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|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2018-03-16                                    |
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[ Note: This item is more than nine months old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ]
March 16, 2018
13th Annual Texas-National Archery Championship To Draw Record Number of Competitors to Belton March 21 & 22
AUSTIN -- From 96 schools across Texas, 2,253 students in grades 4-12 will gather March 21 & 22 at the Bell County Expo Center for the 13th annual Texas-National Archery in the Schools Tournament and Scholarship Championship. In addition this year, 465 of the students will also participate in the 2018 Texas-NASP/IBO 3-D Challenge State Tournament.
National Archery in the School competitions are unique in that teams are mixed-gender by rule. Forty-five percent of participants registered this year are female.
"NASP is the "swiss army knife" of school activities because almost any student can participate and succeed," said Burnie Kessner, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department archery coordinator. "Students are very motivated to participate in this interesting and unconventional activity so it helps engage them in the educational process when their school adopts NASP."
NASP also fits all school "sizes and shapes" from small to large, from public to private. The state tournament will be attended by students from small rural schools, large urban campuses and even homeschooled students.
"There will be students here from across the state, ranging from Santa Rosa in the Rio Grande Valley to Kelton in the Panhandle to inner-city Houston and they all use the same equipment, their school-owned bow with no sights and no mechanical accessories so it's all about the students abilities, not the gear," Kessner said.
And there's money on the table. This year, total college scholarship awards will be $30,000, the same as last year's total amount. The Texas-NASP state tournament has awarded a total of $182,500.00 to the top High School student archers since the inaugural state tournament in 2006. In addition, the National Wild Turkey Federation Texas State Board has donated $500.00 for the Top High School boy and girl to receive a $250.00 college scholarship form the NASP/IBO State tournament.
For those competing March 21 & 22, college scholarships will go to the top five male and top five female high school archers, along with trophies, ribbons and t-shirts in all categories. First place male and female archers in each division receive Genesis bows, and the high scoring male and female archer will receive a limited edition Genesis bow. Door prize drawings will take place throughout the day.
Only schools that teach TX-NASP archery as part of the in-school curriculum and shoot a qualifying score in the State Qualifying Tournament are qualified to compete in annual March tournament. The Qualifying Tournament was held the month of January, when more than 3,000 students from 121 Texas schools participated for a chance to move on to state.
First place teams in each division are automatically qualified to attend the national tournament in Louisville, Kentucky. Additional teams may attend with qualifying team scores, and First-10th place male and female individual winners in each division qualify to attend.
NASPĀ® is a non-profit foundation able to operate only by support from a variety of generous donors including medal-level sponsors; Mathews Archery, the National Wild Turkey Federation, Morrell Targets, The Block and Rinehart Targets.
Toyota is the primary sponsor of TX-NASP and the program is part of the state's hunter and bowhunter education efforts, programs that are supported from the sales of archery equipment through "Federal Assistance in Wildlife Restoration" efforts.
For information about the Texas-National Archery In The Schools program, contact Burnie Kessner with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department at burnie.kessner@tpwd.texas.gov or (281) 793-5135.
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[ Note: This item is more than nine months old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ]
March 16, 2018
TPWD Reminds Texans to 'Clean, Drain and Dry' as Boating Season Heats Up
Boaters Critical in Fight to Protect Texas Lakes from Destructive Invasive Species
AUSTIN - As sunny days and warm weather kick off spring boating season, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) inland fisheries and law enforcement staff are urging boaters to fight back against the aquatic invasive species that threaten Texas lakes.
"There's no doubt that Texans love their lakes," said John Findeisen, TPWD Brookeland Aquatic Habitat Enhancement team lead. "But we also need Texans to help protect their lakes, and the best way to do that is by properly cleaning, draining and drying boats and equipment every time they leave the water."
In East Texas, the primary threat to aquatic ecosystems and the lake user experience is giant salvinia - a highly invasive, free-floating aquatic fern that can double in size in less than a week. Due to the thick mats it forms, giant salvinia can make fishing, boating, swimming and other water recreation nearly impossible.
"Over the last few months we have seen new giant salvinia infestations pop up at several large reservoirs in East Texas, and the most likely explanation for that spread is that boats and other lake users transported them on their equipment last spring and summer," Findeisen said. "We can treat these infestations with herbicides and giant salvinia weevils, but the best control is prevention. That's where boaters come in."
Boaters need to remove all plants, mud and debris from boats, trailers, vehicles and gear and drain the water from all equipment before traveling to another lake to prevent giant salvinia and other invasive species from spreading further.
While the rapidly spreading giant salvinia remains a top concern for TPWD biologists moving into spring and summer, it isn't the only threat to Texas lakes. Since 2009, invasive zebra mussels have spread from North Texas to other lakes in East and Central Texas, too. Zebra mussels can ruin shorelines with sharp shells, impact recreation, hurt native aquatic life, damage boats and clog water intakes.
"There are 14 lakes in Texas with an established, reproducing population of zebra mussels and five where zebra mussels have been detected repeatedly," said Monica McGarrity, TPWD Aquatic Invasive Species team lead. "Boaters can help keep that number from growing by taking a few minutes to properly clean, drain and dry everything that touches the water before they leave. Taking just a few minutes for these simple steps can make a huge difference in our efforts to protect and preserve Texas lakes for future generations."
If you've stored your boat on the water at one of the lakes that is "infested" or "positive" for zebra mussels, it may also be infested. Before moving it to another lake, call Texas Parks and Wildlife Department at (512) 389-4848 for guidance on decontamination.
Zebra mussel larvae are microscopic and both adults and larvae can survive for days in or on boats transported from a lake, so boaters should make sure that everything they use is well-drained and dried out for at least a week before visiting another water body. If it can't be dried completely, wash it with hot, soapy water to reduce the risk of moving zebra mussels.
In addition to harming the recreational experience at lakes and damaging aquatic ecosystems, the transport of aquatic invasive species can result in legal trouble for boaters. In Texas, transporting prohibited invasive species is punishable by a fine of up to $500 per violation. Boaters are also required to drain all water from their boat and onboard receptacles -including bait buckets - before leaving or approaching a body of fresh water in order to prevent the transfer of aquatic invasive species.
For more information on how to properly clean, drain and dry boats and equipment, visit the TPWD YouTube channel for a short instructional video at http://bit.ly/CleanDrainDryVideo.To learn more about giant salvinia, zebra mussels and other invasive species in Texas, visit tpwd.texas.gov/InvasiveSpecies.
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