|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2011-05-02                                    |
|  This page contains only plain text, no HTML formatting codes.          |
|  It is not designed for display in a browser but for copying            |
|  and editing in whatever software you use to lay out pages.             |
|  To copy the text into an editing program:                              |
|    --Display this page in your browser.                                 |
|    --Select all.                                                        |
|    --Copy.                                                              |
|    --Paste in a document in your editing program.                       |
|  If you have any suggestions for improving these pages, send            |
|  an e-mail to webtech@tpwd.state.tx.us and mention Plain Text Pages.    |

[ 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: Lindsey Davis at 512.581.8173 or Lindsey.davis@tpwd.texas.gov; Chris Holmes at 979.229.2886 or Chris.holmes@tpwd.texas.gov ]
May 2, 2011
Embark on a family camping adventure this spring
AUSTIN, Texas - Maybe you've already given camping a shot and are ready for that next step in your camping experience. Perhaps you've never camped before, but are looking to find that perfect park to spend the night under the stars, far away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. You might even be an avid camper, but the idea of camping with a park ranger sounds intriguing and you just might learn something new. If so, Texas Outdoor Family's Adventure Camping Series is for you.
This spring, three of Texas' most beautiful parks will host the ever-popular Texas Outdoor Family program designed to familiarize families with the outdoors and show them how to tent camp, cook outdoors and make the most of their state park experience. Three jewels of the Texas State Park System -- Palo Duro Canyon, Caprock Canyons, and Martin Dies, Jr. state parks -- offer the perfect opportunity for families seeking to spice up their camping experience with a bit of adventure.
The Texas Outdoor Family Adventure Series dates are May 14-15 at Palo Duro Canyon, May 14-15 at Martin Dies, Jr. and a two-night workshop May 28-30 at Caprock Canyons. The cost for up to six people is only $65.
Highlighting the Palo Duro Canyon campout is a ranger-guided hike through the "Grand Canyon of Texas" to its famous geologic wonder, The Lighthouse. Hike through picturesque red canyon walls, 800 feet high, formed thousands of years ago by the Prairie Dog Fork of the Red River. Be sure to bring your camera, as the views are second to none. The event also features "Cowboy Cooking" that teaches the fundamentals of Dutch oven cooking.
For water enthusiasts, Martin Dies, Jr. is the workshop to attend. After receiving instruction from certified rangers you'll spend three hours paddling in B.A. Steinhagen Reservoir and along the gently flowing Angelina River. Centuries-old bald cypress and other old-growth trees provide habitat for pileated woodpeckers, great-horned owls and other intriguing wildlife. Experience this mystifying park from the water in a way few others do.
The Caprock Canyons event features a two-night campout over Memorial Day Weekend at one of the most scenic parks in Texas. Highlights of this workshop include hiking and geocaching within the beautiful Caprock escarpment, a narrow rocky stretch of canyons cut through the high plains and Dutch oven cooking like the ranchers of the area did in the 1800's. Experience one of the best views of the night sky anywhere in Texas. Families should be on the lookout, too, for a glimpse of the official Texas State Bison herd started by legendary Texas rancher Charles Goodnight.
"These expanded programs are aimed at families who are looking for more adventurous camping experiences," explains Lindsey Davis, Texas Outdoor Family Program coordinator. "We recognize that many families want to expand their outdoor recreation knowledge, but are uncomfortable going alone to a remote site with limited facilities. The Texas Outdoor Family Adventure Camping Series allows the families to enjoy their time together in a safe environment with knowledgeable rangers to guide and assist at any time."
Texas Parks and Wildlife's Texas Outdoor Family program, which launched in the summer of 2008, has taught more than 1,300 families throughout the state, most of them from urban environments, how to safely enjoy the great outdoors. Families are provided with all the camping gear necessary for an enjoyable weekend campout. The workshop costs $65 per family (up to six people), and includes individual camping sites for each family, restrooms with hot showers, professional park ranger-led programs and instruction, park police officer-provided public safety and security, a curriculum tailored to the host park and state park Junior Ranger certification programs. The entire approach adopts a 'Leave No Trace' philosophy so it's environmentally friendly.
Families are expected to bring their own sleeping bags, personal items and food for the two-day workshops, and suggested shopping and packing lists for meals and personal items will be provided.
Visit tpwd.texas.gov/outdoorfamily for more information, including the complete schedule of weekend workshops. Families can register by calling (512)389-8903 and speaking to a Texas Outdoor Family representative Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-6 p.m., or send an e-mail to tofsp@tpwd.texas.gov anytime. After registration, a confirmation packet with directions and details will be sent.

[ 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 ] [LH]
May 2, 2011
Texas State-Fish Art Contest Winners Announced
ATHENS--Officials at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center have announced the winners of the Texas division of the Wildlife Forever State-Fish Art Contest.
The annual contest is open to all Texas students in public, private and home schools and is judged in three grade-level divisions: 4--6, 7--9 and 10--12. First-place winners in each grade-level division advance to the national competition. National winners will be announced at the Wildlife Forever State-Fish Art Contest Expo to be held at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center June 24--25, 2011.
The Toyota Texas Bass Classic funds cash prizes for Texas winners: $1,000 for first place, $750 for second place and $500 for third place in the 10--12 division. Prizes in the 4--6 and 7--9 grade levels are $100 for first; $75 for second; $50 for third. First-place winners also receive a travel allowance for themselves and their family to attend the contest expo.
Texas winners in the 4--6 grade-level division are: First Place, Samuel Beltran, Pasadena; Second Place, Candace Ma, Sugar Land; Third Place, Maggie Maddison, Duncanville.
Texas winners in the 7--9 grade-level division are: First Place, Brady King, Livingston; Second Place, Sun Yiming, Katy; Third Place, Lillian Chen, Sugar Land.
Texas winners in the 10--12 grade-level division are: First Place, GiGi Barker, Village Mills; Second Place, Bonnie Leung, The Woodlands; Third Place, Lorenzo Leyva, Del Rio.
Honorable Mentions were awarded by the Texas judges to the following students.
Grades 4--6: Mitchell Glover, Lake Jackson; Evett Makenzie, Corsicana; Emmy Emmons, Paige; Allison Killgore, Bremond; Jessica Schroeder, LaVernia; Seanna McCarty, Katy; and Riley Dean Merritt, Copperas Cove.
Grades 7--9: Ghenica-Rose Delfin, Del Rio; Nasa Xu, Katy; Karli Boyd, Athens; Rachel Reed, Sugar Land; Lauren Millard, Sugar Land; Jonathan Criner, Mertzon; and McKenzie Flowers, Hardin.
Grades 10--12: Madison Johnson, Dallas; Caroline Zurmely, Dallas; Peyton McCown, Willow Park; Elissa Weaver, Richwood; Judit Aguilera, Liberty; Fabian Galvan, Liberty; and Jennifer Lipscomb, Liberty Hill.
Students from across the nation will join the Texas winners at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center for the national awards ceremony to be held on Saturday, June 25, 2011, as part of the Wildlife Forever State-Fish Art Contest Expo and Art's Better Outside event. Practicing artists are invited to demonstrate, show and sell their work and interact with the students. Booth space for the event can be reserved by contacting James Booker at (903) 670-2266 or james.booker@tpwd.texas.gov. Artists in all media are invited.
The public portion of the State-Fish Art Expo will be held June 25, 2011, and will feature fishing, instructional seminars and demonstrations and a display of all the state and national contest winners. Plans are being made for a day-long schedule of events with food booths and outdoor activities and displays that the public can enjoy in addition to viewing the artwork and voting for the People's Choice Award. The public can also vote for the People's Choice Award online at www.wildlifeforever.org.
One outstanding piece of artwork each year is selected for the Art of Conservation Award, and a commemorative stamp featuring the artwork is produced for sale. Proceeds from sales of the stamp are used to fund conservation projects. The 2011 winner will be unveiled at the expo.
Also to be unveiled at the expo is the winner of the Seth Thomas Spradlin Best of Show Award. In 2008, Spradlin won the Best of Show Award and the Art of Conservation Stamp Award. In late August 2010, during his second summer earning funds for college as a seasonal employee for the National Park Service in Alaska, Seth and his brother Neal lost their lives in a bush plane accident in remote Katmai National Park. "Seth's artwork inspired us all. I remember feeling a sense of wetness from the splash in his painting. That element of engagement and his untimely loss challenge us to remember and recognize his talent. I am pleased to rename our top award after him to inspire future young conservationists to excel and achieve in the outdoor world," said Wildlife Forever CEO Doug Grann.
Public admission to the expo and related activities will be included with paid admission to TFFC.
The State-Fish Art Contest is a project of Wildlife Forever. Located in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, Wildlife Forever is a non-profit multi-species conservation organization dedicated to conserving America's wildlife heritage. Working at the grassroots level, Wildlife Forever has funded conservation projects in all 50 states, committing millions of dollars to "on-the-ground" efforts. Wildlife Forever supports habitat restoration and enhancement, land acquisition, research and management of fish and wildlife populations.
For more information on visiting the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center, go to tpwd.texas.gov/tffc.
For information on Athens-area lodging, dining and attractions, visit www.athenstx.org.

[ 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 ] [LH]
May 2, 2011
Toyota ShareLunker Program Winds Up Season 25
ATHENS--The Toyota ShareLunker season just concluded marked the 25th anniversary of the ShareLunker program. During that time 523 fish have been entered. The current season's 19 entries was about two fish short of the long-term average.
Two entries set water-body records: a 16.03-pound fish from Lake Austin and a 14.94-pound fish from Lake Gilmer.
Nathan Peña-Alfaro's 13.59-pounder from O.H. Ivie became the new junior angler state record largemouth bass.
Two entries were repeats. Toyota ShareLunker 522 this season from Lake Caddo was the same as No. 487 last season. Toyota ShareLunker 523 from O.H. Ivie was the same fish as No. 503 caught last year. Both fish were lake records when caught last season and still hold that distinction.
Four of the fish entered died and four spawned, producing a total of 255, 503 fry, the highest number ever produced during a ShareLunker season. After being raised to 1.5 inches, the offspring will be stocked into the lakes that contributed entries during the current season.
The season saw O.H. Ivie Reservoir tie with Sam Rayburn Reservoir for third place in production of ShareLunker entries with 23 each. Only Lake Alan Henry, with 25 entries, and Lake Fork, with 247, have produced more.
The season was somewhat unusual in that more than half the entries, 10 of 19, came in January and February. In an average season 10.5 percent of the entries come in January and 22.7 percent in February; this season 26 percent of the entries came in each of those months.
ShareLunker catches normally peak in March, with 42.8 percent of total entries having been caught that month. This season saw 31.5 percent of the season's entries caught in March.
The sharpest decline in entries came in April. On average 16.2 percent of the fish entered are caught in April; this year saw only one fish, or 0.5 percent, caught during the final month of the season.
Following is a chronological summary of Toyota ShareLunker catches during the season. Toyota ShareLunker anglers will be honored at a banquet at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens June 4.
December 15, 2010. Bobbie Gayle of Millersview joined a very exclusive club when she caught Toyota ShareLunker 505 from O.H. Ivie Reservoir. The 14-pound fish was Gayle's third entry into the ShareLunker program, making her one of only five anglers to have achieved that distinction. O.H. Ivie continued its remarkable run of Toyota ShareLunkers begun last season.
Toyota ShareLunker 505 died December 23, 2010.
January 1, 2011. O.H. Ivie Reservoir continued to pump out Toyota ShareLunkers. Nathan Peña-Alfaro, a 15-year-old sophomore at Western Hills High School in Benbrook, caught Toyota ShareLunker 506, a 13.59-pounder that earned him the state junior angler largemouth bass record.
The fish was returned to the lake February 19, 2011.
January 15, 2011. Christopher Wright of Flower Mound caught Toyota ShareLunker 507 from O.H. Ivie while fishing in a tournament. The 13.83-pound bass was caught at 2:00 p.m. and by 2:30 p.m. was in the minnow tank at Elm Creek Village.
Toyota ShareLunker 507 produced 51,810 fry. Fry are raised to approximately 1.5 inches at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens. Each lake that produces a program entry during the season receives a share of the fingerlings. No. 507 was returned to the lake April 14, 2011.
January 27, 2011. T.J. Nissen of Austin set a new lake record for Lake Austin with Toyota ShareLunker 508, a 16.03-pound bass that also ranks 23 on the Top 50 list of big bass caught in Texas.
Toyota ShareLunker 508 was returned to Lake Austin February 11, 2011.
January 30, 2011. Toyota ShareLunker 509 was caught from O.H. Ivie by Wimberley angler Terry Capps. The 13.01-pounder was O.H. Ivie's fourth ShareLunker of the season.
Toyota ShareLunker 509 produced 63, 525 fry and was returned to the lake on April 14, 2011.
January 31, 2011. Falcon International Reservoir kicked in its twelfth entry ever into the Toyota ShareLunker program, a 13.22-pound fish caught by Ky Martin of Grandview, Texas. Toyota ShareLunker 510 became the fifth entry submitted in January, tying the current season for second in number of entries for the month with January of the 1991-92 season. The 1994-95 season saw the highest number of January entries ever, seven.
Toyota ShareLunker 510 was returned to the lake March 9, 2011.
February 13, 2011. Susan Dixon of Hawley, Texas, was fishing with O.H. Ivie guide and friend Jeff Walker when she caught Toyota ShareLunker 511.
Toyota ShareLunker 511 was returned to the lake April 7, 2011.
February 18, 2011. Falcon International Reservoir sent Toyota ShareLunker 512 to Athens, its second entry of the year. The fish weighed 13.84 pounds and was caught by Charles Hardin of DeSoto, Missouri.
Toyota ShareLunker 512 was returned to Falcon March 9, 2011.
February 19, 2011. Travis Lane Epperson of Lubbock caught Toyota ShareLunker 513 from O.H. Ivie. The fish weighed 13.55 pounds.
Toyota ShareLunker 513 was returned to O.H. Ivie April 7, 2011.
February 25, 2011. Billy Weems of Liberty Hill caught 13.21-pound Toyota ShareLunker 514 from Lake Austin.
Toyota ShareLunker 514 produced 24,998 fry and was returned to the lake on April 20, 2011.
February 26, 2011. Cody Erin Smith of New Braunfels followed Weems's catch with a 14.28-pounder, Toyota ShareLunker 515, also from Lake Austin.
Toyota ShareLunker 515 was returned to the lake March 9, 2011.
March 6, 2011. Falcon International Reservoir produced its third Toyota ShareLunker of the season, its fourteenth overall and the twelfth entry into the ShareLunker program for the season.
Gene Patrin of Zapata caught the 14.16-pounder, Toyota ShareLunker 516.
Toyota ShareLunker 516 was returned to Falcon March 9, 2011.
March 9, 2011. Falcon International Reservoir continued to solidify its status as one of the prime big-bass lakes in Texas with Toyota ShareLunker 517, a 13.56-pound largemouth caught by Jason Shropshire of Cleveland, Texas.
Toyota ShareLunker 517 died March 13, 2011.
March 13, 2011. Toyota ShareLunker 518 came from Lake Fork. Ed Carter of Broken Bow, Oklahoma, pulled in the 14.25-pounder.
Toyota ShareLunker 518 was returned to the lake April 5, 2011.
Before the Toyota ShareLunker Tundra made it back to Athens with that fish, Robert Amaya of Robert's Fish 'n Tackle in Zapata called to report Toyota ShareLunker 519, a 13.37-pounder from Falcon International Reservoir caught by David Cosner of Austin.
Toyota ShareLunker 519 died April 8, 2011.
March 15, 2011. Toyota ShareLunker 520 was caught from Falcon by Todd Elrod of Fritch, Texas. It weighed 13.18 pounds.
Toyota ShareLunker 520 died March 23, 2011.
March 17, 2011. Gilmer Reservoir sent a new lake record largemouth bass to the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center (TFFC) March 17. Thomas Milam of Pittsburg, Texas, caught the 14-pounder, Toyota ShareLunker 521.
Toyota ShareLunker 521 produced 115,200 fry and was returned to the lake on April 21, 2011.
March 18, 2011. Sean Swank of DeBerry, Texas, caught Toyota ShareLunker 522 from Caddo Lake. The 16.07-pound fish was the largest caught during the season, earning Swank Angler of the Year honors and a prize package worth $818. The package includes a G. Loomis NRX854C jig and worm rod, a Shimano ChronarchD1007 casting reel and 150 yards of moss green Power Pro super-braid fishing line. Swank will also receive a lifetime fishing license.
Toyota ShareLunker 522 is the same fish caught from Caddo last season by Keith Burns and entered as Toyota ShareLunker 487, when it weighed 16.17 pounds and became the lake record. It was returned to Caddo Lake March 27, 2011.
April 14, 2011. Faron McCain of Sweetwater caught Toyota ShareLunker 523 from O.H. Ivie, a 14.94-pound fish that proved to be the same as last year's lake record, which weighed 16.08 pounds when it was caught by Jerry Bales of Hico and became Toyota ShareLunker 503.
Toyota ShareLunker 523 was returned to O.H. Ivie April 19, 2011.