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|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2019-05-31                                    |
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[ Note: This item is more than two months old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ]
May 31, 2019
Federal Red Snapper Season Opens June 1
AUSTIN- The private recreational angler red snapper season in federal water opens June 1 for a projected 97-days. Red snapper fishing is open year around in state waters. Bag and size limits will remain unchanged; 2 fish per person daily with a 16-inch minimum size limit in federal waters, and 4 fish per person daily with a 15-inch minimum in state waters.
Under an agreement between the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), TPWD can establish the opening and closing of the red snapper fishery in federal waters off the Texas coast for private recreational anglers fishing from their own vessels in 2019.
The federally permitted for-hire sector, which allows recreational anglers to fish from charter boats or headboats, will remain in its current management structure set by the federal government. The federally permitted for-hire sector's red snapper season will begin June 1, 2018 and last 62 days.
As part of this agreement, also known as an Exempted Fishing Permit, Texas must close the fishery when the state's allotted poundage is reached. The red snapper season can also be closed in Texas waters if the Gulf-wide Total Allowable Catch is exceeded. TPWD's Coastal Fisheries Division will be closely monitoring this fishery throughout the season and will close it when appropriate. The public will be notified of any closings through TPWD's website, social media accounts and news releases.
Help TPWD better manage this resource by downloading the iSnapper app on your smart phone and reporting your red snapper landings.
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[ Note: This item is more than two months old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ]
May 31, 2019
Game Warden Field Notes
The following items are compiled from recent Texas Parks and Wildlife Department law enforcement reports.
No Fishing License, But a Lot of Other Stuff
On May 11, a Navarro County game warden was patrolling around Richland Chambers Reservoir when he noticed an individual fishing near one of the boat ramps. As the warden approached, the individual fishing confessed, "I'm not going to lie to you, I don't have a fishing license." That proved to be the extent of his truthfulness. Actually, he didn't have any identification and couldn't recall the name of the person who owned the vehicle he was driving. The individual also claimed he no longer had anything illegal left on his person or in the vehicle. Afterwards, during a probable cause search of his person and the vehicle, multiple illegal narcotics and paraphernalia items were discovered. The subject was arrested and transported to the Navarro County Jail on several drug-related offenses. He was also cited for not having a fishing license.
A Boatload of Fish
On May 6, Jasper County game wardens received information alleging three local crappie fishing guides were permitting out-of-state fishermen to violate bag limits. The daily limit for crappie is 25 fish greater than 10 inches in length. An investigation found 808 crappie had been retained by a dozen anglers, resulting in 245 game law violations. Several cases are pending along with civil restitution.
Casting a Wide Illegal Net
A Matagorda County game warden received an anonymous tip on May 3 about a group fishing with a large cast net off the jetties. Once at the scene, the warden made contact with a vehicle and two occupants in possession of an ice chest full of undersized fish and an oversized cast net. During questioning of the subjects, the warden learned they had three accomplices aboard a canoe on the other side of the Colorado River. A second warden arrived and rounded up the other subjects. Once the dust settled on the investigation, game wardens had tallied 125 separate game law violations between the five individuals, including; no valid fishing license, possession of undersized sheepshead, possession of undersized speckled trout, possession of undersized black drum, over the daily bag limit of sheepshead, insufficient number of PFDs, improper lights on vessel, illegal means and methods, and illegal cast net. The appropriate citations were issued, and fish were donated. Cases and civil restitution are pending.
Improperly inDisposed
Back in mid-February, a Rockwall County game warden was notified of a vessel half sunk near a boat ramp. After being pulled from the water it was quickly determined it had been dumped intentionally. The last registered owner told wardens he didn't want it, and had posted it to an online auction site where it was purchased. The new owner had not registered the boat, but a subpoena served to the online auction site led wardens to the user data of the purchaser. The suspect was discovered to be incarcerated in Dallas County Jail for other charges. The suspect was interviewed at Dallas County Jail and provided a written confession. An arrest warrant was secured for Illegal Dumping over 1,000 pounds, a state jail felony offense.
No Snapchatting Gator Selfies
A Louisiana game warden reached out to his counterparts in Sabine County about several individuals who had posted to Snapchat their alligator catching adventure on the Texas side of Toledo Bend Reservoir. A Texas game warden traveled to Sabine Parrish to assist with the investigation. The cooperation between the bordering states was essential and beneficial to the investigation. While being interviewed, the suspect stated he and the other men were fishing around the Indian Mounds area and caught the alligator on the bank, took pictures of the alligator, and then released it. The individuals each received one citation and couple of warnings.
Live Feed Leads to Poaching Arrests
A Liberty County landowner alerted game wardens of evidence someone had been poaching on his property near Dayton. The wardens set up a live feed, motion detection security camera at the location so they could receive real time cell phone notifications should the suspects return. Within a week, wardens got an alert and via the live video feed observed two individuals on the property carrying rifles. The wardens drove to the scene and arrested both subjects, who admitted to hunting hogs and rabbits on the property without landowner consent. Both were arrested and transported to the Liberty County Jail for booking.
And Space for 15
Webb County game wardens were on patrol when they spotted a late model Ford Expedition that failed to maintain a single lane of travel and appeared to be loaded down in the rear of the vehicle. The wardens followed the vehicle and conducted a traffic stop at which time approximately 15 people bailed out and started running. The wardens were able to apprehend the driver and six subjects. U.S. Border Patrol agents arrived on scene and were able to track down three more individuals who. The driver admitted to being paid $200 to drive the individuals to San Antonio. All subjects were turned over to Border Patrol and the driver was arrested on third degree felony human smuggling charges.
No Cell Signal
On the evening of May 4, a Williamson County game warden was patrolling near the Lake Granger spillway when from a distance he observed a couple taking turns using a cast net in the San Gabriel River. The male pulled out three catfish and put them in a white ice chest. When the warden saw the female walk toward the parking lot, he drove down to the spillway and made contact. Upon seeing the warden approaching, the female immediately tried calling someone on her cell phone but was unsuccessful due to poor reception. Asked if she was fishing, she said no, just walking her dog. After letting her know he had seen her and her male companion in the middle of the river using a cast net, she confessed. The warden also asked if she was attempting to tip off her friend, and she confirmed that as well. They were both cited for no fishing license and for illegal fishing means and methods. Civil restitution is pending.
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[ Note: This item is more than two months old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ]
May 31, 2019
Texas State-Fish Art Contest Announces 2019 Winners
ATHENS -- The Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center has announced the Texas division of Wildlife Forever's State-Fish Art Contest winners for 2019.
The State-Fish Art Contest is part of a conservation education program designed to interest youth in fishing by encouraging K-12 students to submit original artwork of any officially designated state fish and an essay or poem about the participant's fish entry, its habitat or efforts to conserve it. This year, judges at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center chose the top 12 out of 444 total entries from Texas students.
In the K-3 category, winners are: First Place, Emma Hadzhieva of Fort Worth; Second Place, Clement Wang of Keller; Third Place, Ivory Vanover of Keller.
In the grades 4-6 category, winners are: First Place, Hyunjeong Roh of Coppell; Second Place, Angela Rao of Southlake; Third Place, Sophia Yu of Fort Worth.
In the grades 7-9 category, winners are: First Place, Julia Jarmulak of Roanoke; Second Place, Anish Goel of Irving; Third Place, Joshua Thomas of Southlake.
In the grades 10-12 category, winners are: First Place, Gretchen Mabry of Keller; Second Place, Madeleine Alexander of Keller; Third Place, Juliann Dooley of Warren.
Scholarships in the grades 10-12 division are $1,000 for first place, $750 for second place and $500 for third place. Awards in the 4-6 and 7-9 grade levels are $200 for first, $150 for second and $100 for third. In the K-3 division awards are $100 for first, $75 for second and $50 for third. Scholarships for Texas winners are provided by funds raised through Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest, with additional support for the contest provided by the William E. Armentrout Foundation and Friends of the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center.
First-place entries advanced to the national level and compete against winners from other states. Although none of the Texas entries won a national first place prize, the first place Texas winners will go up against the rest of the state entries for a 2019 People's Choice Award, which is voted on during the State-Fish Art Expo being held August 9-11, 2019 at the Hot Springs Convention Center in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Other highlights of the expo include the State-Fish Art "Wall of Fame" display showcasing all 50 states 1st place winning students artwork in the four grade categories.
Honorable mentions for Texas students in grades K-3 are: Neeharika Bharatham of Lewisville, Ellie Kim of Flower Mound, Yuna Kim of Allen, Santiago Lesczynski of Dallas, Justin Luo of Coppell, Elizabeth Osadchiy of Allen and Gracie Whisneant of Silsbee.
Honorable mentions in grades 4-6 are: Shreya Basak of Irving, Morgan Goodman of Grapevine, Kelly Hwang of Frisco, Jonah Kim of Flower Mound, Sophia Liu of Coppell, Alivia Shang of Coppell and Alanna Sun of Coppell.
Honorable mentions for grades 7-9 are: Elise Akin of Irving, Ela Guo of Dallas, Diya Hegde of Irving, Shrada Iyer of Coppell, Olivia Park of Dallas, Alice Won of Flower Mound and Ashley Zhang of Coppell.
Honorable mentions for grades 10-12 are: Gavin Hardy of Warren, Stacy Hong of Irving, Neha Lalani of Coppell, Katrian Mahon of Silsbee, Ivina Sakharova of Fort Worth, Yue Taira of Irving and Sophia Zhukova of Frisco.
All winners and honorable mentions and their families and teachers are invited to a free day at TFFC for an awards ceremony and luncheon June 22, where winners including honorable mentions will receive their certificate and free fishing gear.
Educators who wish to have their students enter the 2020 contest can find entry forms, rules and guidelines and more online. A lesson plan can also be found that offers interdisciplinary curriculum including lessons and activities, a species identification section profiling each state fish, a glossary and student worksheets. Learn more at www.wildlifeforever.org.
The State-Fish Art Contest is a project of Wildlife Forever. Located in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, Wildlife Forever is a nonprofit multispecies conservation organization dedicated to conserving America's wildlife heritage. Working at the grassroots level, Wildlife Forever has funded conservation projects in all 50 states, committing millions of dollars to "on-the-ground" efforts. Wildlife Forever supports habitat restoration and enhancement, land acquisition, research and management of fish and wildlife populations.
To view or download high resolution images of the winning artwork, visit the TPWD Flickr page at: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmDSadtF.
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