TPWD Print-Friendly Page: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/newsmedia/releases/print.phtml?req=20090914a

Media Contact: Larry Hodge, 903-676-2277, larry.hodge@tpwd.texas.gov [LH]

TPWD Website: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us

TPWD News Release — Sept. 14, 2009

Toyota ShareLunker Season Begins October 1

ATHENS, Texas — Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will begin accepting entries into the Toyota ShareLunker program October 1, 2009.

Anyone legally catching a 13-pound or bigger largemouth bass from Texas waters, public or private, between October 1 and April 30 may submit the fish to the Toyota ShareLunker program by calling program manager David Campbell at (903) 681-0550 or paging him at (888) 784-0600 and leaving a phone number including area code. Fish will be picked up by TPWD personnel within 12 hours.

Toyota became the new program sponsor effective September 1. The current season marks the 24th year of the program. To date 471 fish have been entered into the program. Those fish have come from 57 different public reservoirs and more than a dozen private lakes.

ShareLunker entries are used in a selective breeding program at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center (TFFC) in Athens. Some of the offspring from these fish are stocked back into the water body from which they were caught. Other ShareLunker offspring are stocked in public waters around the state in an attempt to increase the overall size and growth rate of largemouth bass in Texas.

Anglers entering fish into the Toyota ShareLunker program will receive a free replica of their fish, a certificate and ShareLunker clothing and be recognized at a banquet at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens on June 5, 2010. In addition, if a Texas angler catches the largest entry of the year, that person will receive a lifetime fishing license.

For complete information and rules of the ShareLunker program, tips on caring for big bass and a recap of last year’s season, see www.tpwd.state.tx.us/sharelunker. The site also includes a searchable database of all fish entered into the program along with pictures where available.

The Toyota ShareLunker Program is made possible by a grant to the Texas Parks & Wildlife Foundation from Gulf States Toyota. Toyota is a long-time supporter of the Foundation and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, providing major funding for a wide variety of education, fish, parks and wildlife projects.

###