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|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2019-03-20                                    |
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[ Note: This item is more than seven 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 20, 2019
TPW Commission Approves Changes to Freshwater Fishing Regulations for 2019-20
AUSTIN - On March 20, The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopted a suite of changes to this year's freshwater fishing regulations that includes modifications to the length limits and harvest regulations for largemouth bass, Alabama bass and alligator gar in certain areas. The proposed changes to alligator gar regulations also include a nighttime prohibition on bow fishing on the Trinity River, mandatory harvest reporting statewide except for Falcon Lake, and the creation of a drawing for harvest opportunities on the Trinity River.
The TPW Commission adopted the following changes to the 2019-20 Statewide Recreational and Commercial Fishing Proclamations, the details of which will be incorporated into this year's Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Outdoor Annual:
--Lake Lakewood: Implement an 18-inch minimum length limit and three-fish daily bag for largemouth bass.
--Mill Creek Lake: Change from a 14- to 21-inch slot length limit and five fish daily bag limit for largemouth bass to a 16-inch maximum length limit and five-fish daily bag with an exception allowing for possession and weighing for bass 24 inches or greater for possible submission to ShareLunker program.
--Southeast Texas: Expand the area in Southeast Texas currently covered by the 12-inch minimum length limit for largemouth bass to include Hardin County, Newton County (excluding Toledo Bend Reservoir), and Liberty County south of U.S. Highway 90.
--Alan Henry Reservoir: Modify the harvest regulations for largemouth and Alabama bass by removing Alabama bass from the current regulation (five-fish daily bag of which only two bass less than 18 inches may be harvested). The combined daily bag limit would remain at five fish, but anglers may harvest Alabama bass of any length.
--Trinity River:
--Enact a 48-inch maximum length limit for alligator gar on the Trinity River from the I-30 bridge in Dallas downstream to the I-10 bridge in Chambers County, including the East Fork of the Trinity River upstream to the dam at Lake Ray Hubbard.
--A drawing will be implemented to allow selected anglers to harvest one alligator gar over 48 inches in length per year from the Trinity River. The draw system would allow non-transferable harvest authorization for a to-be-determined number of alligator gar. Authorizations would be selected and distributed through a random draw of interested applicants. Purchase of a fishing license would be required. This authorization could be used day or night, and alligator gar could be taken by any legal means.
--Between one half-hour after sunset and one half-hour before sunrise, no person may take or possess an alligator gar by means of lawful archery equipment or crossbow on the Trinity River unless they have received a harvest authorization through the drawing system.
Statewide: All persons who take an alligator gar from the public fresh waters of the state other than Falcon International Reservoir would be required to report the harvest via the department's website or by mobile app within 24 hours of take.
The commission did not move forward with proposals that would ban bow fishing for alligator gar at night statewide or to change current regulations on Lake Conroe for largemouth bass from a 16-inch minimum length limit and 5-fish daily bag limit to a 14-inch minimum length limit and 5-fish daily bag limit.
The changes to the 2019-20 Statewide Recreational and Commercial Fishing regulations take effect on Sept. 1, 2019.
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[ Note: This item is more than seven 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 20, 2019
Common Salvinia Discovered at Kurth Reservoir
AUSTIN - The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) confirmed the presence of common salvinia at Kurth Reservoir near Lufkin after being notified of the presence of the invasive plant by a City of Lufkin employee March 18.
After surveying the reservoir March 19, the TPWD Brookeland Aquatic Habitat Enhancement Team reported three total acres of common salvinia scattered along four sections on the shoreline. TPWD applicators will utilize a contact herbicide to control the common salvinia while minimizing damage to beneficial, non-target vegetation at the lake.
Common salvinia is related to giant salvinia but typically does not grow as large as its more invasive relative. Common salvinia can still create similar access and recreational issues just like giant salvinia, so TPWD will be aggressive with its control efforts at Kurth Reservoir.
This is not the first time invasive species have found their way to Kurth Reservoir. In 2012, water hyacinth was discovered in the canal near the boat ramp. Through TPWD's rapid response effort the water hyacinth was quickly eradicated and no new infestations have occurred. Hydrilla is also present in Kurth Reservoir but is not problematic.
"As the temperature outside gets warmer we are going to see an increase of both giant and common salvinia growth on infested reservoirs," said John Findeisen, Brookeland Aquatic Habitat Enhancement Team Lead. "Herbicide treatments will help us control giant and common salvinia on lakes where it has been discovered, but since it spreads easily and quickly we also need lake users to thoroughly clean, drain, and dry their boats and equipment before leaving the boat ramp to prevent new infestations at other East Texas lakes."
Boaters recreating on any of the 20 lakes infested with giant salvinia or now on Kurth Reservoir, infested with common salvinia, should be particularly vigilant about taking these actions. Other East Texas lakes currently infested with giant salvinia include Lake Athens, Brandy Branch Reservoir, Caddo Lake, Lake Conroe, B.A. Steinhagen Reservoir, Lake Fork, Lake Livingston, Martin Creek Reservoir, Lake Murvaul, Lake Nacogdoches, Lake Naconiche, Lake O' the Pines, Lake Palestine, Lake Raven, Sam Rayburn Reservoir, Sheldon Reservoir, Lake Striker, Lake Texana, Lake Timpson, and Toledo Bend Reservoir. Common salvinia can be found on B.A. Steinhagen Reservoir and Sam Rayburn Reservoir as well. Additionally, both common and giant salvinia can be found in many of the numerous creeks, bayous, and rivers along I-10 from Beaumont to Houston and then south to the Brazos River.
All boaters, anglers and lake-front property owners should learn to identify both common and giant salvinia as well as other invasive species that occur in Texas waters. Most importantly, boaters should remember to clean their boats and trailers before leaving the boat ramp. Transporting invasive species, is prohibited by law and punishable by a fine of up to $500 per violation.
Anyone who spots this invasive plant should report additional infestations outside of the affected areas by calling (409) 698-9121 or emailing aquaticinvasives@tpwd.texas.gov.
For more information on proper cleaning protocols for boats and equipment, and to learn more about giant salvinia and other invasive species, visit tpwd.texas.gov/giantsalvinia.
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[ Note: This item is more than seven 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 20, 2019
Texas Parks & Wildlife Commission Awards $16.2 Million in Local Park Grants to Texas Communities
AUSTIN-- The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission approved just over $16 million in competitive local park grants to help fund projects that will create and enhance outdoor recreational opportunities like nature trails, native gardens, playgrounds, splash pads, dog parks and sports fields at 38 community parks across the state.
The grants, allocated to local government entities, appropriate state and federal funding dedicated for the acquisition and/or development of public recreation areas and facilities in Texas on a 50/50 reimbursement match basis. Once funded, all grant-assisted sites must be dedicated as parkland in perpetuity, properly maintained and open to the public.
The commission, which administers the local park grants program for the state of Texas, awarded projects in various categories based on community population size and scope.
Urban Outdoor Recreation Grants are reserved for cities having populations exceeding 500,000, with projects in four communities receiving grants. The Non-Urban Outdoor Recreation Grants are dedicated to funding park projects in municipalities under 500,000 and the commission-approved awards to projects in 17 communities. The Small Community Recreation Grants are for park projects in towns of less than 20,000 and were awarded to 13 communities.
Additionally, grants were awarded to two communities for Urban Indoor Recreation Grants and two communities received Non-Urban Indoor Recreation Grants.
For more information about the local park grants program, visit the TPWD local park grants page.
The grant funds awarded are listed below by region:
Central Texas
The city of Austin is the recipient of a $1 million dollar urban indoor grant for its Barton Springs Bathhouse project. Proposed developments include mechanical, electrical and plumbing updates, dressing room improvements and a new splash facility.
Cedar Park will receive a $500,000 non-urban outdoor grant for its Lakeline Park project. Proposed developments include pedestrian trails with solar lighting, all-abilities playground equipment, butterfly preserve and wildflower meadow, covered picnic facilities, canoe and kayak launch, soccer fields, native landscaping with drip irrigation, pavilion, fishing pier, interpretive signage and recirculating splashpad.
Kosse will receive a $75,000 small community grant for its Kosse Ball Park project. Proposed developments include restrooms, a pavilion, bleachers, site amenities, picnic facilities, a parking lot, horseshoe and washer pits, ballfield renovations and native landscaping.
Lago Vista is the recipient of a $500,000 non-urban outdoor grant for its park and open space project. Proposed developments for Lago Vista Park include 10.2 acres of dedicated open space, pedestrian trail, baseball field, softball field, playground equipment, sand volleyball court, soccer field, picnic facilities, benches and scent garden.
Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex
Cresson will receive a $500,000 non-urban outdoor grant for its Cresson City Park project. Proposed developments include pedestrian trails with solar lighting, playground equipment with shade structure, pavilion with rainwater catchment and solar lighting, butterfly garden with interpretive signage, picnic facilities, benches, multi-use sports fields, fishing pier, birdwatching stations, a basketball and volleyball court, and interpretive signage.
Cross Plains will receive a $75,000 small community grant for its City Park project. Proposed developments include solar lighting, pedestrian trails with exercise stations, playground equipment, native landscaping and a labyrinth.
Fort Worth is the recipient of a $1 million dollar urban outdoor grant for its North Z Boaz Park project. Proposed developments include open multi-use athletic practice fields, pedestrian trails, parking, a sport court, playground equipment, fishing pier, picnic facilities, benches, native landscaping and habitat restoration.
The city of Fort Worth will receive a $1 million dollar urban indoor grant for its Diamond Hill Community Center project. Proposed developments include a boxing ring, boxing equipment, accessible fitness equipment and acknowledgement signage.
Grapevine will receive a $500,000 non-urban outdoor grant for its Silver Lake Park project. Proposed developments include pedestrian trails, nature trails, drainage improvements, park signage, boardwalks, pavilion, terraced seating, primitive camping, overlook, picnic facilities and a fishing pier.
Lewisville is the recipient of a $500,000 non-urban outdoor grant for its Valley Vista Nature Park project. Proposed developments include pedestrian trails, nature trails, picnic facilities, benches, bird blinds, an outdoor classroom, playground equipment, interpretive signage, wayfinding signage and site furnishings.
McKinney will receive a $701,000 non-urban indoor grant for its Courts of McKinney project. Proposed developments include an indoor tennis facility.
The city of Mexia is the recipient of a $499,980 non-urban outdoor grant for its Hughes City Park Sports Complex project. Proposed developments include baseball and softball fields, soccer and pee-wee football fields, pedestrian trails, footbridge, irrigation, native landscaping, interpretive signage, batting cages, playground equipment, and a restroom and concession facility.
Seven Points will receive a $75,000 small community grant for its City Park project. Proposed developments include a pavilion, playground equipment, pedestrian trails, picnic facilities and native landscaping.
East Texas
The city of Alba is the recipient of a $39,200 small community grant for its Alba City Park project. Proposed developments include playground equipment and a shade structure.
Crockett is the recipient of a $75,000 small community grant for its Davy Crockett Memorial Park project. Proposed developments include a splashpad, pedestrian trail renovations, exercise equipment, tennis court renovations, a butterfly and native plant garden, and benches.
Hallsville will receive a $75,000 small community grant for its Hallsville City Park project. Proposed developments include playground equipment with rubber surfacing, pavilions, solar lighting and picnic facilities.
Malakoff will receive a $75,000 small community grant for its Malakoff City Park project. Proposed developments include playground equipment, pedestrian trails with exercise stations, a native plant garden, horseshoe pits and signage.
Marquez is the recipient of a $75,000 small community grant for its Marquez City Park project. Proposed developments include playground equipment, splashpad, pedestrian trails, benches, exercise stations, a pavilion with solar lighting, and a butterfly and sensory garden.
Troup will receive a $61,000 small community grant for its Short Street Park project. Proposed developments include a playground, picnic facilities, barbeque grills, trash receptacles, a basketball court and site fencing.
Van is the recipient of a $500,000 non-urban outdoor grant for its McMillan Park project. Proposed developments include a multi-use paved trail, pavilion, playground with artificial turf, 3-acre pond, open lawn area, native landscaping, benches, grills, tables, disc golf course, kayak launch, fishing pier, interpretive signage and restroom facility.
Waskom will receive a $75,000 small community grant for its Waskom-Taylor City Park project. Proposed developments include a splashpad, horseshoe and washer pits, and an outdoor stage.
Houston
The city of Bay City will receive a $200,000 non-urban outdoor grant for its dreamscape project of LeTulle Park. Proposed developments include an all-abilities playground equipment and surfacing, and site amenities.
Brazoria County is the recipient of a $487,655 non-urban outdoor grant for its Hanson Riverside County Park project. Proposed developments include a pedestrian trail, footbridges, parking, composting restroom, interpretive signage, pavilion, native landscaping and an observation deck.
Clear Lake City Water Authority will receive a $500,000 non-urban outdoor grant for its Exploration Green project. Proposed developments include pedestrian trails, site furnishings, landscape and site restoration, and irrigation.
Fort Bend County MUD 131 is the recipient of a $500,000 non-urban outdoor grant for its Southern Colony Recreation Center Park. Proposed developments include a splashpad, native landscaping, cistern, pedestrian trails, dog park, sand volleyball, horseshoe and washer pits, bocce ball, playground equipment, LED lighting, and a garden trellis.
The city of Houston will receive a $1 million dollar urban outdoor grant for its Edgewood Park project. Proposed developments include playground equipment, picnic facilities, seating plaza, sprayground, pedestrian trails with shaded exercise stations, native landscaping, fencing, sitework and utilities.
The city of West Columbia is the recipient of a $70,495 small community grant for its Downtown Detour Pocket Park project. Proposed developments include a pedestrian plaza, fencing, outdoor seating, pergola, native landscaping and fountain restoration.
Panhandle
The city of Follett will receive a $20,809 small community grant for its Crites Park project. Proposed developments include new playground equipment.
Rio Grande Valley
Cameron County is the recipient of a $500,000 non-urban outdoor grant for its South Texas Eco-Tourism Center project. Proposed developments include an amphitheater, pond and wetland enhancements, parking, pedestrian trails, boardwalk, observation deck, native landscaping, interactive exhibits, a play area, picnic facilities, bird blinds and site amenities.
Cameron County will receive a $750,000 non-urban indoor grant for its South Texas Eco-Tourism Center project. Proposed developments include multi-purpose rooms with interpretive exhibits, rain catchment and grey water harvesting system, and passive lighting and cooling systems.
The city of Elsa will receive a $500,000 non-urban outdoor grant for its Community Trail Park project. Proposed developments include a splashpad, playground equipment, sand volleyball, pedestrian trails, site amenities, pergola, native landscaping, solar lighting and signage.
Escobares is the recipient of a $75,000 small community grant for its Escobares Park project. Proposed developments include pedestrian trails, playground equipment, native landscaping, irrigation, restrooms, site amenities, sitework and utilities.
The city of South Padre Island is the recipient of a $500,000 non-urban outdoor grant for its South Padre Island City Park project. Proposed developments include a pedestrian trail, exercise stations, lighting, site amenities, bocce ball, soccer fields, skate park and playground equipment.
Webb County will receive a $248,000 non-urban outdoor grant for its splashpad project in Rio Bravo and Bruni. Proposed developments include splashpads, shade canopies, utilities, lighting and signage.
San Antonio
The city of Kenedy will receive a $500,000 non-urban outdoor grant for its Escondido Creek Parkway project. Proposed developments include pedestrian trails, site amenities, playground equipment, splashpad, skate park, picnic facilities, pavilion, interpretive signage, restrooms and an amphitheater.
McMullen County is the recipient of a $500,000 non-urban outdoor grant for its Community Park project. Proposed developments include restrooms, pavilion, playground equipment, plaza, picnic facilities, site amenities, pedestrian trails, exercise stations, basketball court, solar lighting, native landscaping and irrigation.
The city of San Antonio will receive a $1 million dollar urban outdoor recreation grant for its Pearsall Park project. Proposed developments include improved parking, native landscaping with irrigation, bicycle skills course, restrooms, pedestrian trails, lighting, sitework and utilities.
West Texas
El Paso is the recipient of a $1 million dollar urban outdoor recreation grant for its all-inclusive playgrounds project. Proposed developments include renovation to all playground equipment to create new all-abilities play opportunities at Northeast Regional Park, Eastside Regional Park and J.P. Shawver Park.
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[ Note: This item is more than seven 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 20, 2019
Two Texas Game Wardens Recognized During March Commission Meeting
AUSTIN-- Two Texas game wardens were recognized by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Executive Director Carter Smith as recipients of Officer of the Year awards by the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) and the Texas Game Warden Association for their outstanding work in law enforcement during the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission meeting in Austin March 20.
NWTF Names Game Warden Calvin Harbaugh as Officer of the Year
Game warden Calvin Harbaugh has been recognized as the recipient of this year's NWTF Officer of the Year award. With more than 25 years of experience as a Texas game warden, Harbaugh has showcased his vast array of knowledge in different aspects of the job.
Warden Harbaugh organizes several Operation Outdoor events annually throughout Central Texas, introducing countless young people to hunting and fishing. In addition to these events, Harbaugh has assisted in Wounded Warrior hunts for military veterans.
Harbaugh is also a member of the Search and Rescue Team and is certified as a swift water technician. As a member of the Search and Rescue Team, he has been deployed to numerous recent natural disasters including Hurricane Harvey, where he and his air boat team made numerous rescues and evacuations.
Additionally, as a member of the Critical Incident Peer Support Team, Harbaugh assists fellow game wardens and their families during difficult times.
Matt Waggoner Recognized as Game Warden of the Year by Texas Game Warden Association
Young County game warden Matt Waggoner has been recognized as Game Warden of the Year by the Texas Game Warden Association.
Waggoner is a member of the Search and Rescue Team. When the team was first formed, he volunteered to join and now he is a Swiftwater Technician and Boat Operations Instructor. He has been deployed to both Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. He has also assisted with training new cadets in swift-water awareness over the past several years.
Additionally, he is actively involved in several youth outreach events. Waggoner is a board member of the Palo Pinto County Youth Hunt and for the past few years has overseen the hunt. This trip involves taking about 15 kids on an overnight hunting trip each year. He also assists with a large water safety fair in Graham where a local family hands out hundreds of free life jackets to kids.
Waggoner is the go-to guide on the Brazos River and is relied upon by his fellow game wardens. He knows each bend of the river and how to access most of it by land in an emergency. His knowledge of the river has allowed him to lead countless rescues over the years.
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