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|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2009-05-07                                    |
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[ Note: This item is more than five years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: Larry Hodge, 903-676-2277, larry.hodge@tpwd.texas.gov ] [LH]
May 7, 2009
East Texan Named to Texas Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame
ATHENS, Texas -- Paul Hinton of Hemphill has been selected as the 2009 inductee into the Texas Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame.
Hinton was honored for his contributions as a communicator and educator due to 20 years of service as the Texas founder and director of East Texas Get Hooked on Fishing, Not Drugs.
Following retirement from the insurance industry, Hinton began a new career as an outdoor writer and educator, concentrating his efforts on introducing kids to fishing as an alternative to drugs. "He was driven to make children aware of the beauty and value of fishing as a good choice to make in life rather than a bad choice like drugs," wrote nominator Kathy Magers, who was herself inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2002.
Hinton's nomination was supported by a host of well-wishers, including Sharon Rushton, founding executive director of the Future Fisherman Foundation; pro angler and television host Jimmy Houston; two-time women's world champion angler Judy Wong; and pro angler Jay Yelas.
Hinton introduced thousands of children to fishing while partnering with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to also teach boating and water safety and fish identification. He involved fishing industry manufacturers, state and local officials and sports figures. His home became a warehouse for supplies, and his life revolved around putting on events to get kids involved in fishing-all without pay and often with the expenditure of his own retirement income.
Hinton received many honors from governors and presidents for his efforts, but the ones he valued most came from children. One wrote, "Thanks for keeping a lot of people drug free in the U.S. . . . I've always wondered why you do this when you could be at home?"
For Hinton, the answer to that question was simple: When helping keep kids off drugs, he was at home.
Hinton will be honored at a banquet at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens on June 6. A video documenting his work will become a permanent exhibit in the Hall of Fame area.
The Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center is at 5550 F.M. 2495, four miles east of Athens. For more information call (903) 676-2277 or visit www.tpwd.state.tx.us/tffc.
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[ Note: This item is more than five years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: Aaron Reed, 512-389-8046 ] [AR]
May 7, 2009
Deadly 2008 Boating Season Prompts Expanded Public Outreach
AUSTIN, Texas -- In 2008, 61 boaters died on Texas waters. It was the highest number in more than a decade, tying the tragic 2002 boating season. Even more alarming, in 2002 there were more than 620,000 registered vessels in the state; six years later that number had fallen to just slightly more than 591,000.
It's a trend that troubles state, federal and local officials, and one they're sure to be talking about in a series of National Safe Boating Week events beginning May 16 at Lewisville Lake.
"Clearly the accident trend in Texas is going in the wrong direction," said Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Game Warden Maj. Alfonso Campos, the state's marine safety chief. "The real tragedy here is that almost every one of the fatalities we saw last year could have been prevented."
Campos pointed out that 59 of the 61 fatality accidents in 2008 were single-vessel accidents. In other words, those deaths resulted from boats capsizing, colliding with something, or passengers falling overboard.
"There are three things we encourage boaters to do to prevent serious injuries and fatalities on the water," Campos said. "First, wear a life jacket. The new inflatable life jackets are lightweight and comfortable, and they save lives. Second, don't drink and boat. If you do have alcohol on the boat, designate a sober driver, just as you would for your automobile. Third, take a boater education course. Studies show that boater ed can cut accident rates in half, and even seasoned boaters can benefit from the 6-hour basic course."
All of the National Safe Boating Week media events May 16-22 will offer news media patrol ride-alongs with Texas Game Wardens, local law enforcement agencies and -- on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lakes -- USACE Park Ranger vessels.
The Lewisville Lake event is scheduled in conjunction with a North Texas Water Safety Coalition shoreline safety event at Westlake Park and will kick-off at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 16, with "Party Cove" as a backdrop. Patrol ride-alongs will be available.
At Canyon Lake, near New Braunfels, Randolph Recreation Area will be the site of a South Central Texas Water Safety Coalition press event from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, May 18. Patrol ride-alongs will be available.
In Austin, the Lake Travis Task Force will host a noon media event Thursday, May 21 at Mansfield Dam Recreation Area. As in past years, patrol ride-alongs will be available. This year a new life jacket loaner program will be highlighted.
At a media event at Papa's on the Lake at Lake Conroe Friday, May 22, representatives from TPWD, the San Jacinto River Authority, the Houston Sail and Power Squadron, the Houston Safe Boating Council, Montgomery County District Attorney's Office, and the Montgomery County Precinct 1 Constable will highlight boating safety efforts there.
Over Memorial Day Weekend, a Montgomery County-wide "no-refusal" weekend will focus on Lake Conroe. "No refusal" weekends employ on-site judges, search warrants and blood draws to gather evidence from individuals suspected of Boating While Intoxicated or Driving While Intoxicated and will involve roving, mobile DWI/BWI intoxilyzer units around the lake. The Lake Conroe effort is the first in Texas to focus on a public water body.
The Friday media event kicks-off at 11:30 a.m.
The Houston Sail and Power Squadron also will perform complimentary vessel safety checks at Lake Conroe boat ramps May 16 and May 23.
Enforcement of boating safety laws is just one aspect of a coordinated statewide campaign over the coming summer that will include multiple Nobody's Waterproof education and outreach events across the state.
Local news media outlets will receive details of events in their area several days in advance of the events listed above. Local boating safety and law enforcement experts are available for interviews at any time. Spanish speaking representatives are available in most areas.
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On the Net:
This release in Spanish: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/newsmedia/releases/?req=20090507b
http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/fishboat/boat/safety/safety_tips/
http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/learning/boater_education/
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