|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2017-03-09                                    |
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[ Note: This item is more than a year old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ]
March 9, 2017
Public Meetings on Plans for Chinati Mountains SNA to be Held in West Texas and Austin
AUSTIN-- The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will hold three open meetings this month to gather public input about the future development of Chinati Mountains State Natural Area.
Initial plans for the new park will be presented at the meetings and staff will collect public input for planning development. The meeting's presentation will detail the proposed facilities and recreational use of the park. Maps showing the proposed facilities and recreational use will be available for viewing at the public meeting. A public question and answer period will follow the presentation.
Following is the schedule of upcoming public meetings. All meetings are set for 6:30-8:30 p.m.
--Marfa- Tuesday, March 14, Presidio County Courthouse, 340 North Highland Ave.
--Presidio- Thursday, March 16, Presidio Activity Center, 1200 E. O'Reilly Street
--Austin- Wednesday, March 22, Lower Colorado River Authority headquarters, 3700 Lake Austin Blvd.
The public is encouraged to comment on this plan in person at the public meeting, by mail or email to Justin Fleury, Lead Park Planner, Austin Headquarters, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, TX, 78744, Justin.fleury@tpwd.texas.gov or Nathaneal Gold, Big Bend Ranch State Park Complex Manager, 21800 FM 170, Terlingua, TX, 79852, Nathanael.gold@tpwd.texas.gov. Deadline for public comment is April 1.
For more information about Chinati Mountains State Natural Area, visit the TPWD website.

[ Note: This item is more than a year old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ]
March 9, 2017
Toyota ShareLunker Selective Breeding Program Connects Bass Anglers across the State
ATHENS - In March 2008, Jeremy Bruton of Blooming Grove caught a 13.05 pound largemouth bass during a fishing tournament on Richland Chambers Reservoir. The big bass propelled Bruton to a second place finish and a $40 payout in the tournament that day, but the fish proved to be of much greater value when its 13.06 pound daughter was caught nine years later and more than 100 miles away Feb. 28 on Lake Naconiche.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department announced March 9 that genetic testing proved Toyota ShareLunker 567, caught by angler Larry Mosby of Garrison, is the direct offspring of Bruton's bass, ShareLunker 446. The announcement comes just weeks after the first confirmed ShareLunker daughter, ShareLunker 566, was caught out of Marine Creek Lake.
"I can't believe it's been nine years - it seems like yesterday," Bruton said. "That was the biggest highlight of my life so far. And I think it's so neat my bass spawned a ShareLunker, that's why I wanted to [enter] it in the first place."
An experienced bass angler and high school fishing coach, Mosby said he knew fishing young reservoirs could yield big bass due to ample vegetation, structure and nutrients. And since it was only impounded in 2009, Lake Naconiche met those criteria. But TPWD has also worked to increase the trophy potential of the lake by stocking more than 100,000 ShareLunker offspring and other bass with the genetic potential to reach high weights every year since its impoundment.
When Mosby caught the largemouth bass from Lake Naconiche he said he knew it was a special fish before he even got her in the boat.
"When she came up and rolled to the side I was thinking 'Man, she might be 14 or 15 pounds' - I wasn't sure," Mosby said. "Once I got her in the live well I was hooting and hollering and probably sounded like a little kid."
Mosby said he immediately set off to find the nearest certified scale and call the Toyota ShareLunker program coordinator to enter her for spawning.
"I had read about [the Toyota ShareLunker program] and had known about it for years - I felt entering her was the right thing to do," Mosby said. "I decided to enter her in the program so she can pass on her genes."
After getting her settled into the "lunker bunker" at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens to prepare for spawning, the staff shipped a fin clip to the A.E. Wood Laboratory in San Marcos to confirm her parentage. A week later, TPWD Inland Fisheries geneticist Dijar Lutz-Carrillo confirmed the fish resulted from the cross of ShareLunker 446 and another hatchery broodstock largemouth bass in 2008, and biologists reached out to tell Mosby and Bruton the big news.
"As soon as I found out I messaged [Mosby] on Facebook and said 'so you caught my fish' - and he thought it was pretty cool," Bruton said. "It's so ironic…his fish weighed almost exactly the same as mine. His was 13.06 and mine was 13.05 - he beat me by 1/100 of a pound."
TPWD Inland Fisheries biologist Todd Driscoll said that proper fishery management, the 'new lake effect', and a 16-inch maximum length limit at the reservoir contributed to ShareLunker 446's offspring achieving such a hefty weight, and this isn't the first or last big bass we will see coming from Lake Naconiche.
Although not quite 13 pounds, another ShareLunker daughter was caught out of Lake Naconiche in 2013. That 12.54 pound bass was found to be the offspring of ShareLunker 370, which was submitted from Lake Fork in 2000. After she spawned at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center, thousands of her offspring were stocked in Lake Naconiche, too.
"As biologists, we've done everything we can to maximize the trophy potential of Lake Naconiche," Driscoll said. "So we tended to expect something like this, and I expect more of them to be caught as the trophy bass population continues to mature."
But Mosby has an even bigger idea.
"I personally think the next state record is going to come out of that lake in the next two to four years," Mosby said. "And I feel like I'm going to catch one that's even bigger."
Mosby's prediction may not be too far off. According to Lutz-Carrillo, selective breeding could allow TPWD stocked ShareLunker bass to reach higher weights faster and achieve the 13 pound mark at a younger age than a regular Florida largemouth bass.
TPWD also plans to use ShareLunker offspring as future Florida largemouth bass brood stock in its fish hatcheries, which would eventually increase the total ShareLunker offspring stocked annually into Texas' reservoirs from tens of thousands to more than 8 million.
ShareLunker 567 is the second 13 pound or larger Florida largemouth bass submitted to the Toyota ShareLunker program so far this season, but anglers have until March 31 to submit their catch for TPWD to collect as brood stock for spawning. Anglers can enter 13 pounds or heavier bass into the program for certified weight, DNA sample and immediate release through April 30.
The Toyota ShareLunker Program is made possible by funds provided by Gulf States Toyota and the Texas Parks & Wildlife Foundation. Toyota is a longtime supporter of the Foundation and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, providing major funding for a wide variety of education, fish, parks and wildlife projects.
For updates on the ShareLunker program and to view photos of ShareLunker 466 and 567, visit https://www.facebook.com/ShareLunkerprogram/.

[ Note: This item is more than a year old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ]
March 9, 2017
Game Warden Field Notes
The following items are compiled from recent Texas Parks and Wildlife Department law enforcement reports.
Abandoned Ship!
Denton County game wardens responded to a call of an abandoned vessel on Lake Lewisville. The wardens were able to locate the vessel and determine that it had been stolen the previous summer. The vessel was towed to shore and turned over to the reporting agency.
Crossing the Line
A Cooke County game warden was stopped at an active railroad crossing. As a train approached, a vehicle from the opposite side of the tracks disregarded the crossing arms and zigzagged through. As the vehicle came alongside, the warden exited her patrol vehicle and made contact with the driver about the violation. At this time the warden noticed five children in the backseat of the SUV ranging in age from 1 to 6 and none were in safety seats. A local police department officer arrived and assisted. Neither the driver nor the adult passenger had a valid driver's license so another party was called to pick up all the occupants of the vehicle. Multiple charges are pending.
Something Fishy Going On
A Tarrant County game warden was patrolling the banks of Lake Worth and Silver Creek when he spotted three suspects trespassing on city property. When he approached the subjects to check fishing licenses and advise them that they weren't allowed on the property, the three subjects acted extremely nervous. This prompted the warden to investigate further and after receiving consent to search the suspects' vehicles, he subsequently found narcotics and drug paraphernalia. One subject was arrested for possession of a controlled substance. Citations were filed on the other two subjects. Cases are pending.
Not Measuring Up
A Williamson County game warden received a call regarding two fishermen allegedly in possession of undersized fish. Upon locating the two subjects matching the description, the warden made contact and checked for state compliance. Although both had valid fishing licenses, 13 of the crappie on their stringers didn't measure up to the 10-inch minimum length limit. Several citations and civil restitution cases were filed.
Found Your GoPro
Victoria County game wardens responded to a call regarding trespassers on private property near the Guadalupe River. The wardens located and identified two armed subjects. The pair were released after the wardens informed them of the landowner's intent to file trespassing with a deadly weapon charges. The following day the complainant contacted the warden about a GoPro type camera he found on the property. After examination of the videos on the camera, both individuals were subsequently charged for hunting without consent and trespassing with a deadly weapon. Cases are pending.
Eagle Death Investigated
A Victoria County game warden responded to a call about an injured bald eagle in the Bloomington area and took custody of the bird. Indications suggest the eagle may have been shot and was subsequently struck by a train. The eagle did not survive and an investigation is ongoing.
Wardens Make Tragic Recovery
Game wardens received a call for assistance concerning a vehicle that had possibly gone off the roadway and into the San Antonio River on Highway 77 at the Victoria County line. Several wardens initiated a search and recovery operation using boats with side scan sonar and located the vehicle in approximate 20 feet of water. The following day the vehicle was pulled from the river. Unfortunately, both the driver and passenger were deceased.