|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2012-02-28                                    |
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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 ]
[ Additional Contacts: Jim Booker, (903) 670-2266 or james.booker@tpwd.texas.gov ]
Feb. 28, 2012
Tyler Audubon, Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center to Sponsor Bird Walk
ATHENS--The Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center and Tyler Audubon are teaming up for a special bird walk in Athens on Saturday, March 17.
The walk should offer the opportunity to see about 50 species of birds, including waterfowl, early spring migrants, sparrows and raptors, according to TFFC's Jim Booker, who will lead the walk. The walk will be suitable for beginners.
"We will meet at 7:30 a.m. at the public boat ramp on Lake Athens in front of the Marina Restaurant and RV Park," Booker said. "To get there from Tyler, take Texas 31 west until you reach Loop 7. Turn left onto Loop 7 and then take the first exit, FM 2495. Turn left again and go about two miles, and you will cross over an arm of Lake Athens. Take the first right after crossing over the lake, and follow the road to the boat ramp and parking area."
The walk will explore the lakeshore areas first and then proceed to habitats on the grounds of the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center. Admission to TFFC is $5.50 for adults, $4.50 for seniors. The walk will cover about one mile on flat ground and will end around noon. Picnic facilities are available at TFFC, a food vendor will be at the center that day, and the Marina Restaurant serves great food.
For any questions, contact Jim Booker at (903) 670-2266 or james.booker@tpwd.texas.gov.

[ 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 ]
[ Additional Contacts: Rob McCorkle, TPWD, (830) 866-3533 or robert.mccorkle@tpwd.texas.gov; Jessica Guidry, Texas State Parks (936) 878-2214, ext. 246 or Jessica.guidry@tpwd.texas.gov ]
Feb. 28, 2012
Fanthorp Inn Stagecoach Rolling Again
ANDERSON - Find out what travel was like for early Texas travelers by riding a replica of an 1850 Concord stagecoach at Fanthorp Inn State Historic Site the second Saturday in March and April during "Days To Remember."
The first springtime event - "Traveling Texas, a Ticket to Adventure" -- kicks off at 9 a.m., Saturday, March 10 at one of the South's best-preserved examples of a 19th century stagecoach stop. The event will focus on travel in Texas during the days when horses, mules and oxen were the preferred means of transportation.
In addition to stagecoach rides from the historic site to the nearby Grimes County Courthouse, visitors to the historic site will magically taken back in time to 1850s Texas with the sweet sound of dulcimer music and cowboy poetry. Guides in period clothing will interpret 19th century life at a Texas stagecoach stop during tours of the two-story, wayside inn that was located just off the heavily traveled and historic La Bahia Road.
Future "Days to Remember" events at the inn will feature presentations on early Texas communications, poets, cowboys and musicians.
The sound of horses stamping their hooves, shaking their heads and rustling leather harnesses in anticipation of pulling a stagecoach full of excited passengers has been silenced recently by reduced days of operation brought on by state park budget shortfalls. Fanthorp Inn is now open only on weekends from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. There is no admission fee, but a donation of $4 for adults and $2 for children 12 and under, is appreciated.
Fanthorp Inn State Historic Site is located in Anderson off U.S. 90 about 10 miles east of State Highway 6 in Navasota. For more information, call (936) 878-2214.
On the Net:
Learn more about Fanthorp Inn by viewing a YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GSyDww9_oyY&list=PL97C99D8AB6E729E5&index=1&feature=plpp_video

[ 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 ] [SL]
Feb. 28, 2012
Pronghorn Restoration and Research Seminar March 6 at Sul Ross
ALPINE -- The Borderlands Research Institute (BRI) of Sul Ross State University and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) will host a March 6 seminar to discuss current findings of the Pronghorn Restoration and Research Project.
The seminar will begin at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 6 in the Espino Conference Center, Morgan University Center. Refreshments will be served and the public is invited.
The purpose of the project is to identify causative factors associated with declining herds and to restore pronghorn to their historic habitats in the Trans-Pecos. The seminar will provide an overview of the ongoing restoration efforts and an update of the research findings.
The Pronghorn Restoration and Research Project is a collaborative effort by the BRI, TPWD, Trans-Pecos Pronghorn Working Group, Texas landowners, and concerned citizens.
For more information, call (432) 837-8488 or (432) 837-2051.

[ 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 ]
[ Additional Contacts: Kelley Morris (361) 782-5718 or Kelley.morris@tpwd.texas.gov ]
Feb. 28, 2012
Keep Fit at Lake Texana and Other Texas State Parks
EDNA - We invite you to take a look at Texas State Parks to help you achieve your New Year's fitness resolutions in an affordable "keep fit" setting.
Most Texas State Parks are available to the public seven days a week, year round and allow visitors to pursue physical fitness activities outdoors. This outdoor environment also provides a relaxing atmosphere for achieving wellness in body, mind, and spirit and an ability to soak up fresh air.
To take advantage of the many benefits of exercising outside, a Texas State Park Pass is available and allows the pass-holder and guests in the same vehicle to enjoy unlimited visits to all 94 state parks and enter without paying the daily entrance fee for an entire year. A single Texas State Park Pass costs $70. An additional pass may be issued at the time of purchase for an additional $15. Texas State Parks Passes can be purchased on site at any Texas State Park.
"The State Park Pass offers the perfect opportunity for a family or group of friends to embrace health and fitness every day in a natural environment," says Kelley Morris, park superintendent of Lake Texana State Park. "This is a great time of year to help folks get motivated to get back outdoors and embark on or improve upon that healthy lifestyle."
In addition to camping, Lake Texana State Park offers many fitness opportunities such as family-friendly trails for walking, running, biking, and hiking.
In a recent study conducted with visitors to 70 of Texas State Parks, hiking was identified as the No. 1 amenity and sought-after attraction. Lake Texana State Park will be conducting a survey of park visitors and local parties with the hope of gathering information that might spark an interest for a future fitness trail.
For more information about fitness and wellness opportunities mentioned in this release, please contact Kelley Morris, (361) 782-5718, email -kelley.morris@tpwd.texas.gov, or become a fan of Lake Texana State Park on their Facebook site: (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Texas-Parks-and-Wildlife-Lake-Texana-State-Park/341206512296)

[ 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]
Feb. 28, 2012
Toledo Bend Toyota ShareLunker Biggest of Season to Date
ATHENS--Toledo Bend, the sprawling reservoir on the border between Texas and Louisiana, produced the sixth Toyota ShareLunker of the current season Saturday, a 14.20-pound largemouth bass that is the largest entered so far this season.
Ryan Pinkston of Center was fishing in a Bass 'n Bucks tournament when he caught the fish about 2:00 p.m. while fishing in about five feet of 60-degree water.
"Fishing was fairly slow at first," Ryan said. "I had about 20 pounds and knew I had to get my weight up, so I pulled out a Jewel Heavy Cover Football Jig and started throwing it. On about the second or third cast, I hung the big fish. The fish went under the boat and wrapped me up a little bit, and of course I thought that was the end of it."
Pinkston had no idea how big the fish was until he actually got it in the boat. "I laid it in the floor, and that's when I knew it was not a normal fish," he said. "It was huge. I didn't know if it was 11 or if it was 15."
Pinkston's luck continued: On the next cast, he caught an 8.5-pounder. He finished the tournament in first place with 36.06 pounds.
Following the tournament, Pinkston took the fish to Toledo Town and Tackle in Many, Louisiana, where it was weighed on certified scales at 14.20 pounds. It was put into a tank with two other fish to await pickup. The wrong fish, an 11.7-pounder, was accidentally picked up, and the error was not discovered until the fish was weighed at TFFC the next day. By that time the other fish had been released. "This was an unfortunate error, but because the angler legally caught the fish and it was weighed on certified scales, it is a valid entry into the Toyota ShareLunker program," said Allen Forshage, director of TFFC.
Toledo Bend has now produced five ShareLunkers. The last was in 2008. The largest ShareLunker from the lake before Pinkston's catch was a 14.25-pounder caught by Tanya Sorter in 2006. The current lake record is 15.32 pounds caught by Eric Weems in July 2000.
Pinkston's catch makes him the frontrunner for Angler of the Year. The person who catches the largest entry of the season will be named Angler of the Year, and if that person is a Texas resident, he or she will receive a lifetime fishing license. The Angler of the Year will also receive a prize package from G. Loomis worth more than $700. The package will include a G.Loomis NRX 854C JWR casting rod, a 7'1", fast-action, power-oriented casting and pitching stick designed specifically for fishing big bass in heavy cover. It's rated for 14 to 20-pound test line and lures ranging from 5/16 to ¾ ounces.
Also included will be a Shimano Chronarch 200 E7 casting reel. The new Chronarch E reels feature a long list of proven Shimano features including high efficiency gearing, a lo-mass drilled spool system and super stopper. For smoothness and durability, each has a shielded A-RB ball bearing, five shielded SUS bearings, and a roller clutch. The 200 weighs in at 7.6 oz.; the amount of line retrieved per crank is 30-inches. A 150-yard spool of 30-pound green Power Pro braided line will also be included.
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.
ShareLunker entries are used in a selective breeding program at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center (TFFC) in Athens. Some of the offspring from these fish are stocked back into the water body from which they were caught. Other ShareLunker offspring are stocked in public waters around the state in an attempt to increase the overall size and growth rate of largemouth bass in Texas.
Anglers entering fish into the Toyota ShareLunker program receive a free replica of their fish, a certificate and ShareLunker clothing and are recognized at a banquet at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens.
For complete information and rules of the ShareLunker program, tips on caring for big bass, a list of official Toyota ShareLunker weigh and holding stations and a recap of last year's season, see http://tpwd.texas.gov/sharelunker. 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 when available, 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.
Editors Note: No picture of SL 529 is available.