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|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2005-07-05                                    |
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[ Note: This item is more than eight years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: Kristen Everett, 512-389-8046, tpwd.news@tpwd.texas.gov ] [KE]
July 5, 2005
Game Warden Cadets Finish 6-Month Academy
AUSTIN, Texas -- The 51st Game Warden Class graduated Friday and all 35 reported to their new posts across the state. This is Texas Parks and Wildlife's most diverse game warden class ever.
Today's game wardens have broad roles, enforcing not only traditional hunting and fishing laws, but also have a wide range of other duties from working environmental crimes and performing flood rescues to making numerous public outreach and educational contacts.
"We are pleased and proud to present a class that as best as possible, reflects the face of Texas," said Col. Pete Flores, director of law enforcement at TPWD.
The 51st Game Warden graduating class consists of one Hispanic female, nine white Females, one male Asian, three male African Americans, eight male Hispanics, and 13 white males. The educational background consists of 10 degrees in Conservation, 13 degrees in Criminal Justice or related field and four degrees in Conservation Science, to name some of their fields of study.
The six-month training brought the group from throughout the state to Austin where they lived and trained until graduation. Their training included 1,120 hours of instruction -- including the 618-hour basic peace officer course. Also in the peace officer training was 16 hours of Spanish as required by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education, which is the licensing agency for peace officers in the state.
Flores, who is bilingual, says, "The ability to speak a second language is a great tool in a profession that requires the warden to communicate with people of different cultures as they hunt and fish in our state. Spanish is our predominant second language in Texas and an officer who understands the language and the culture is more effective and safe due to the increased ability to communicate. The knowledge of the culture allows the warden to avoid confrontation by recognizing cultural issues that, left ignored, might lead to a potential misunderstanding," he said.
For more information, about becoming a cadet, visit the Web at (http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/involved/jobvac/gwcadet/).
Assignments by County
Last Name, First Name	County
Aguilar, Cynthia	Tom Green
Alaniz, Gilbert	Austin
Baker, Suzanne	Polk
Bazaldua, Sergio	Dallas
Brown, Melissa	San Augustine
Button, Randy	Sabine
Campbell, Jason	Newton
Caraway, Lana	Upshur
Castaneda, Oscar	Willacy
Chambers, Mack	Calhoun
Clark, Adam	Van Zandt
From, Inga	Denton
Fuentes, Javier	Harrison
Fuentes, Rolando	Rains
Graham, Clint	Denton
Inkster, Jennifer	Gregg
King, Stormy	Jim Wells
Lindley, Lance	Pecos
Moore, Chad	Karnes
Murden, Russell	Robertson
Nguyen, Vu-Bang	Jefferson
Nieto, David	Willacy
Ogundare, Oludotun	Henderson
Palacios, John	Starr
Patterson, Teyran	Johnson
Peterek, Laura	Dallas
Poppe, Jill	Dallam & Hartley
Scott, John	Comal
Scott, Brian	San Jacinto
Self, Jared	Reeves
Simpson, Jenny	Rockwall
Waddell, Daniel	Terrell
Wilkinson, Kevin	San Augustine
Winkenwerder, Leanne	Smith
Zappe, William	Tyler
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[ Note: This item is more than eight years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: Rob McCorkle, 830-866-3533, robert.mccorkle@tpwd.texas.gov ] [RM]
July 5, 2005
Goose Island Shoreline Stabilization, Marsh Restoration Begins
ROCKPORT, Texas -- Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and Lester Contracting, Inc. have begun construction of an offshore rock breakwater as Phase 1 of a shoreline stabilization and marsh restoration project.
The 4,400 foot long breakwater, located approximately 500 feet offshore, is designed to protect the mile long southern shoreline of Goose Island from erosion from wave action driven by prevailing southeasterly winds. The offshore breakwater will create a quiet lagoon effect in the 40 acres of bay between the breakwater and Goose Island, enhancing the habitat for seagrasses and the animals that depend on them.
A containment levee is also being constructed behind Goose Island that will be used to receive dredge material from nearby boat channels to create a salt marsh in a future phase of the project. The project was developed in partnership with federal, state, and local agencies and organizations.
Coastal wetland loss in Texas is significant and is a continuing concern because of the essential roles that wetlands perform. The marshes, seagrass beds, tidal flats, oyster reefs, and open water habitats associated with Goose Island are highly productive for the living marine resources in the Aransas Bay system, including important commercial and recreational fisheries species. These habitats and the upland habitats on Goose Island also provide feeding, roosting, and nesting habitat for other wildlife in the area, including several federal and state listed threatened and endangered species. TPWD staff and contractors compared aerial photography from 1969 and 2002 and determined that more than 25 acres of Goose Island has eroded from the southern shoreline during the 33 year time period.
Implementation of the shoreline stabilization and marsh restoration project at Goose Island State Park supports the goals and objectives of the Texas Wetlands Conservation Plan, the Seagrass Conservation Plan for Texas, and the Coastal Bend Bays Plan by conserving valuable fish and wildlife habitats, using dredge material beneficially, and addressing shoreline erosion. The breakwater will protect 15 acres of existing seagrasses and 10 acres of existing saltmarsh dominated by smooth cordgrass. The future marsh site will restore 24 acres of saltmarsh that have been lost through erosion.
The breakwater and future marsh will also enhance the aquatic habitats in the bay between Goose Island and the mainland and help protect the Lamar Peninsula shoreline from erosion. Completion of the breakwater and the marsh creation site is expected to cost about $1.5 million.
Project partners include the Texas Coastal Coordination Council providing Coastal Impact Assistance Program funds administered through the Texas General Land Office; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration providing Coastal Impact Assistance Program funds administered through Aransas County and Community-based Restoration Program funds administered through the Gulf of Mexico Foundation; the Texas General Land Office contributing Coastal Erosion Planning and Response Act (CEPRA) funds; the Coastal Bend Bays & Estuaries Program; the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service providing Texas Coastal Program funds; the Environmental Protection Agency Gulf of Mexico Program providing funds administered through the Gulf of Mexico Foundation; and TPWD. Additional contributors and partners include the Neptune Harbor Canal and Property Owners Association, St. Mary's Energy Company and Oxy USA Inc.
Goose Island is part of Goose Island State Park located on the southern tip of Lamar Peninsula, 10 miles northeast of Rockport in Aransas County. It is located in the northern end of Aransas Bay near the mouth of Copano Bay, along the central Texas coast. The park is composed of 321.4 acres and is bounded by Aransas and St. Charles bays.
Goose Island State Park provides facilities that support camping, fishing and birding activities. Facilities include shade shelter campsites with water and electricity located on the island near the bay and in the heavily wooded area of the mainland portion of the park. Restrooms, picnic sites, a double-lane boat ramp, a 1,620-foot long lighted fishing pier, a group recreational hall and playground areas are also located at the park. Goose Island State Park was acquired by TPWD from 1931-35 by deeds from private owners and a Legislative Act setting aside the state-owned Goose Island as a state park. The earliest park facilities were constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the early 1930s.
For further information about the Goose Island Shoreline Stabilization and Marsh Restoration Project, please contact the TPWD project manager, Kay Jenkins, at (361) 790-0325 or the Goose Island State Park manager, Stormy Reeves, at (361) 729-2858.
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[ Note: This item is more than eight years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: Kristen Everett, 512-389-8046, tpwd.news@tpwd.texas.gov ] [KE]
July 5, 2005
When Going Boating, Leave Behind a 'Float Plan'
Extra! Read All Aboat It!
AUSTIN, Texas -- Before you go, it is always important to leave some detailed information with a friend, co-worker or neighbor about your boating trip. That information is extremely helpful for authorities like Texas Parks and Wildlife Department game wardens who might be the ones coming to look for you if you're not back on time.
"The person at home needs to be able to give us a description of the boat, number of people and where they were planning on going. The first place we check is the boat ramp they departed from to see if their vehicle is still there," said Alfonso Campos, chief of marine enforcement at TPWD.
It may seem like an annoyance when boaters are ready to set out for a day of fun in the sun. But if something goes wrong, boaters need to be able to be found sooner rather than later. Here are some guidelines for what information to leave behind.
Where are you going?
--Provide the time and place of departure (ramp).
--Provide the destination and direction of travel.
--If you have a cell phone, leave the number.
--Write down what you are wearing. In case any kind of search is needed, this is important for law enforcement to know.
--Notify someone if plans change.
--Provide a description of your vehicle, including the make, model and license number and a description of the boat, including the license number.
Who is going with you?
--List their names.
--Identify if anyone has any serious medical problems or need for special medication.
When are you returning?
--Allow for delays.
--Set an "Alarm" time, (the time by which people should contact law enforcement if you're not back).
For more information about boating safety laws and boater education classes, visit the Web (http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/boat/).
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[ Note: This item is more than eight years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: Tom Harvey, 512-389-4453, tom.harvey@tpwd.texas.gov ] [TH]
July 5, 2005
Fitzsimons Receives TWA Friend of Wildlife Award
SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission Chairman Joseph B.C. Fitzsimons received the Friend of Wildlife Award from the Texas Wildlife Association on June 25 at the association's annual conference.
Since 1996, the TWA Friend of Wildlife award has been given in most years to someone who had over-riding influence in on-the-ground wildlife habitat conservation in the state.
"With Fitzsimons' longstanding record on private land conservation and his extensive work in the policy arena, he was long overdue to be given this award," said Neal Wilkins, TWA vice president and associate department head for wildlife and fisheries extension at Texas A&M University. "This is an award that is not given every year, and it's very hard to get. We receive numerous nominations every year, but the voting structure requires nearly unanimous agreement. It's recognition from the largest wildlife organization in the state of Chairman Fitzsimons' work in land stewardship and conservation."
"Chairman Fitzsimons has been a champion of private land stewardship and our Texas hunting heritage," said Kirby Brown, TWA executive vice president. "His philosophy matches the profile of our TWA members. We appreciate, respect and honor him with this award. TWA Friend of Wildlife Award recognizes people who really stepped forward both in their own stewardship but also in outreach to others to expand the philosophy of good land management and good habitat management for wildlife."
Fitzsimons of San Antonio is an attorney and rancher with a long interest in wildlife and the outdoors. He is chairman of the nine-member commission appointed by the governor to oversee the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
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[ Note: This item is more than eight years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ ] [LH]
July 5, 2005
'TUF' Fishing in Texas
ATHENS, Texas -- Urban fishing is due to improve during the next few years as Texas Parks and Wildlife Department ramps up its Texas Urban Fishing (TUF) program in small lakes located in urban areas throughout the state.
"We have had a community fishing lake program for many years, but we are interested in expanding it in major metropolitan areas," said Bob Betsill, a research biologist at TPWD's Heart of the Hills Fisheries Science Center near Kerrville. "The goal is to provide year-around, family-oriented fishing opportunities in each of the 25 metropolitan statistical areas in Texas. We now have eight small lakes in the program and are currently evaluating additional ones."
The outstanding feature of the program is frequent, repeated stocking of fish throughout the year. "We will be partnering with cities to set up programs to stock rainbow trout in winter and 12-inch channel catfish the rest of the year," Betsill said. "We'll stock fish every other week for about 10 months out of the year."
For a list of lakes in the program and the stocking schedule, go to http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/fish/infish/news/urbcatfish05.phtml. TPWD is also working to expand loaner fishing tackle programs at the sites.
"Research shows that most people who fish in urban fishing lakes live within two miles of the lakes," Betsill said. "The key to success of the program will be involving local parks and recreation departments, civic organizations, fishing clubs and individuals in mentoring kids."
For more information or to get involved with the Texas Urban Fishing program, contact Betsill at (830) 866-3356 or bob.betsill@tpwd.texas.gov.
Texas Urban Fishing Lakes
City	Lake	Information Contact
Amarillo	Medical Center South	(806) 655-4341
Bryan-College Station	Central Park Pond #1	(979) 822-5067
Dallas-Fort Worth	Lakeside Park, Duncanville	(817) 732-0761
Dallas-Fort Worth	Hurst Chisholm Park, Hurst	(817) 732-0761
Houston	M. J. Peckham Park, Katy	(979) 822-5067
San Angelo	Oakes Street Park	(325) 651-5556
Waco	Buena Vista Park	(254) 666-5190
Wichita Falls	Plum Lake	(940) 766-2383
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[ Note: This item is more than eight years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ General Media Contact: Business Hours, 512-389-4406 ] [KE]
July 5, 2005
Stay Tuned
Information from Texas Parks and Wildlife is available on radio and television, as well as the newsstand.
Radio
Passport to Texas, TPWD's radio series of weekday, 90-second stories, is broadcast on more than 100 Texas stations. Airing July 4-8, while Lance Armstrong prepares to pedal his way to a 7th Tour De France win this month, he won't be the only one enjoying the sport of biking. State Parks Division Director Walt Dabney tells us that whether it's dirt or asphalt, there's a road for every bike at a state park near you. Also, TPWD Boating Education Coordinator, Jack Dyess and Boater Education Specialist Dorie Nicholson tell us how to stay safe on the water this Independence Day...and every day.
For more information, visit the Web (http://www.passporttotexas.org).
Video News
TPWD provides video news reports that run in newscasts on numerous Texas stations, as well as on cable and satellite outlets around the nation.
Television
"Texas Parks & Wildlife" is a weekly half-hour television series seen on PBS affiliates around the state. For more information about this week's programs and where they can be viewed, visit the Web (http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/tv).
Magazine
Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine is always available on newsstands throughout the state and by subscription for $19.95 a year. To subscribe, call (800) 937-9393 or order online (http://www.tpwmagazine.com).
---
On the Net:
Passport to Texas: http://www.passporttotexas.org/
TPWD Video News: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/news/tv/vnr/thismonth/
TPWD on PBS: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/tv
TPW Magazine: http://www.tpwmagazine.com/
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[ Note: This item is more than eight years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: Tom Harvey, 512-389-4453, tom.harvey@tpwd.texas.gov ] [TH]
July 5, 2005
Gulf Of Mexico Shrimp Season Opens July 15
AUSTIN, Texas -- The Gulf of Mexico commercial shrimp season for both state and federal waters will open 30 minutes after sunset on Friday, July 15, 2005. This opening date is based on an evaluation of the biological, social and economic information to maximize the benefits to the industry and the public.
In making its determination, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Coastal Fisheries Division used the best available scientific information including samples collected by using trawls, bag seines, and information gathered from the shrimping industry.
"Brown shrimp stocks have been very widely distributed this year with some areas of high population levels," said Larry McKinney, Ph.D., TPWD coastal fisheries division director. "Shrimp are still moving to the Gulf from the bays, but there should be good catches available by July 15."
The purpose of the closed Gulf season is to protect brown shrimp during their major period of emigration from the bays to the Gulf of Mexico until they reach a larger, more valuable size before harvest and to prevent waste caused by the discarding of smaller individuals.
Federal waters (from 9 to 200 nautical miles offshore) will open at the same time that state waters will open. The National Marine Fisheries Service chose to adopt rules compatible with those adopted by Texas.
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