|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2012-04-09                                    |
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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 ] [RM]
April 9, 2012
Bastrop State Park Back in Full Swing Post-Wildfire
BASTROP - By this weekend, Bastrop State Park visitors will find most facilities and all but a fraction of the Lost Pines parkland open to the public only seven months after a destructive wildfire burned 95 percent of the national landmark.
Reservations currently are being accepted for all four campgrounds and the 13 climate-controlled cabins, which are sporting new shingle roofs, and 80 percent of the park trails have been reopened, according to Roger Dolle, Bastrop State Park site superintendent.
"Thanks to the extraordinary help of park staff, a host of volunteers and the Texas Department of Transportation road crews, most of the park shows promising signs of a remarkable renaissance," Dolle says. "We invite the public to come camp in the cool springtime temperatures, play some golf and enjoy a lakeside picnic."
Still closed are a small portion of Park Road 1C between Bastrop and Buescher state parks, the primitive campsites, the scout camping area and the refectory. The refectory, however, is expected to reopen when the reroofing project wraps up at the end of April.
The reopening of the almost 7,000-acre park comes just prior to Bastrop State Park's 75th anniversary, April 21. An official grand reopening and anniversary celebration will take place this coming Labor Day weekend, the one-year anniversary of the fire.
Tentative plans call for the state park's swimming pool, which is managed by the YMCA, to open in May.
Since the September wildfire, Bastrop State Park has been struggling to keep up with removal of hazardous trees, cope with hillside erosion caused by higher-than-normal rainfall, rehabilitate campgrounds and come up with funds to address recovery and restoration efforts. Donations from the public and private sectors are helping to address some of the financial shortfall.
At the recent Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission meeting, it was announced that $134,600 in donations had been received recently to benefit the restoration of Bastrop State Park. Among other things, the money will be used to purchase a greenhouse and trail markers, and 20,000 pine seedlings for reforestation inside the park.
To reserve a cabin, refectory or a campsite in the Piney Hill (full hookups), Copperas Creek (full hookups and sites with water and electricity), Deer Run (water only) or Creekside (water only) campgrounds, call the Customer Service Center in Austin at (512) 389-8900, or e-mail: : reservations@tpwd.texas.gov.
For more information about Bastrop State Park, call (512) 321-1673.
To learn how you can help Bastrop and other Texas State Parks, visit: http://tpwd.texas.gov/spdest/.

[ 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]
April 9, 2012
O. H. Ivie Proves Toyota ShareLunker Was No Fluke
ATHENS--When O.H. Ivie, the West Texas reservoir now below 20 percent capacity, produced Toyota ShareLunker 535 March 25, some people assumed the catch was an aberration.
That illusion vanished on Good Friday, April 6, when Kyle Johnson of Abilene caught Toyota ShareLunker 536, a 13.36-pound largemouth bass that was 27.5 inches long and 20 inches in girth.
Johnson proved that even in a lake that is more than 30 feet below conservation pool, it is still possible to find the shallow water where bass like to spawn. He caught the fish in three to four feet of water on a jig.
"When she hit, she almost took the rod out of my hand," Johnson said. "Then she took me around the boat twice."
The fish was weighed and held for pickup at Elm Creek Village, an official Toyota ShareLunker weigh and holding station. Elm Creek Village manager Jerry Hunter said he believes there are more big bass to come from the lake this season. "People have been catching a lot of sevens and eights and a few double-digit fish," he said. "I think the spawn is about two weeks behind what we usually see."
ShareLunker 536 is the second fish of the season to come from O.H. Ivie, the thirteenth entry into the program this season, and the twenty-fifth ShareLunker to come from the lake. O.H. Ivie is now tied with Lake Alan Henry for second place in the number of ShareLunkers produced. Lake Fork leads the pack with 249.
The person who catches the season's largest entry will be named Angler of the Year and will receive a prize package from G. Loomis valued at $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. If a Texas angler catches the largest entry of the season, that person also receives a lifetime fishing license.
The current leader in the race for Angler of the Year is Gary Wingate of Amarillo with his 14.39-pounder caught from Falcon International Reservoir on March 16. That fish was pure Florida largemouth and so far has spawned twice, producing nearly 80,000 eggs.
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 the ShareLunker hotline at (903) 681-0550 or paging (888) 784-0600 and leaving a phone number including area code. Fish will be picked up by TPWD personnel within 12 hours.
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 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.