|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2013-01-24                                    |
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[ Note: This item is more than four 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]
Jan. 24, 2013
TPWD Proposing Changes to Fishing Regulations
AUSTIN -- The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is proposing fishing regulation changes on two largemouth bass fisheries in East Texas, a clarification of fish harassment rules and new possession rules in state waters for aquatic resources taken in violation of federal regulations in the EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone).
TPWD staff presented on Wednesday proposed amendments to the 2013-14 Statewide Recreational and Commercial Fishing Proclamation to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission. The recommended changes include:
Modifying existing regulations for largemouth bass on two East Texas reservoirs, Lake Jacksonville and Lake Kurth.
On Lake Jacksonville, the proposed change would remove the 18-inch minimum length limit for largemouth bass. The five fish daily bag for bass would be retained, but anglers would be allowed to retain two largemouth bass less than 18 inches in length as part of that five fish bag.
For Lake Kurth, the proposed change would establish a 16-inch maximum length limit on largemouth bass, with a temporary retention of bass 24 inches or greater for weighing purposes and/or submission to the ShareLunker program. Anglers would be allowed to harvest five largemouth bass less than 16 inches in length.
Defining parameters of handfishing for catfish and listing restrictions to aid in public understanding and enforceability, specifically regarding prohibition of the use of devices, such as poles, sticks, boxes, and pipes to aid in handfishing.
Adding Canyon Lake Project #6 in Lubbock to special regulations for catfish and devices restrictions.
Clarifying the definition regarding possession of fish to indicate possession limits do not apply once the resource has been processed and reached final destination.
Clarifying the definition of fish harassment to note It would be unlawful to use any vessel to harry, herd, or drive fish by any means including but not limited to operating any vessel in a repeated circular course, for the purpose of or resulting in the concentration of fish for the purpose of taking or attempting to take fish.
Removing prohibitions concerning possession of red drum and bonus red drum tags.
Adding provisions regarding enforcement of federal regulations in state waters. The proposed change would make it a violation for a person to possess an aquatic wildlife resource taken in the Exclusive Economic Zone (federal waters 9-200 miles out) during a closed season provided by federal law; within a protected length limit or in excess of the daily bag limit established by federal law; or with any gear or device prohibited by federal law; or without a required license or permit required by federal law.
Comments on the proposed rules may be submitted by mail or e-mail to Robert Macdonald: robert.macdonald@tpwd.texas.gov, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, Texas 78744. Comments may also be submitted through the department's Internet web site and at upcoming public meetings to be scheduled around the state.
TPWD Statewide Public Hearings
All meetings start at 7 p.m.
March 4
--Alpine - Kokernot Lodge, 400 N Harrison St.
--Jacksonville - Norman Activity Center, 526 E Commerce St.
March 5
--Dickinson - Dickinson Marine Lab, 1502 FM 517 E
--Fort Stockton - Pecos County Civic Center, N Hwy. 285
March 6
--Dallas/Fort Worth - Cabela's Allen, #1 Cabela's Dr.
March 7
--Corpus Christi - Texas A&M Corpus Christi, NRC Rm. 1003, 6300 Ocean Dr.
--Van Horn - El Capitan Hotel, 100 W Broadway
March 11
--Lubbock - Texas Agrilife Research and Extension Center, 1102 E. FM 1294
--Lufkin - Angelina County Courthouse, 159th District Courtroom, 606 E Lufkin Ave.
March 12
--Dalhart - Dallam County Courthouse, 414 Denver Ave.
--San Antonio - Lions Field Community Center, 2809 Broadway
March 13
--Houston - Sheldon Lake State Park Regional HQ, 14500 Garret Rd.
March 14
--Austin - TPWD Commission Hearing Room, 4200 Smith School Rd.
--Pampa - Gray County Courthouse, 2nd Floor Courtroom, 205 N Russell

[ Note: This item is more than four 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]
Jan. 24, 2013
$1.33 million in Local Outdoor Grants to Benefit Texas Communities
AUSTIN -- The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission on Thursday approved $1.3 million in competitive grants for city and county parks across the state, funding 12 out of 35 funding requests.
Money for the 10 Outdoor Recreation Grants and 2 Urban Outdoor Recreation Grants comes from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). Program funding is appropriated annually by Congress. TPWD is the pass-through agency for local governments in Texas.
The city of Belton in Bell County was granted $100,000 to support its proposal to acquire 3.26 acres by donation and develop Nolan Creek, south/southeast to Confederate Park. The proposal includes trails, picnic tables, horseshoe court, exercise stations, two acres of open space, creek improvements for kayak/canoe use, amphitheater, landscaping, and interpretive signs.
Granite Shoals in Burnet County was granted $100,000 to develop Quarry Park in the north area of the city on FM1431 and Phillips Ranch Road. The proposal includes trails, a tennis pavilion, wildflower gardens and an interpretive display.
The Sonterra Municipal Utility District southeast of Jarrell in Williamson County was granted $100,000 to support its request to obtain 4.6 acres by donation and develop north and south parks in the east area of the district. The proposal includes game tables, picnic tables with grills, benches, playground, trail with solar lighting, community gardens with drop irrigation, trees and trash cans.
The city of Center in Smith County was granted $100,000 to support its proposal to acquire 19.68 acres and further develop Center Park in the west area of the city on Roughrider Drive. The proposal includes walking and nature trails, pavilion/ restroom with picnic tables and grills, open play area with landscaping and benches, lighted softball fields, playground, and interpretive signs.
Hays County will receive a grant of $100,000 to support its proposal to acquire 31.5 acres and develop the Jacob's Well Natural Area north/northwest of Wimberley. The proposal includes the development of an outdoor classroom, three-acre natural area dedication, playscape, crushed granite trail, interpretive signs/kiosk, five picnic tables, five benches, two wildlife/bird blinds, rainwater collection, two bike racks and native plant restoration.
The city of La Feria in Cameron County was granted $100,000 to support its proposal to develop Unger Park on 330 S. West Street. The proposal includes one covered picnic unit with water catchment, two uncovered picnic tables made of recycled materials, multi-court, practice soccer field, basketball court with fence, playground equipment, climber, volley ball court, trail, three benches, barbeque pit, horseshoes, shuffleboard, four concrete sitting balls, walkway, exercise equipment, aquatic spray feature, solar and energy efficient security lighting, landscaping, native trees, drip irrigation and signs.
In northwest Corpus Christi in Nueces County, a grant of $100,000 will be used to support acquisition of 12 acres and develop Lyondell Basell Park located on Haven Drive. The proposal includes a basketball half-court, playground, trail, exercise stations, picnic tables with grills, xeriscape area with setting, two acre natural open space, interpretive signs, drip irrigation and walkways.
The city of Bedford in Tarrant County will receive $100,000 to renovate and further develop 68 acres in Boys Ranch Park at 2801 Forest Ridge in the north area of the city. The proposal includes fishing pier/dock, trail renovation and expansion, disc golf, overlook/interpretive area, picnic tables, sheltered playground, amphitheater renovation, lake dredging/restoration, riparian area plantings with low water irrigation and interpretive signs.
The city of Brownwood in Brown County has received $100,000 to support the renovation and further development of 24 acres for the Camp Bowie Soccer Complex located in the south area of the city on Calvert Road. The proposal includes soccer/ football fields, playground, pavilion, field irrigation, lighting for three fields, landscaping and xeriscape garden with drip irrigation.
El Ranchito Park south of San Benito in Cameron County has been granted $100,000 to support the development of the park. The proposal includes a softball/baseball field, soccer field, basketball court, trail, playground, sheltered picnic tables, benches, butterfly garden, landscaping, drip irrigation and interpretive signs.
Two Urban Outdoor Recreation Grants, which are given to municipalities with a population exceeding 500,000, were awarded to Fort Worth and Houston.
Fort Worth will receive a $110,000 grant to support the development of the trailhead of Trinity Park located in the west central area of the city. The proposal includes trail connections, plaza, parking, pavilion, tables, benches, restroom enclosure, drinking fountain and program sign.
Houston in Harris County has been granted $220,000 to support the development of Shady Lane Park located in the northern part of the city. The proposal includes a playground, plaza seating, benches, trail, play hill, stepping stone path, log tunnel, climbers, native plants, irrigation, park entry columns, landscaping, trash receptacles and program sign.
For more information about the grant awards or the recreation grant programs, see TPWD's grants Web page, phone the Recreation Grants Branch at 512-389-8224 or email: Rec.Grants@tpwd.texas.gov.

[ Note: This item is more than four years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ]
Jan. 24, 2013
Game Warden Named Texas "Officer of the Year" by Conservation Association
AUSTIN -- Texas Game Warden Ryan Hunter has been named Texas "Officer of the Year" by the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies.
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Director Carter Smith presented the award to Hunter at the quarterly meeting of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission Thursday.
Hunter began his career with TPWD on Jan. 4, 2010 as a member of the 55th cadet class at the Texas Game Warden Training Academy. Since graduation that summer, he has been assigned to Moore and Sherman counties in the Texas Panhandle.
As a state game warden, Ryan has encountered a variety of law enforcement scenarios.
"His strong work ethic, positive attitude and professional demeanor have served him well when working with fellow employees and constituents," Smith said of Hunter.
When a child was sexually assaulted, Hunter and his wife were called on to assist the Texas Rangers with the investigation. Ryan's wife volunteered as an interpreter and the couple provided temporary housing for the child until the family members could be located by Child Protective Services.
After recognizing that hunting and fishing violations were excessively high among the Burmese residents in his area, Hunter collaborated with the community to conduct outreach events dealing with hunting and fishing regulations in their native language. Since then, violations have declined substantially.
In another case, when he received information from a National Park Service ranger about possible illegal fishing activity on Lake Meredith, Hunter and the ranger were able to apprehend four individuals who had used a homemade gill net to catch more than 200 pounds of catfish, walleye and carp. After further investigation, the subjects were linked to an illegal fish selling/ purchasing operation.
Hunter also handled a case involving the illegal sale of game animal meat. After working with other law enforcement agencies for several weeks, the suspect was brought to justice.
Warden Hunter has also been recognized as the Public Service/Involvement Officer of the Year by the Moore County 4-H for his community outreach efforts involving local youth.
His efforts, along with other public service and law enforcement personnel, helped bring to life a Law Enforcement Explorers Club for youth and young adults in the Moore County area.
A magna cum laude graduate of Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Hunter is currently pursuing a master's degree in criminal justice-public safety.