|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2017-06-28                                    |
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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 ]
June 29, 2017
Lake Texoma Hit with Golden Alga Bloom
DENISON - Texas Parks and Wildlife Department fisheries biologists have concluded an investigation into a fish kill that occurred June 21 to 24 in the Paradise Cove area of the Big Mineral arm at Lake Texoma.
Biologists estimated the fish kill resulted in approximately 157,000 dead fish in the area, of which more than 90 percent were small (1 inch) threadfin shad. Other fish species significantly affected included an estimated 9,122 freshwater drum and 1,332 crappie.
Water samples taken by biologists confirmed the presence of golden alga and elevated toxin levels in the lake. Although not harmful to humans or other animals, these alga produce an ichthyotoxin, or fish toxin, which adversely affects gill-breathing organisms such as fish, bivalves, crayfish, gilled amphibians, and also some species of plankton. The toxin damages the permeability of gill cells, and causes the gills to lose their ability to exchange water and absorb oxygen from the surrounding water.
Smallmouth buffalo, channel catfish, white bass, and goldeye were also identified in the kill; although, the estimated number included less than 100 individuals of each species. No striped bass were believed to have been affected by the fish kill event, and just one largemouth bass was observed.
The recent fish kill comes as a bit of bad news to an otherwise string of positive news coming from Lake Texoma, said Dan Bennett, TPWD inland fisheries district biologist. In particular, he noted the striped and white bass populations are currently at above-average levels and are exhibiting fast growth in the lake.
"Fish populations have really rebounded in the reservoir following the flooding in 2015," Bennett said. "We have observed tremendous spawning events in the last three years, producing above average classes of young fish of all species. We hope this fish kill event remains an isolated occurrence and doesn't pose additional risk to other areas of Lake Texoma."
First identified in Texas in 1985, golden alga has since been responsible for fish kills in Lake Texoma in the Red River Basin as well as other reservoirs in the Colorado, Canadian, Wichita, Brazos, Rio Grande and San Jacinto river systems. Bennett said no practical solution has been found for effectively treating golden alga in large reservoirs.
More information on golden alga and its impacts on Texas water bodies can be found at http://tpwd.texas.gov/landwater/water/environconcerns/hab/ga/.

[ 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 ]
June 28, 2017
Texas Expanding Special White-winged Dove Area
TPWD Adopts 2017-18 Migratory Game Bird Seasons
AUSTIN - South Texas dove hunters will see increased opportunity this year thanks to a season framework adjustment expanding the early September 4-day Special White-winged Dove Area hunting season to the entire South Zone boundary. The change is part of the 2017-18 migratory game bird seasons adopted by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department."For the second straight year, Texas will be taking advantage of a 90-day dove season and the expansion of early white-winged dove hunting during the first two weekends in September, in effect, create early September hunting opportunities statewide for the first time ever," said Dave Morrison, TPWD Wildlife Division deputy director.
Other notable changes for the 2017-18 migratory bird hunting seasons include a reduction to the daily bag limit on pintail to just one, a shift in season opening date for sandhill cranes in Zone B, and a modification increasing the youth age restriction for waterfowl hunting to 16 years of age. Federal duck stamp requirements are unchanged.
Following is the season calendar and framework for 2017-18:
North Zone: Sept. 1 - Nov. 12 and Dec. 15-31.
Central Zone: Sept. 1 - Nov. 5 and Dec. 15 - Jan. 7, 2018.
Special White-winged Dove Days (entire South Zone): Sept. 2-3, 9-10.
South Zone: Sept. 22 - Nov. 8 and Dec. 15 - Jan. 21, 2018.
The daily bag limit for doves statewide is 15 and the possession limit 45.
During the early two weekends in the Special White-winged Dove Days, hunting is allowed only from noon to sunset and the daily bag limit is 15 birds, to include not more than two mourning doves and two white-tipped doves. During the general season in in the special area, the aggregate bag limit is 15 with no more than two white-tipped doves.
Early Season
Statewide Teal -- Sept. 9-24 with a daily bag limit of six birds.
East Zone Canada Geese - Sept. 9-24 with a daily bag limit of five birds.
General Duck
High Plains Mallard Management Unit: Youth: Oct. 21-22; Regular: Oct. 28-29 -- Nov. 3-- Jan. 28, 2018.
North Zone: Youth: Nov. 4-5; Regular: Nov. 11-26 and Dec. 2--Jan. 28, 2018.
South Zone: Youth: Oct. 28-29; Regular: Nov. 4-26 and Dec. 9 -- Jan. 28, 2018.
Bag Limit: 6/day in the aggregate to include no more than 5 mallards, of which only 2 may be hens, 3 wood ducks, 3 scaup, 2 redheads, 2 canvasback, 1 pintail, 1 "dusky duck" (mottled, black or Mexican-like) may only be taken after the first 5 days of the season in the respective zones. Mergansers: 5/day with no more than 2 hooded merganser. Coots: 15/day. Possession limit is 3 times the daily bag limit for all migratory game birds except snow geese which have no possession limit.
East Zone: Nov. 4 - Jan.28, 2018; conservation order Jan. 29 -- Mar. 18, 2018.
Bag Limit after the Early Canada Goose: 5 dark geese, to include no more than 2 white-fronted geese, 20 light geese (no possession limit on light geese).
West Zone: Nov. 4 - Feb. 4, 2018; conservation order Feb. 5 -- Mar. 18, 2018.
Bag Limit: 5 dark geese, to include no more than 2 white-fronted geese, 20 light geese (no possession limit on light geese).
Sandhill Crane
Zone A: Oct. 28 - Jan. 28, 2018.Bag Limit: 3, possession limit 9.
Zone B: Nov. 24 -- Jan. 28, 2018. Bag Limit: 3, possession limit 9.
Zone C: Dec. 16 -- Jan. 21, 2018. Bag Limit: 2-possession limit 6.
Oct. 28 -- Feb. 11, 2018 with a daily bag of 8 and possession limit of 24
Dec. 18 - Jan. 31, 2018 with a daily bag limit of 3 and possession limit of 9.
Statewide: dove Nov. 18-Dec. 4; ducks Jan. 29-Feb. 12, 2018.