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|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2017-11-13                                    |
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[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ]
Nov. 13, 2017
Inaugural Fly Fishing Tournament to Benefit TFFC
ATHENS - A new fly fishing tournament benefiting the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center is coming to Athens the first weekend of December - just in time to kick off the beginning of rainbow trout stocking season in the state.
The "Select a Fly Challenge" fly fishing tournament will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens. For a $40 donation to the Friends of Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center, a dedicated support group that exists exclusively to raise funds for special projects and construction at TFFC, anglers can compete for big prizes by targeting rainbow trout in one of the TFFC's several stocked ponds.
The tournament will use the catch-photo-release (CPR) format, meaning photos - not fish - will be submitted for live scoring. Each angler who catches a rainbow trout using any legal technique will take a picture of the fish on a provided ruler, submit the photo to tournament volunteers, and get right back to casting after releasing the fish.
Anglers will be eligible for prizes in several categories, including the biggest single trout of the day, hourly leader, and a challenge championship for the most overall total inches caught during the day. But there is one catch - anglers will only be allowed to fish with a single fly on one fly rod throughout the challenge.
Donated pre-tied flies will be provided by Select a Fly tiers, and each angler will be allowed to purchase one "mulligan" fly for an additional $20 donation to the TFFC friends group.
Proceeds from the tournament will be used to support the development of a fly fishing education program at the TFFC.
Anglers can pre-register for the event by contacting Johnny Martinez at (972) 697-7096 or Rebecca Sellers at (903) 670-2266. Registration will also be open on-site before the tournament from 7:30 to 9 a.m. Dec. 2.
The Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center is located at 5550 F.M. 2495, about 4 miles east of Athens. Regular admission is $5.50 for adults, $4.50 for seniors 65 and older, and $3.50 for children ages 4 through 12. For more information call (903) 676-2277 or visit tpwd.texas.gov/tffc.
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[ Editors: Images associated with this news release are available on the TPWD Web site (http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/newsmedia/news_images/). ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ]
Nov. 13, 2017
Zebra Mussels Spreading at Lakes Georgetown, Livingston
AUSTIN -- Texas Parks and Wildlife Department biologists have classified Lake Georgetown as infested with an established, reproducing population of invasive zebra mussels and have also changed the status of Lake Livingston to fully infested.
Lake Georgetown is a 1,297-acre impoundment controlled by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, located just north of Austin on the North Fork of the San Gabriel River. Lake Georgetown's infestation was confirmed by TPWD biologists after discovering larvae in routine water samples Oct. 27. A follow-up survey conducted by the Brazos River Authority and TPWD district fisheries biologists Nov. 6 also revealed young settled zebra mussels attached to rocks along the shoreline.
"This is very unfortunate news because as recently as spring 2017 all routine plankton samples have tested negative for zebra mussel larvae and we hadn't found any juveniles or adults," said Brian Van Zee, TPWD inland fisheries regional director. "It just goes to show how rapidly zebra mussels can colonize and establish themselves in our lakes once they are introduced."
Lake Livingston is a 90,000-acre reservoir controlled by the Trinity River Authority, located just north of Houston on the Trinity River. Previously classified as positive with multiple detections of zebra mussels, Lake Livingston has now been upgraded to the infested classification after ongoing research conducted by Dr. Christopher Churchill of the U.S. Geological Survey confirmed that zebra mussels have developed a reproducing population in the lake.
In 2017, four Texas reservoirs have become infested with zebra mussels, bringing the statewide total to 13 infested lakes.
"Boaters can help slow the spread of zebra mussels by taking the proper steps to clean, drain and dry all boating equipment before leaving the boat ramp," Van Zee said.
At Lake Georgetown, TPWD fisheries biologists will continue to work with the Brazos River Authority and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to establish signage, monitor the spread of zebra mussels in the reservoir and monitor for early detection of zebra mussels at downstream Granger Lake.
Boaters and property owners at all affected and nearby lakes are encouraged to keep an eye out and report any zebra mussel sightings to TPWD.
The rapidly reproducing zebra mussels, originally from Eurasia, can have serious economic, recreational and environmental impacts on Texas reservoirs and rivers. Zebra mussels can cover shoreline rocks and litter beaches with sharp shells, clog water intakes, damage or increase maintenance on hydroelectric and other facilities using raw surface water, and damage boats and motors left in infested waters.
In Texas, it is unlawful to possess or transport zebra mussels, dead or alive. Boaters are required to drain all water from their boat and onboard receptacles before leaving or approaching a body of fresh water in order to prevent the transfer of zebra mussels. Zebra mussel larvae are microscopic and both adults and larvae can survive for days in or on boats transported from a lake, especially during cooler fall months. The requirement to drain applies to all types and sizes of boats whether powered or not: personal watercraft, sailboats, kayaks/canoes or any other vessel used on public waters.
More information about zebra mussels can be found online at tpwd.texas.gov/ZebraMussels.
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On the Net:
News Roundup: http://tpwd.texas.gov/newsmedia/releases/news_roundup/zebra_mussels/
News Images: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/newsmedia/news_images/?g=zebra_mussels
Stop Zebra Mussels Video: http://youtu.be/E4Y5ILzKgHg
How to Clean, Drain and Dry Your Boat Video: https://youtu.be/4jhz0KjNgdU
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