|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2013-05-07                                    |
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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 ] [RM]
May 7, 2013
Mother Nature is the Best Gift for Mom
This Mother's Day, Texas Parks and Wildlife suggests that Texans give mom a chance to relax with a family picnic at one of more than 90 Texas state parks. Picnicking can be a fresh alternative to traditional Mother's Day events; the agency suggests you take mom to a park, where you can enjoy activities like hiking or birding, along with sharing a picnic.
Whether you relax on a blanket, sit at a picnic table or cook outdoors on an open grill, Texas State Parks offer picnic tables in some of the most beautiful places in the state. You can find a spot next to a river, lake, beach or under a tree. Find out some of the primo picnic spots at http://www.texasstateparks.org/picnic.
You can even put on a Texas-sized picnic in a group pavilion. To reserve a picnic pavilion or area, call 512-389-8900.
Looking for some scrumptious, easy-to-make picnic recipes for your next outing? Texas State Parks has teamed up with the Texas Department of Agriculture, the Texas Beef Council and our food-blogging friends to bring you 28 special recipes such as mango chicken salad lettuce wrap, mojo beef kabobs, or creamy chicken chow mein salad in the following categories: romantic, kid-friendly, family gatherings and outdoor cooking. And if you need a little inspiration or help planning your picnic menu, visit Texas State Park's Pinterest board.
Another way to treat mom to wildflowers and nature trails during Mother's Day weekend would be at a state park sponsored event such as the Mother's Day Wildflower Walk at Government Canyon State Natural Area and the Amazing Mothers Talk and Picnic at Ray Roberts Lake State Park- Johnson Branch. Check out the events calendar at http://tpwd.texas.gov/calendar/ for more ideas of ways to treat your mom to Mother Nature at Texas State Parks.
Anyone can see a video showcasing options for mother's day in a park on the TPWD YouTube Channel. Photos showing family picnics are also available online.

[ 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 ]
May 7, 2013
Gulf Shrimp Season Closing May 23
AUSTIN -- The Gulf of Mexico commercial shrimp season for both Texas and federal waters will close 30 minutes after sunset on May 23 until a still-to-be determined time in July.
The closing date is based on samples collected by the Coastal Fisheries Division of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department using trawl, bag seine and other information gathered from the shrimping industry.
Data collected regarding TPWD bag seine catch rates of brown shrimp, mean lengths of shrimp in April 2013, percent of samples containing shrimp, and periods of maximum nocturnal ebb tidal flow indicate a May 23 closing date is appropriate. Typically, once the shrimp reach about 3 1/2 inches long, they begin their migration to the gulf.
"The purpose of moving the closure date this year is tied to when the shrimp are projected to leave the bays," says TPWD's coastal fisheries science director Mark Fisher. "Due to cooler spring temperatures and higher salinities, shrimp growth rates appear to be slower this spring."
Fisher says the data suggest that altering the beginning of the closure from the routine date of May 15 to May 23 will continue to allow shrimping in the gulf until brown shrimp start to move from the bays to the gulf.
"The closure is designed to allow these small shrimp, once they have reached the gulf, to grow to a larger, more valuable size before they are vulnerable to harvest," said Robin Riechers, TPWD coastal fisheries division director. "The goal is to achieve optimum benefits for the shrimping industry while providing proper management to protect the shrimp."
The Texas closure applies to gulf waters from the coast out to nine nautical miles. The National Marine Fisheries Service has announced federal waters out to 200 nautical miles also will be closed to conform to the Texas closure.
While the statutory opening date for the gulf season is July 15, TPWD's Coastal Fisheries Division will be sampling shrimp populations to determine the optimum opening date. The date of the re-opening of gulf waters will be based on data collected in June, but the closure may not be longer than 60 days.