|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2013-05-13                                    |
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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 ] [TH]
May 13, 2013
NFWF Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund to Receive $203 Million for Texas to Restore Gulf Coast Natural Resources
Funds Coming From Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Plea Agreements
WASHINGTON, D.C., May 13 - Texas will receive $203 million over a five-year period to restore Gulf coast natural resources impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) announced today. NFWF will administer the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund involving $2.544 billion from plea agreements resolving certain criminal cases arising from the 2010 explosion and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
With today's announcement, NFWF also outlined procedures and criteria for selecting projects for funding in the Gulf Coast states of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.
As mandated in the plea agreements, NFWF has begun consulting with natural resource management agencies in each of the five Gulf States and with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. In Texas, those agencies are Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and Texas General Land Office. The input of these agencies will be the primary means through which project selection under the Gulf Fund will be coordinated with actions of the Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment trustees and the RESTORE Council.
NFWF also said in a statement released today:
"We will work to develop consensus among the state and federal resource agencies to identify projects that meet the conditions of the plea agreement to benefit the natural resources of the Gulf Coast," said Jeff Trandahl, NFWF executive director and CEO.
Under the terms of the plea agreements between the Department of Justice and BP and Transocean, the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund will receive a total of $1.272 billion for barrier island and river diversion projects in the state of Louisiana; $356 million for natural resource projects in each of the states of Alabama, Florida, and Mississippi; and $203 million for similar projects in the state of Texas. Payments into the fund will occur over a five-year period, with more than half the funding coming in years four and five.
The first payments totaling $158 million were received in April and the next installments are scheduled for February 2014 under the terms of the agreements.
The primary criterion for project selection is to "remedy harm and eliminate or reduce the risk of future harm to Gulf Coast natural resources" that were impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, as required in the plea agreements.
Further criteria will emphasize projects that advance priorities in natural resource management plans such as those called for under the RESTORE Act, are within reasonable proximity to where impacts occurred as appropriate, are cost-effective, maximize environmental benefits, are science-based and that produce measurable and meaningful conservation outcomes to habitats and species of a type impacted by the oil spill.
The plea agreements require that the funds designated for Louisiana be allocated solely to barrier island restoration projects and river diversion projects along the Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers. In identifying such projects, NFWF will give appropriate consideration to Louisiana's Coastal Master Plan and the Louisiana Coastal Area Mississippi River Hydrodynamic and Delta Management Study.
Organizations or agencies interested in submitting project proposals for consideration should direct that information to the lead state agency in the appropriate Gulf state as identified on the NFWF website (http://www.nfwf.org/gulf). The Texas trustees are in the process of creating a website for NFWF Gulf fund work in Texas (http://www.restorethetexascoast.org). That site is not yet up and running, but it will be in coming weeks.

[ 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 ]
[ Additional Contacts: Greg Binion, (361) 547-9712; Greg.Binion@tpwd.texas.gov ]
May 13, 2013
As Temperatures Rise Lake Placid Catfishing Heating Up
ATHENS--As temperatures begin to rise throughout the south-central Texas region, so should the catfish bite at Lake Placid. Lake Placid is a small 214-acre impoundment located on the Guadalupe River in Guadalupe County one-half mile southwest of Seguin. Primary access to the reservoir is located below the I-10 bridge.
Based on gill-net survey data collected in March, catfish populations at Lake Placid appear healthy and stable. Abundance of channel, blue and flathead catfish has increased in recent years. While the survey catch data was dominated by channel catfish, blue catfish abundance has nearly tripled, and 54 percent of blues collected were greater than the 12-inch length limit. Catfish up to 33 inches were collected. This translates to excellent fishing for all anglers interested in this whiskered friend.
Anglers fishing Lake Placid are allowed a total of 25 blue and channel catfish (in any combination) greater than 12 inches in length. Remember a valid fishing license is required to fish on Lake Placid.
Catfishing is a great summer activity for the whole family, and the status of catfish populations in Lake Placid offers anglers young and old ample opportunity. Catfish are typically targeted with rod and reel, trotlines and jug-lines. Several types of bait may be utilized; a popular choice among rod and reel anglers is punch bait, also known as stink or cheese bait. Live and cut perch and shad are also effective baits and are often used by trot and jug-line fisherman. Other baits include shrimp, squid, chicken livers and night crawlers.
Every spring, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) fisheries biologists set gill nets in reservoirs throughout the state to monitor the status of catfish populations. These survey data provide biologists with valuable insight into fish population dynamics such as recruitment (reproductive success), growth and mortality. Surveys help TPWD staff determine if populations are stable and balanced and if management or regulatory action is needed to better manage our fishery resources.
Please consult the 2012-2013 Texas Parks and Wildlife Outdoor Annual for information regarding length and/or daily bag limits. If you have questions regarding catfish angling opportunities at Lake Placid or any other freshwater lake in South Texas, please contact Greg Binion or John Findeisen at TPWD's Inland Fisheries District Office in Mathis, (361) 547-9712; Greg.Binion@tpwd.texas.gov; John.Findeisen@tpwd.texas.gov.
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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 ]
[ Additional Contacts: James Booker, (903) 670-2266; james.booker@tpwd.texas.gov ]
May 13, 2013
Free Food, Fishing to Highlight National Fishing Day at Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center
ATHENS, Texas--The Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens will kick off National Fishing and Boating Week June 1 by making a family fishing trip affordable with free admission for kids 12 and under plus free fishing for the whole family.
Free hot dogs, chip and drinks will be served from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. by employees of the Athens Wal-Mart Supercenter.
Kids may also win prizes in a catfishing tournament at TFFC's casting pond.
In addition to fishing, visitors can walk the wetlands trail; see a diver hand feed fish; learn about the history of fishing in the freshwater fishing museum; shop for a Father's Day gift in the Flat Creek Bait 'n Goods Gift Shop and watch the alligator feeding at 3:30 p.m.
National Fishing Day at TFFC is sponsored by Athens Wal-Mart Supercenter, Wulf Outdoor Sports, Red Hat Rentals, Ernie Yarborough and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
National Fishing and Boating Week comes at the start of the summer vacation season and is designed to encourage families to spend time together on and around water. No fishing license is required anywhere in the state on the first Saturday in June, which is designated Free Sportfishing Day.
The Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center is an aquatic nature center and hatchery complex operated by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. It is located 75 miles southeast of Dallas and four miles east of Athens on F.M. 2495. Dive shows take place at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturdays, 11 a.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 2 p.m. Sundays. Hours are 9 to 4 Tuesday through Saturday and 1 to 4 Sunday. Usual admission is adults, $5.50; seniors, $4.50; children 4-12, $3.50. For information go to http://tpwd.texas.gov/tffc or call (903) 676-2277.