|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2013-11-22                                    |
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[ Note: This item is more than three 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: Shelly Plante, 512-389-4500 or shelly.plante@tpwd.texas.gov ]
Nov. 22, 2013
Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail Maps Updated
AUSTIN-- Texas wildlife viewers and birders can now find the best spots to re-connect with nature through the newly revised Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail maps.
The three updated driving maps include new viewing sites, up-to-date site information and driving directions, community tourism contacts and GPS coordinates for each of the 332 sites.
Maps may be purchased by filling out and mailing in an online order form or from various nature centers and tourism offices throughout Texas. Single maps ordered online cost $5 each. These three maps are part of a nine-map Great Texas Wildlife Trails set that covers the entire state and the set may be purchased for $25. Sales support the Great Texas Wildlife Trails program, map reprints and shipping costs.
Texas launched the nation's first ever birding and wildlife viewing trails with the original coastal maps in 1996, and now the Great Texas Wildlife Trail system spans the entire state. Texas Parks and Wildlife has partnered with other organizations, communities, and site managers throughout the state to create these driving maps
"It's fantastic to now have these original three birding maps updated for visitors and locals alike," TPWD Nature Tourism and Paddling/Wildlife Trails Manager, Shelly Plante says.
"Texas was the first state to create a coordinated driving trail of birding hotspots in the country. More than 40 states have now created similar trails based on the Texas model, and that success of the trail concept shows that this was a resource that wildlife viewers wanted, valued, and could easily use."
For a video about the new Great Texas Coastal Birding trail maps, visit: http://youtu.be/Y1qNt_7mkHw.

[ Note: This item is more than three 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]
Nov. 22, 2013
Lake Fork Produces Season's First Toyota ShareLunker
ATHENS--Stephen Proctor of Pryor, Oklahoma, caught Toyota ShareLunker 549 from Lake Fork on November 21.
Proctor caught the 13.29-pound bass from 18 feet of water on four-pound line while fishing for crappie under the Texas 154 bridge. He was using a Panfish Assassin lure.
The fish was held for pickup at The Minnow Bucket, an official Toyota ShareLunker Weigh and Holding Station. The fish was 25 inches long and 21 inches in girth.
The fish continues Lake Fork's remarkable record of having produced at least one ShareLunker in every season the program has existed, beginning in 1986.
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. 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. The person who catches the season's largest entry will be named Angler of the Year. If the Angler of the Year is a Texas resident, that person also receives a lifetime fishing license.
The number to call to report a ShareLunker catch is (903) 681-0550. If poor cell phone service prevents use of the voice number, anglers can leave a phone number (including area code) at (888) 784-0600.
Official ShareLunker weigh and holding stations have been established at a number of reservoirs; a list is at http://tpwd.texas.gov/spdest/visitorcenters/tffc/sharelunker/holding/.
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, will be posted on www.facebook.com/sharelunkerprogram. "Like" this page and you can receive notification and photos of catches as soon as they become available.
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.
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.
On the Net:
How to handle and care for big fish: http://tpwd.texas.gov/spdest/visitorcenters/tffc/sharelunker/handle/
List of official Toyota ShareLunker Weigh and Holding Stations: http://tpwd.texas.gov/spdest/visitorcenters/tffc/sharelunker/holding/
Frequently asked questions about the ShareLunker program: http://tpwd.texas.gov/spdest/visitorcenters/tffc/sharelunker/faq/