|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2011-05-10                                    |
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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 ]
May 10, 2011
Mountain Lion Tranquilized, Shot in Downtown El Paso
EL PASO -- A mountain lion that authorities first had tried to tranquilize led law enforcement officers, a Texas Parks and Wildlife Department game warden captain and city animal control officers on a wild chase through central El Paso that ended with the animal being shot and killed.
The mountain lion, a male weighing 102 pounds*, was first seen on railroad tracks near downtown around 8:30 a.m. by Union Pacific employees. They contacted El Paso's animal control unit, which began looking for the cat. A short time later, a passerby saw the animal enter the parking garage of a state office building at 401 E. Franklin, where TPWD game wardens have their offices along with several other government agencies.
Once the animal had been cornered in the garage, a Texas Department of Health veterinarian shot it with a tranquilizer dart. But before the drug could take full effect, it jumped from the second floor of the garage back onto the street, heading north out of downtown with multiple agencies in hot pursuit, including game warden Capt. Robert Newman, city animal control and others.
Passing through a school yard, the big cat ran about a half-mile north to H&H Car Wash at 701 E. Yandell Dr., where Newman and other officers evacuated several customers and lowered the business's vehicle security gate to trap the mountain lion inside. The animal eventually lay down, but it did not lose consciousness so the veterinarian shot it with a second tranquilizer dart.
Despite that injection, the mountain lion took off and hit the fence, finding a space it was able to crawl through. Since it appeared about to escape again, two officers -- one from El Paso Police Department and one from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission - shot and killed the animal shortly before 10:30 a.m. The carcass will go to city animal control facilities, and there will eventually be a necropsy analysis done.
Capt. Newman noted that the Rio Grande is only about a mile from the incident area, and that the Franklin Mountains are also nearby. He said there are occasional reports of mountain lions within the city limits, and that three or four years ago a TPWD game warden shot and killed a mountain lion in a west side neighborhood that backed up to the mountain range.
General information about mountain lions in Texas, including what people can do if they encounter a mountain lion, is on the TPWD website.
* Correction, May 13, 2011: The gender and weight have been updated with current information. (Return to corrected item.)
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: Dan Bennett, (903) 561-2161, dan.bennett@tpwd.texas.gov ]
May 10, 2011
Lake Fairfield Tilapia Fishery Flourishing
Game-fish species still recovering from 2010 fish kill
ATHENS--An old saying--"It's an ill wind that blows no one good"--points out that there are two sides to almost everything. Bow fishers are finding that despite an extensive fish kill at Lake Fairfield in August, 2010, that devastated the largemouth bass, catfish and red drum fisheries, there are still recreational angling opportunities to be had.
Bow fishers on Lake Fairfield are taking advantage of an unexpected bonanza of tilapia. The lake is home to an abundant population of tilapia, which make excellent table fair. Tilapia have a rapid growth rate and can reproduce year around, which has allowed them to recover quickly from last August's fish kill.
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) Kills and Spills Team biologists reported an estimated 1,255,674 fish were killed due to low dissolved oxygen levels in the reservoir in August 2010. A majority of the fish killed were threadfin and gizzard shad, tilapia, sunfish and common carp, but a large number of red drum, largemouth bass and catfish were also killed in the event.
Sampling of the fish populations in fall and spring of 2011 by TPWD management biologists revealed that largemouth bass and red drum are still present in the lake, but most were below legal size. It may take several years for their populations to return to what they were before the kill.
TPWD is working to restore what has long been a popular fishery. In fall of 2010, 650 adult largemouth bass up to 16 inches in length were stocked into Lake Fairfield. These bass are descended from Toyota Sharelunker offspring that are part of the Operation World Record research program and were collected from a nearby research lake.
In addition, 103,000 Florida largemouth bass fingerlings were stocked in early May. Almost 108,000 bluegill fingerlings were stocked at Lake Fairfield in late April to help restore the prey base for game fishes. Stocking of 407,000 red drum fingerlings is scheduled later this spring.
Tilapia are a warm-water tropical species not native to Texas and are actually on the state's prohibited species list. Therefore, there is no minimum size or bag limit for tilapia in Texas. However, this also means it is unlawful to transport or possess the fish alive, and the fish are required to be partially cleaned before leaving Lake Fairfield State Park.
In addition to bow fishing, tilapia can be collected by seine or cast net and occasionally by rod and reel. Anglers have reported harvesting more than 100 fish per day while bow fishing for tilapia on Lake Fairfield.
It is not known how tilapia came to be in Lake Fairfield. The specific species of tilapia in Lake Fairfield is the blue tilapia, which has the highest cold tolerance of any tilapia species. They can survive in temperatures down to about 45 degrees Farenheit. Because Lake Fairfield is a power-plant cooling lake, the water is artificially heated year around. Tilapia often congregate at the hot-water outflow from the power plant in winter.

[ 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: Bruce Hysmith, (903) 786-2389. bruce.hysmith@tpwd.texas.gov ]
May 10, 2011
TPWD to Report on Status of Lake Amon G. Carter May 19
Correction: The original version of this news release contained the wrong date for the meeting. The correct date is May 19, 2011.
ATHENS--Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) Inland Fisheries biologists will host a meeting at 7:00 p.m. May 19 in the Legends Building of the Bowie Community Center to report on the status of the fishery in Lake Amon G. Carter.
Biologists will also report on the results of a recent study documenting the effects of tournament mortality on a Texas largemouth bass fishery.
The Bowie Community Center is located on the east side of Texas Highway 59 about two blocks north of downtown.
The public is invited to the meeting. Anyone unable to attend may send comments in writing to Bruce Hysmith, district biologist, at the Lake Texoma Fisheries Station, P.O. Box 1446, Pottsboro, TX 75076, or by e-mail to bruce.hysmith@tpwd.texas.gov.