|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2011-12-14                                    |
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[ Note: This item is more than five 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: Lenny Francoeur, Tournament Director, (479) 715-6103 or lenny@toyotatexasbassclassic.com; Adam Harris, Marketing & Communications Senior Manager; (919) 531-0500 or adam@toyotatexasbassclassic.com; Mallory Beck, Marketing & Communications Coordinator; (919) 531-0400 or mallory.beck@octagon.com ]
Dec. 14, 2011
Toyota Texas Bass Classic Crowns World Champion
Final day of competition to air on Versus Saturday
CONROE, TX (Dec. 14, 2011) - The thrilling conclusion of this year's Toyota Texas Bass Classic will air nationally in over 75 million homes this Saturday at 1 p.m. Eastern (Noon Central) on Versus, a member of the NBC Sports Group. Following two days of fierce competition, an exciting finale awaits the national viewing audience as the final weigh-in promises a finish unlike any in tournament history.
"This year's world championship truly went down to the wire," said Tournament Director Lenny Francoeur. "Our field of competitors was made up of the best anglers in the sport and the level of excitement for this year's finish was unprecedented, it's sure to be entertaining hour for all of the fans."
Huntington, TX native Keith Combs entered the final day in the lead after his first two days earned him the biggest bags of the tournament. Combs collected 28 pounds, eight ounces and 27 pounds, four ounces on the first and second days, respectively. An annual TTBC contender and 2010 runner-up, Mike Iaconelli, remained within striking distance of Combs having tallied 25 pounds on the second day and the pair lead the remaining anglers rounding out the Tundra Ten (in order) which included: Todd Auten (3), Ott Defoe (4), Steve Kennedy (5), Mark Rose (6), Edwin Evers (7), 2010 TTBC Champion Brian Snowden (8), Wesley Strader (9), and Alton Jones (10).
All of the on-the-water action from TTBC's final day, including the final weigh-in will air in a one-hour special on Versus, the official broadcast partner of TTBC. The program will also re-air on Wednesday, Dec. 21st at 4 p.m. Eastern (3 p.m. Central) on Versus.
Final Round- Dec. 17th from 1:00-2:00 p.m. ET (will re-air on Dec. 21st at 4:00 p.m. ET)
The TTBC field is made up of the world's best in professional bass fishing. The 50-angler field included representatives from the Bass Pro Shops PAA Tournament Series, the Walmart FLW Tour and the Bassmaster Elite Series. The TTBC is the only event of its kind to bring in the best anglers from the major tours together on the same lake to compete for one world championship title.
The Toyota Texas Bass Classic tournament functions are operated by the Professional Anglers Association with technical assistance and support from Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's Inland Fisheries Division. Title sponsor for the event is Toyota. Additional sponsors include Evinrude, Ricoh, Carrot Stix, US Reel, Mustang CAT and ATX Wheels. For additional information, visit toyotatexasbassclassic.com or call 1-866-907-0143.
SHARE: TTBC Finale Will Air On Saturday http://bit.ly/w2BZpz
FINAL EPISODE VIDEO- http://youtu.be/pHEFy-1Ixxc

PHOTOS- https://www.facebook.com/media/albums/?id=44665342554
Twitter- @TxBassClassic

[ Note: This item is more than five 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: Texas: Tom Harvey, 512.389.4453, Tom.Harvey@tpwd.texas.govDepartment of the Interior: Nanciann Regalado, 678.296.6805, nanciann_regalado@fws.govNOAA: Tim Zink, 206.402.2059, tim.zink@noaa.govAlabama: Patti Powell, Patti Powell, 334.242.3484, Patti.Powell@dcnr.alabama.govFlorida: Kristin Lock, 850.245.2112, kristin.lock@dep.state.fl.usLouisiana: Jenny Kurz, 225.610.9737, jenny.kurz@la.govMississippi: Donna Lum, 601.948.3071, donna.lum@neel-schaffer.com ]
Dec. 14, 2011
Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Trustees Call for Public Input on Early Restoration of the Gulf
Sixty-day public comment period Opens for Draft Phase I Early Restoration Plan
The Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) Trustees (Trustees) today released the Deepwater Horizon Draft Phase I Early Restoration Plan & Environmental Assessment (DERP/EA) for formal public comment. It is the first in an anticipated series of plans to begin restoration of the Gulf of Mexico to compensate for natural resource injuries, including the loss of human use of Gulf resources, from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.
The DERP/EA describes the initial projects proposed to receive funding from the $1 billion Early Restoration agreement announced by the Trustees and BP on April 21, 2011, called the Framework Agreement. The Trustees will hold 12 public meetings in January and February 2012 throughout Gulf Coast communities and in Washington, D.C. to solicit formal public comment on the DERP/EA.
"Public feedback is of the utmost importance, and we encourage people to submit comments and attend the upcoming public meetings," said Cooper Shattuck, chair of the Trustee Council Executive Committee, speaking on behalf of the Trustees. "This is the first step in beginning restoration of injuries caused by the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. While continuing to accept project ideas, we will move forward with additional phases of Early Restoration until the entire $1 billion is committed to Gulf Coast restoration."
The DERP/EA describes eight proposed projects for the initial round of Early Restoration, two each in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi. These projects reflect the ideas and input received by the Trustees through project solicitation and outreach efforts. The proposed projects include shoreline marsh creation, coastal dune habitat restoration, nearshore artificial reef creation, oyster cultch restoration and construction of boat ramp facilities. The total estimated cost of the proposed initial suite of projects is more than $57 million. The projects included in the Deepwater Horizon DERP/EA are:
--Lake Hermitage Marsh Creation -- NRDA Early Restoration. Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana; approximately 104 acres of marsh creation; benefitting brackish marsh in the Barataria Hydrologic Basin; estimated cost: $13,200,000.
--Louisiana Oyster Cultch Project -- St. Bernard, Plaquemines, Lafourche, Jefferson, and Terrebonne Parishes, Louisiana; approximately 850 acres of cultch placement on public oyster seed grounds; construction of improvements to an existing oyster hatchery; benefitting oysters in coastal Louisiana; estimated cost: $14,874,300.
--Mississippi Oyster Cultch Restoration -- Hancock and Harrison Counties, Mississippi; 1,430 acres of cultch restoration; benefitting oysters in Mississippi Sound; estimated cost: $11,000,000.
--Mississippi Artificial Reef Habitat. Hancock, Harrison, and Jackson Counties, Mississippi; 100 acres of nearshore artificial reef; benefitting nearshore habitat; estimated cost: $2,600,000.
--Marsh Island (Portersville Bay) Marsh Creation -- Mobile County, Alabama; protecting 24 existing acres of salt marsh; creating 50 acres of salt marsh; 5,000 linear feet of tidal creeks; benefitting coastal salt marsh in Alabama; estimated cost: $9,400,000.
--Alabama Dune Cooperative Restoration Project -- Baldwin County, Alabama; 55 acres of primary dune habitat; benefitting coastal dune and beach mouse habitat in Alabama; estimated cost: $1,145,976.
--Florida Boat Ramp Enhancement and Construction -Escambia County, Florida; four boat ramp facilities; benefitting human use in Escambia County, Florida; estimated cost: $4,406,309.
--Florida (Pensacola Beach) Dune Restoration -- Escambia County, Florida; 20 acres of coastal dune habitat; benefitting coastal dune habitat in Escambia County, Florida; estimated cost: $585,898.
Visit http://www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov to view the DERP/EA, access public meeting details, and view additional details of the proposed Early Restoration projects and ways to submit public comment. The public comment period will end Feb. 14, 2012.
The following public meetings are scheduled for early 2012 (additional details will be made public as they become available):
--Florida: Wednesday, Jan. 11 and Thursday, Jan. 12
--Mississippi: Tuesday, Jan. 17; Wednesday, Jan. 18; and Thursday, Jan. 19
--Alabama: Monday, Jan. 23 and Tuesday, Jan. 24
--Texas: Thursday, Jan. 26
--Louisiana: Tuesday, Jan. 31; Wednesday, Feb. 1; and Thursday, Feb. 2
--Washington, D.C.: Tuesday, Feb. 7
NRDA is the process used by natural resource trustees to develop the public's claim for natural resource damages against the party or parties responsible for a spill and to seek compensation for the harm done to natural resources and the services provided by those resources. The Deepwater Horizon NRDA Trustees include NOAA, the U.S. Department of Interior and state agencies from the five Gulf States -- Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.
Early Restoration provides an opportunity to implement restoration projects agreed upon by the Trustees and BP under the Framework Agreement prior to the completion of the NRDA. The damage assessment will continue while Early Restoration planning is under way. BP and other responsible parties are obligated to compensate the public for the full scope of the natural resource injury caused by the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, including the cost of assessing such injury and planning for restoration.
Note to Media: Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Trustee Comments follow below.
Department of the Interior
"The projects proposed in the DERP/EA are intended to begin the process of returning the Gulf of Mexico to its pre-spill condition and making the public whole," said Rachel Jacobson, Acting Assistant Secretary of Fish and Wildlife and Parks, and Trustee Council member. "The Trustees crafted this combination of projects based on many criteria, including suggestions from the public, and we encourage the public to continue to participate as we take this major step toward meaningful restoration to bring health and strength back to this region."
"NOAA will continue to pay close attention to comments submitted by the public as the Early Restoration process unfolds," said Monica Medina, Principal Deputy Undersecretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA Trustee Council member. "We also will be working closely with our fellow trustees to help maximize the effectiveness of the projects they have identified for public consideration in the first round of Early Restoration."
"We look forward to hearing feedback on these proposed initial projects and invite the public to join us for the meetings scheduled in Alabama," said N. Gunter Guy, Jr., Commissioner for Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, representing the Alabama trustees. "As this Early Restoration process seeks to further efforts to restore our Gulf's vital natural resources and the public's opportunity to enjoy those resources, we also encourage the public to submit written comments in addition to attending the upcoming meetings."
"This is an important first step in the process of starting restoration of the damage caused by the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill," said Mimi A. Drew, Special Advisor to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Herschel T. Vinyard, Jr. and member of the Trustee Council speaking on behalf of the Florida trustees. "We appreciate the hard work and input of our fellow trustees, local governments and stakeholders that helped us to identify these projects, and look forward to the continued collaboration with these groups both at our upcoming public meetings and throughout the restoration process."
"Today's release of the first round of proposed early restoration projects is a first step in restoring our coastline, our resources and our communities along the Gulf Coast from the Deepwater Horizon disaster," said Garret Graves, Chairman of the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority. "Louisiana is grateful for the input provided by members of the public in this process to date, and welcomes and encourages additional comments regarding the projects proposed in the DERP/EA. We are pleased to have worked through this initial round and look forward to expediting future projects and expenditure of the remainder of early restoration funds."
"Public participation is a critical factor in developing plans for restoring the Gulf following the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. We understand that the people who make their living from the Gulf and those who choose to live or vacation there offer insightful and important perspectives that will help determine the types of restoration needed," said Trudy D. Fisher, Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality Executive Director and Mississippi's Trustee. "As a member of the Trustee Council, I strongly urge everyone to become involved by attending the public meetings that have been scheduled throughout the Gulf in order to ensure their thoughts are heard."
"We are pleased to see the first restoration proposals that will contribute to restoring the entire Gulf," said Carter Smith, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department executive director, representing the Texas trustees. "We look forward to advancing Texas-specific project proposals for the next phase. With more than 140 possible restoration projects in Texas so far, we have a wealth of important coastal restoration and enhancement opportunities to review and consider, and we want to get it right. We urge all interested Texans to get informed and engaged during this public comment period."

[ Note: This item is more than five 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]
Dec. 14, 2011
Still Looking for a Place to Hunt?
TPWD Offers Economical Public Lands Hunting Opportunities
AUSTIN -- For hunters who do not have access to privately-owned land, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is providing low cost access to nearly a million acres of department-managed lands for hunting, including most wildlife management areas, some state parks and many leased properties under the Annual Public Hunting permit program.
The Annual Public Hunting Permit is a $48 permit, valid from Sept. 1 through Aug. 31 of the following year. The permit allows an adult access to designated public hunting lands in the TPWD public hunting lands program. Hunting is allowed during legal hunting seasons for squirrel, rabbits and hares, white-tailed deer, feral hogs, spring eastern turkey, predators, furbearers, and fishing without having to pay daily permit fees and in most instances, without having to be selected in a drawing.
The North and South Zone Duck Season re-opened December 10 and while TPWD WMAs have strong hunter numbers taking advantage of hunting on weekend hunt dates, the weekday hunt dates leave plenty of available hunting areas and quality hunting for those hunters who might have hunting time during the week.
According to Jim Sutherlin, Upper Coast Wetland Ecosystem project Leader, duck hunting is quite good on public hunting lands and reservoirs where fresher water conditions and waterfowl food resources can still be found.
"Puddle ducks prefer shallow water, and we have an abundance (record numbers of several species) of ducks on the continent this year," Sutherlin said. "Specifically, check out the duck hunts on the Big Hill Unit of the J D Murphree WMA where the hunter daily duck bag was close to 4 birds per man per day during the first waterfowl season split."
Waterfowl hunting isn't the only game available. There is still plenty of feral hog hunting to be found. According to survey results compiled by the Texas Agricultural Extension Service 74 percent of Texas' 254 counties contain feral hog populations and there is a good chance TPWD offers feral hog hunting opportunities in those counties on public hunting lands.
"Right now is as good a time as any to hit the woods hard for ol' pig sooie," said Bill Adams, Pineywoods Ecosystem Project Leader. "In East Texas there are several WMAs that offer year-round hog hunting, but staff recommend keying in on those areas associated with rivers such as Alabama Creek, Alazan Bayou, Angelina Neches/Dam B, North Toledo Bend, and Blue Elbow Swamp Wildlife Management Areas. "
Along with the appropriate Texas hunting licenses and stamps, permit holders may take youth under age 17 hunting free of charge on these public hunting lands. Youth hunting on departmental public hunting lands must be accompanied by a supervising adult 18 years of age or older who possesses the required Annual Public Hunting Permit, a valid hunting license and any required stamps and permits.
A new online maps feature allows for "virtual scouting" of public hunting areas. By clicking on the locator points, you can follow links to detailed aerial maps with highlighted boundaries and links to information pages from the APH information map booklet. A downloadable Google Earth file (.kml) is also available that contains all the boundary information along with links to the corresponding APH map booklet pages.
Permits are available wherever hunting and fishing licenses are sold, online through the TPWD Web site (tpwd.texas.gov) or by calling 1-800-TX-LIC-4U and paying by major credit card. There is a $5 convenience fee for online and phone purchases. If the permit is purchased at a TPWD office, the public hunting lands map booklet and supplement will be provided immediately at the time of purchase; otherwise, the publications will be mailed to the purchaser within two weeks of purchase.

[ Note: This item is more than five 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: María Araujo, (512) 389-4901 maria.araujo@tpwd.texas.gov ]
Dec. 14, 2011
Curso en español de educación de cacería ofrecido en el Este de Texas
ATHENS -- El Departamento de Parques y Vida Silvestre de Texas -- Texas Parks and Wildlife Department- impartirá un curso en español de educación y seguridad en la caza el 6 y 7 de enero en la ciudad de Athens para cazadores que hablan español e hispanohablantes que están iniciándose en este deporte. El curso cuesta sólo $15 e incluye el manual y el reglamento de caza en español.
En Texas, es requisito que todos los cazadores nacidos después del 1ero de septiembre de 1971 tomen este curso y se certifiquen al cumplir 17 años de edad. Los jóvenes pueden certificarse desde los 9 años de edad.
Además de las reglas de caza, la ética y responsabilidad del cazador y el manejo seguro de las armas de fuego, el curso incluye información sobre un programa que permite acceso a más de 200 áreas públicas de caza a través del estado y el programa de sorteo de cacerías. Vea más información en: http://tpwd.texas.gov/caceria.
Todavía está a tiempo para tomar el curso e ir de cacería. El venado cola blanca se puede cazar en la temporada tardía hasta el 15 de enero, la chocha americana (woodcock) hasta el 31 de enero, la agachona (Wilson's snipe) hasta el 19 de febrero y la temporada de pavo del Este es del 15 de abril al 14 de mayo. Además, el marrano alzado (feral hog) y otros animales exóticos pueden cazarse todo el año.
Cada año más de 30,000 jóvenes y adultos en Texas reciben la certificación de educación en la caza, misma que además de ser vitalicia es reconocida por todos los estados de la Unión Americana y provincias canadienses que requieren este curso.
Reserve su lugar en el curso de educación y seguridad en la caza llamando al Tel. 903-676-2277 or 512-389-4901.

[ Note: This item is more than five 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: Juan Martinez, (903) 670-2285, juan.martinez@tpwd.texas.gov ]
Dec. 14, 2011
Spanish Hunter Education Course Offered in East Texas
ATHENS -- The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is offering a hunter education course in Spanish on January 6-7 in Athens for Spanish-speaking hunters and individuals who are just getting into the hunting sport. The course is only $15 and includes a manual and the hunting regulations in Spanish.
In Texas, all hunters born after September 1, 1971, must take the course and be certified when they turn 17 years of age. Youth can be certified starting at nine years of age.
In addition to hunting regulations, hunter ethics and responsibility, and safe firearm handling, the course includes information about a program that permits access to more than 200 public hunting areas and the drawn hunts program. For more information see: http://tpwd.texas.gov/caceria.
You are still on time to take the course and go hunting. White-tailed deer can be hunted in the late season through January 15, woodcock through January 31, Wilson's snipe through February 19 and Eastern turkey April 15-May14. In addition, feral hog and other exotic animals can be hunted year round.
Every year, more than 30,000 youth and adults in Texas become certified in hunter education, and the certification not only lasts a lifetime, but is also recognized by all states and provinces that require hunter education.
To reserve a slot in the Hunter Education course, call 903/676-2277 or 512/389-4901.