of grant recipients and their proposed projects. The recipients are listed by metropolitan area or region.
New Grant Recipients
Dallas Area
Olson Elementary, Allen Independent School District --Teacher/Coordinator: Kirk Evans, (972) 562-1800, kirk_evans@allenisd.org­--Students will build awareness in Allen ISD and the community of Allen on the importance of keeping waterways clean of trash and helping people understand the importance of aquatic plants and animals. They will continue cleaning the waterway and roadway in front of the school and will start conducting a biodiversity inventory on the school's aquatic areas. They will plant native aquatic plants and prairie grasses in the aquatic areas around their school and Chandler Elementary and continue planting native prairie grasses in the Connemara Meadow Preserve.
Curtis Middle School, Allen Independent School District --Teacher/Coordinator: George Lee, (972) 727-0340, george_lee@allenisd.org--Students will start a club at their school to commit to ongoing environmental improvements and will improve the water quality and diversity of the ponds at Celebration Park. They will achieve these goals through the Curtis Environmental Club they are beginning this year. Students want everyone to have a part in the improvements and create an awareness in their school by getting students interested in being an active part in preserving and improving their environment.
Coppell High School, Coppell Independent School District-- Teacher/Coordinator: Holly Anderson, (214-496-6279), handerson@coppellisd.com--Students at Coppell High School explored the biodiversity in the area and discovered that less than 1% of the original region is still intact. They decided a restoration plan was needed based on the shrinking land available for prairie success and the presence of invasive species. They will make a difference in their community by helping to restore the Blackland Prairie of Coppell Nature Park through independent research and collaboration with local partners. The students hope to learn more valuable information regarding the conservation of biodiversity and the skills necessary to conduct large-scale projects such as this one.
Garland Alternative Education Center, Garland ISD--Teacher/Coordinator: Ginger Davidson, (gmdavids@garlandisd.net) -- Students at Garland Alternative Education Center will focus on the restoration of an undeveloped area of land near their school. Their plan is to plant trees in order to control water runoff and add native plants to promote a greater variety of butterflies and birds to the area. Students will plant drought tolerant trees in order to withstand long periods without rain. As a result of this experience, they hope to develop a clearer understanding of the impact of runoff water and how to restore an area.
Fort Worth Area
Glen Rose High School, Glen Rose Independent School District--Teacher Coordinator: Wendy Thompson, (254- 898-3828) thomwe@grisd.net­-- After consulting with local experts, students developed a plan to make the habitat a better place for the Bobwhite Quail and the Eastern Blue Bird at the Squaw Creek Reservoir. They will restore up to 30 acres in the northern sector of the Squaw Creek Park by planting the native grasses and trees that will work for both of the birds. They will also educate the local community on the importance of riparian zones, habitat connectivity, wildlife corridors and other sensitive habitats.
Waco Area
Centerville Jr. - Sr. High School, Centerville Independent School District, 813 S. Commerce St., Centerville, TX 7583--Teacher/Coordinator: Lori Ward, 903-536-2625) lward@centerville.k12.tx.us-- Students will restore the lake habitat at Fort Boggy State Park. Students, teachers, faculty, and community members will have an opportunity to participate in restoring a dwindling fish habitat, thereby increasing favorable conditions for recreational fishing. Students will collect structures (i.e. Christmas trees) to be used as fish habitat, participate in building the actual habitat, and culminating activities that assess the success of the project and promote environmental awareness.
Central Coast
Martin Middle School, Corpus Christi Independent School District--Teacher Coordinator: Tony Bonilla, (361-878-4690) Tony.bonilla@ccisd.us-- Students will raise a redfish in a classroom aquarium and release the redfish back into a bay once it is grown. They will research recreational fish population over the last 5- 10 years and learn about the successes of the TPWD saltwater management program. They plan to work closely with the Marine Development Center to experience fish conservation and restoration efforts. The goal will be to create a learning and service environment where students can experience the need for fish conservation, practice catch and release and educate the school, parents, and local community about fish kill, fish pressure, conservation, and catch/release practices. Students will create a dynamic educational presentation that will allow them to share their experiences.
Flour Bluff Intermediate School, Flour Bluff Independent School District--Teacher/Coordinator: Margaret Dukarm, (361-694-9440) mdukarm@flourbluffschools.net--Students will clear a half-mile trail that is five feet wide in an area that is overgrown with numerous invasive species that are choking out plants essential to the migration of birds. The remaining plants along the trail will then be identified and labeled so community members and other students will be able to identify more desirable plants. Students will establish a walking path and remove some invasive plant species. Additional plants will be planted to enhance the area and increase the desirability of migratory birds and butterflies.
East Texas
Central Elementary, Central Independent School District, 8578 US Highway 69N, Pollok, TX 75969--Teacher/Coordinator: Susan Sanders sanderss@central isd.com­-- Ten Central Gifted and Talented Fifth grade students observed there was considerable destruction of habitat when the new elementary school was built this past year, due to dirt work and general overall construction. The students decided that the best plan of action was to research what habitat and wildlife was there previously and try to introduce native species plantings to bring back the wildlife. The students will restore lost habitat due to construction of a new school.
Grant Recipients Awarded for a Second Year
Dallas Area
Benjamin Franklin Middle School, Dallas Independent School District --Teacher/Coordinator: Holly Gentry, (972) 502-7100, hgentry@dallasisd.org -- Students will do surveys to ask the community what they know about the Blackland Prairies, such as what trees, shrubs and plants are part of that ecoregion and why it is good to bring those back into the community. Students will then invite the community to the school to see their habitat and will explain the different plants and their benefits. Students will then follow up with another survey to assess the community's knowledge about the Blackland Prairies after their lesson. They have also begun doing insect surveys that compare and contrast the insects in the Blackland Prairie Habitat versus the areas nearby with Bermuda Grasses. This will educate the community on how different species seek out the natural habitats.
Fort Worth Area
Aledo Middle School, Aledo Independent School District --Teacher/Coordinator: Terry Snow, (817) 441-5198, tsnow@aledo.k12.tx.us -- Students have two major goals -- to create demonstration sites at school using native plants and to demonstrate water conservation ideas and the importance of native vegetation in water management for wildlife. Students will work with community partners (landscape architects and landscape companies) to create demonstration sites using native prairie vegetation and water conservation methods. The need to educate citizens will be met by students creating interpretative signage, public service announcements, website updates, and presentations.
Fort Worth Country Day School -- Teacher/Coordinator: Perri Carr, (817) 239-3421, pcarr@fwcds.org-- Students will continue their conservation of Texas prairie they began in 2009. Their goals for this grant are: to manage landscapes and watersheds holistically in cooperation with private landowners and the general public to foster biodiversity of plants and wildlife, to prevent species from becoming threatened or endangered, to control the spread of invasive species, and to educate citizens on the importance of wildlife corridors, especially in urban areas and prairies specifically and promote citizen participation in hands-on conservation. Their efforts so far have been effective in teaching other students about prairies and green roofs, so this year they hope to expand on their efforts outside of the school.
Austin Area
Camp Fire USA Balcones Council, Del Valle Middle School and Ojeda Middle School-- Coordinator Contact: Lavert Rodgers, (361) 442-5291, lrodger@campfireusabalcones.org--The Teens in Action will address the priority of controlling the spread of invasive species and the priority of promoting citizen participation in hands-on conservation. The groups' goals are to eradicate invasive species and replace them with native plants on a segment of their school property. The teens will measure their progress by documenting the removal of non-native plants through photos, video footage and diary entries. They will also document the planting of native plants that will replace the removed invasive ones and showcase their learning through classroom presentations.
Houston Area
Extraordinary Education Family Learning Center, Magnolia -- Project Coordinator: Jackie Pace, 832-640-8141, Jackie@Ashley-Pace.com--The students will continue and expand the work that was begun with their Healthy Habitat grant in 2009-2010. Some of their objectives are: support wildlife, especially birds and pollinators, through providing food, water, and shelter within their Wildscape habitat, continue their long-term goal to eradicate invasive plants and increase the numbers and diversity of native plants on the property, cultivate a culture within their organization that values environmentally responsible living and practices and educate those who are connected with this project on the benefits of wildlife conservation.
Panhandle/South Plains
Friona Independent School District, Parmer County -- Teachers/Coordinators: Tonda Clark/Patsy Allen, (806) 265-5189, tclark@frionaisd.com and pallen@frionaisd.com -- The students' goals are to educate and create awareness about Playa Lakes and their importance in their community as habitats, part of the water cycle, flood control, and the need for conservation. They will work to control the spread of invasive species, educate citizens on the importance of riparian zones, habitat connectivity, wildlife corridors and other sensitive habitats and promote citizen participation in hands-on conservation through field investigations, activities, presentations and reflections.
Shallowater Independent School District -- Teacher/Coordinator: Cindy Couch, (806) 832-4535, ccouch@shallowaterisd.net -- Students will restore the playa lake, to educate the public about the importance playa lakes play in the ecosystem and to increase the number of species in the playa area by 40%. To do this, students will determine baselines by monitoring the habitat, design a plan to rehabilitate the playa, document the activities and conduct presentations to younger students. They will complete graphs, videos and scrapbooks and coordinate a Playa Festival for fifth graders.
Bryan/College Station Area
Hearne Junior High School -- Teacher/Coordinator: Robert Wilson, (979) 279-2449, rwilson@hearne.k12.tx.us -- This project addresses three statewide conservation priorities: managing landscapes and watersheds holistically, in cooperation with private landowners and the general public, to foster biodiversity of plants, fish and wildlife; educating citizens on the importance of riparian zones, habitat connectivity, wildlife corridors and other sensitive habitats; promoting watershed and range management practices that improve ground and surface water quality and quantity. Students will collect data several times a month as they monitor Pin Oak Creek further upstream to several headwater locations.
Central Coast
Travis Middle School, Port Lavaca -- Teacher/Coordinator: Sherrie Krause, (361) 552-3784, krauses@calcoisd.org -- Students will continue to create and restore habitat for common as well as priority species. Since much of the physical construction is completed, this year the students want to spend more time collecting and comparing quantitative data. They will focus on measuring how the change in environment and habitat impacts the people who use this park. Different groups of students will specialize in specific jobs such as water quality, website construction, and multi-media presentations. They will educate the public on becoming more aware of wildlife conservation through presentations, social media sites, and a page in the yearbook.
On the Net:

[ Note: This item is more than six 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: Richard Ott, (903) 566-2161; richard.ott@tpwd.texas.gov ]
Nov. 18, 2010
Fairfield Lake stocked with Toyota Sharelunker offspring
ATHENS--On November 16 Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) Inland Fisheries biologists began rebuilding the fishery at Fairfield Lake affected by a serious fish kill in August by stocking 500 largemouth bass up to 16 inches in length into the reservoir.
Fairfield Lake, near the town of the same name on Interstate 45 south of Dallas, has suffered extensive fish kills the past three years, including August 2010.
"The kills are the result of low oxygen levels that occur following several days of cloudy weather," said TPWD fisheries biologist Dr. Richard Ott. "Fairfield Lake is very rich in nutrients, which causes phytoplankton to grow rapidly and produce oxygen during the day. Normally this is enough to keep oxygen levels high enough overnight to keep fish alive, but several days of cloudy weather in a row can cause the oxygen level to drop too low at night, and the fish basically smother."
The fish stocked into the lake were surplus Toyota ShareLunker offspring that are part of the Operation World Record research program. "These fish are growing so fast that we wanted to selectively remove some of them from the research lake before they outstripped the food supply," said Allen Forshage, director of the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens, where the ShareLunker program is housed. "It was great to have a lake nearby that needed stocking; both lakes benefited."
Anglers will also benefit, since the bass are now living in a public reservoir where anglers can try to catch them.
A video of the stocking and an explanation of the reasons for the fish kills can be viewed at http://www.facebook.com/TPWDIFTyler?ref=ts