+-------------------------------------------------------------------------+
|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2017-06-01                                    |
+-------------------------------------------------------------------------+
|  This page contains only plain text, no HTML formatting codes.          |
|  It is not designed for display in a browser but for copying            |
|  and editing in whatever software you use to lay out pages.             |
|  To copy the text into an editing program:                              |
|    --Display this page in your browser.                                 |
|    --Select all.                                                        |
|    --Copy.                                                              |
|    --Paste in a document in your editing program.                       |
|  If you have any suggestions for improving these pages, send            |
|  an e-mail to webtech@tpwd.state.tx.us and mention Plain Text Pages.    |
+-------------------------------------------------------------------------+

[ Note: This item is more than four months old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ]
June 1, 2017
Hueco Tanks State Park Closes 29 Areas to Preserve New Pictograph Findings
EL PASO-- Last March, a survey for additional Native American rock paintings, also known as pictographs, began at Hueco Tanks State Park and Historic Site. One year later, previously unknown pictographs in 29 locations at the site have been discovered using D-Stretch image enhancement technology.
Using the results of the new D-Stretch images, Hueco Tanks has issued a closing order for the 29 areas where previously unknown pictographs were discovered. These areas will remain closed to recreational activities in order to protect these resources from potential impacts.
"We are pleased to be in a position to utilize advances in technology to enhance our stewardship of the special resources at Hueco Tanks," said Brent Leisure, director of Texas State Parks. "This project helped us identify and understand areas of unique sensitivity needing special protection. Safeguarding the irreplaceable cultural resources of Hueco Tanks is a shared desire among stakeholders at this site."
The action is designed to protect these fragile resources from potential impacts from recreational use and affects a small fraction of the numerous climbing areas. A list of closed climbs has been provided to the guides and to visitors on the North Mountain.
"Climbers come from every corner of the world to experience and connect to the recreational, cultural and natural resources that Hueco Tanks provides," said Ian Cappelle, chairman of the Climbers of Hueco Tanks Coalition (CHTC). "The new survey and use of the D-Stretch technology provides a definitive accounting of any previously unidentified rock art in conjunction with climbing routes in the park which can be used to educate climbers as to where they are able to climb without harming the cultural resources of the site."
The majority of the pictographs found are in the Jornada style, named for the prehistoric Jornada Mogollon culture of western Texas, southern New Mexico and northern Mexico. These Native Americans were the first farmers in the region and it is believed that they created these paintings about 550 to 1,000 years ago for use in prayers for rain.
Hueco Tanks is an important asset to the El Paso area as a place to recreate and is a significant cultural resource that reflects at least 10,000 years of area and regional history. Due to its importance to the local community, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has devoted considerable efforts toward the documentation of cultural resources at Hueco Tanks.
Some studies include a comprehensive ground survey for archeological deposits around the base of the mountains and a large rock imagery inventory project. The results of these investigations help state parks staff determine where recreational activities can occur at the site without impacting identified rock imagery.
For more information about Hueco Tanks State Park and Historic Site, visit the TPWD website.
-30-

[ Note: This item is more than four months old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ]
June 1, 2017
Tickets on Sale Now For Seventh Annual Texas State Bison Music Festival
QUITAQUE-- Strap on some boots and head to the panhandle for the seventh annual Texas State Bison Music Festival benefiting the Texas State Bison Herd at Caprock Canyons State Park. Advance tickets are on sale this week for the festival, held 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 23 on Main Street in Quitaque.
The annual event helps raise funds to be used toward the restoration of the Texas State Bison Herd to its historic range at Caprock Canyons State Park. The event also gives visitors the chance to celebrate the cultural and natural history of the panhandle.
Activities include arts and crafts vendors, food vendors and a concert featuring five of Texas' greatest Americana and country music artists.
The lineup for the music festival includes Kevin Deal, Sarah Hobbs, Zac Wilkerson, Mark Powell and the Randy Rogers Band. Gates will open at 2 p.m. so attendees can find a place to set up their chairs for the first concert at 3 p.m.
Caprock Canyons State Park is a 14,000 acre site with a diverse population of plant and animal communities. It is also the home to the official bison herd of the state of Texas, the last remaining example of the Great Southern herd.
To buy tickets to the event, visit the Bison Fest website. General admission tickets are $30 if purchased in advance, $35 at the gate. Tickets for the VIP area are $125.
Coolers are allowed this year for a $10 per cooler charge. Canopies are allowed in designated areas.
For more information about Caprock Canyons State Parks, visit the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department website.
-30-

[ Note: This item is more than four months old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ]
June 1, 2017
Statement from TPWD Regarding 3-Day Recreational Gulf Red Snapper Season
AUSTIN - In response to the National Marine Fisheries Service's decision to establish a 3-day recreational season for red snapper in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico, which opened today and runs through Saturday, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Executive Director Carter Smith issued the following statement:
"Today's opening of red snapper season in federal waters of the Gulf Coast marks one of the most disappointing seasons experienced by recreational anglers in decades. The National Marine Fisheries Service's decision to establish a 3-day recreational season for red snapper is terrible news for thousands of passionate recreational fishermen who have demonstrated steadfast support, with both their actions and their money, for fisheries management and conservation over the years. If anglers are outraged by this decision, they should be! It remains impossible to fathom, much less explain, how we could continue to have record high stock assessments of red snapper, yet couple that with record low opportunities for anglers to fish Gulf waters. The time has come for a substantive change within the current management structure of the Gulf Council to allow the gulf coast states the ability to manage the fisheries along their coastlines in a manner that is not only based on relevant science, but one that is also in the best interests of the anglers and the resource they enjoy and value so much."
For several years, red snapper recreational regulations in Texas state waters out to nine nautical miles (set by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission) have differed from federal regulations. Within Texas waters, anglers may fish for red snapper year-round under a 4 fish daily bag limit and a 15-inch minimum length limit. Texas strongly believes the regulations for state waters are completely appropriate based on the most current stock assessment, recreational harvest data and that the authority to manage Texas state waters is solely under the jurisdiction of the Commission.
-30-

[ Note: This item is more than four months old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ]
June 1, 2017
Game Warden Field Notes
The following items are compiled from recent Texas Parks and Wildlife Department law enforcement reports.
Don't Mess with Texas
While on patrol at Falcon Lake, game wardens spotted two plastic bottles floating about 100 yards inside U.S. waters of the lake. While littering is a crime, so is fishing by illegal means and methods. The bottles were attached to a line that connected five illegal hoop nets. Over 100 pounds of carp were released back into Falcon Lake, as well as 50 pounds of catfish. The nets were seized.
Un-tagged, You're It
Game wardens patrolling the Rio Grande River in Maverick County conducted a water safety check on a vessel with three men in it that were out to set limb lines. Later that afternoon wardens discovered several limb lines while patrolling the river and none had the required gear tags attached. In total, 16 limb lines were recovered as well as one trotline. The wardens later identified the lines as the ones that were in the vessel they conducted a water safety check on earlier that day. Wardens launched early the next morning and found the individuals that had set the lines. During the investigation the men admitted the lines belonged to them. It was also found that the boat the men were in had unauthorized numbers displayed on the vessel. Citations and warnings were issued to the three men for no fishing license, unauthorized numbers on bow, and untagged fishing gear/throwline.
International Drifters
A Val Verde County game warden responded to a boater in distress call. The subjects were on a disabled jet ski in the main part of the lake that was in danger of drifting into Mexican waters. The warden was able to quickly muster assistance from National Park Service Rangers and recover the subjects safely.
Follow the Clues
A Wharton County game warden was patrolling the Colorado River for recreational boating and fishing enforcement when he came across a small flat bottom boat tied to the river bank with no motor attached and a single paddle inside. He surveyed the immediate area for throw lines and located what he thought was a single line, but when he attempted to pull the line he discovered a larger piece of rope tied to a heavy piece of metal. The warden recognized this as a possible hoop net anchor and after searching the bank he found two of the illegal nets hidden in the brush further up the river bank. The warden left the nets in place and with assistance from other wardens set up surveillance cameras in hopes of gathering evidence of illegal fishing. The cameras captured the suspects running the nets on two occasions. One individual ran the hoop net from the boat, while the other suspect stayed up above as a look out on the bank where he would also take the fish from the boat. The two subjects were identified as a father and son from El Campo who the warden had previously dealt with for felony hunting charges as well as hoop net charges. The wardens seized the net and various other equipment and the two suspects were issued citations for taking fish by illegal means or methods. Cases and civil restitution are pending.
Rapid Response Rescue
Late one evening while patrolling Lake Meredith, wardens responded to a 911 call about two individuals stranded on kayaks. Weather conditions were unfavorable with winds blowing 20-25 mph, water temperatures in the high 50s and air temp at 68 degrees. The wardens located two teenage boys in the middle of the lake on a single kayak that was half sunk and full of water. The second kayak had already sunk and only one teen was wearing a life jacket. A rope was thrown to the boys and the kayak flipped. Luckily, both of them hung onto the rope and were pulled and then lifted into the patrol boat. Both teens were severely hypothermic and cramping from holding on so long in the cold. Once on shore, EMS took both teens to the hospital where they were treated and released.
Warden Harassment?
A Williamson County game warden was patrolling the San Gabriel River and had made contact with two fishermen on the lower water crossing bridge when a white Ford Explorer pulled up behind the warden's patrol truck. The warden believed he was waiting to pass safely to the left, so he signaled to the driver to go ahead and proceed. Instead, the driver signaled some gesture with his hand and yelled back. As the warden accompanied one of the fishermen to his car to retrieve a fishing license, the Explorer's driver barked at him, "Why can't you just leave them alone?" Noting the driver exhibited slurred speech and a strong smell of alcohol, the warden suspected he may have been impaired. Further evidence on the center console, the warden observed an open container and two six packs of beer. On the passenger seat was a revolver within his reach. The warden immediately gave him instructions to keep his hands on the steering wheel and not make any sudden movements. The driver stated he didn't have a permit and didn't need one to carry his pistol. The warden retrieved the loaded .38 caliber pistol for officer safety and attempted to administer a field sobriety test, which the driver refused. The driver was subsequently arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated and unlawful carrying of a firearm. The two anglers were in compliance and went back to fishing. No further information at this time.
'Tis Not the Season
A Bastrop County game warden received a call from a sheriff's deputy with information regarding criminal trespassing, hunting without landowner consent, and hunting dove out of season. He called the complainant and was informed that the landowner had seen three male individuals walking through his crop field with one carrying a high-powered pellet gun. The landowner recognized one of the men as his neighbor and made contact. When the landowner asked them what they were doing, the individual with the gun responded, "Hunting dove." The landowner requested they leave and informed them that they couldn't hunt dove because it was out of season. Game wardens went to interview the suspected hunter who admitted to hunting doves and retrieved his harvest from the freezer. Doves were seized, citations were issued, and the case is still ongoing for the other two individuals involved.
Posted and Busted
In response to a social media post, game wardens investigated the killing of an eight foot alligator on Lake Corpus Christi. The wardens were able to obtain a photograph of the suspect holding the alligator. They located the suspect and, after a full confession was obtained, he was charged with hunting alligator without a hunting license and illegal means and methods. Cases and civil restitution pending.
-30-