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|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2009-07-22                                    |
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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: Steve Lightfoot, 512-389-4701, steve.lightfoot@tpwd.texas.gov ] [SL]
July 22, 2009
Texas Public Hunts Offer Affordable, Quality Experience
AUSTIN, Texas -- Sportsmen looking for an affordable family activity should consider Texas' public hunting opportunities. The Texas Parks & Wildlife Department will be offering adult and youth only hunts by special drawing for a wide variety of species. Hunt schedules and applications are available upon request and online now. Don't miss out on a chance to take a kid hunting.
During the upcoming hunting seasons, almost 5,000 hunters will be selected through random computer drawings allowing access to some of the state's high-quality managed wildlife habitat. Wildlife management areas, state parks and leased private property will be available for these quality supervised hunts for white-tailed deer, mule deer, pronghorn, javelina, alligator, exotics, feral hog and spring turkey.
Through an application process, hunters can select from among 25 different hunt categories, including eight specifically for youth only, and choose a preferred hunt date and location from hunt areas stretching across the state. There's even a provision for hunting buddies to apply as a group -- in some cases up to four hunters can apply together on one application.
Eight free youth-only hunt categories are available to hunters who are between the ages of 8-16 at the time of application. All hunt positions are randomly selected in a computer drawing from all correctly completed entries received by the specified deadline.
In addition to exceptional hunting opportunities for big game, such as white-tailed deer and mule deer, TPWD's special drawing hunts will offer some unique opportunities. A guided bighorn sheep hunt at a West Texas wildlife management area will again be offered this year depending on the availability of a bighorn sheep permit.
There are also some unique guided hunt opportunities on Mason Mountain Wildlife Management Area, including hunts for white-tailed deer, scimitar-horned oryx and gemsbok.
Hunters drawn in the special permit hunts are not required to use a tag off their hunting license on white-tailed or mule deer that are taken during the hunt. The hunters will be issued a free TPWD legal deer tag at the area when they bring their harvested animal to the check station. This will allow the public hunters additional opportunity to use their license tags.
In order to maintain current programs and services, Public hunting permit fees have increased to $80 for the standard period drawn hunt permit fee, $130 for the extended period drawn hunt permit fee, and $20 for the Regular (daily) Permit fee. Non-refundable application fees for drawn hunt have not increased and remain $3-10 for each adult applicant 17 years of age or older. There are still no application fees or drawn hunt permit fees for youth age 8 to 16.
There are three new areas offering drawn public hunts this season: Palo Duro Canyon State Park, Lake Texana State Park and Stephen F. Austin State Park. In addition Pedernales Falls State Park and the Pedernales Falls State Park Annex will be offering public drawn hunts again.
Special Permit fees do not apply to drawn hunts for pronghorn antelope, bighorn sheep, guided hunts at Mason Mountain Wildlife Management Area, and drawn hunts on private land. Application fees for the Guided hunt packages and private land hunts cost $10 per adult applicant.
The application deadline for alligator hunts is Aug. 5. For pronghorn antelope hunts on private land or the Rita Blanca National Grasslands north of Dalhart, the deadline is Aug. 12. Bowhunters also have until Aug. 12 to apply for special drawn public archery hunts. Entries for the general (gun) season deer hunts must be received by Sept. 3. Deadline for the Guided Bighorn Sheep Hunt is November 4.
Last year TPWD received 43,684 applications for the 5,739 positions offered in special drawn hunt categories.
Information and applications for Special Permit hunts are available on the Public Hunting Web site. Application booklets have been mailed to hunters who applied for special permit drawn hunts last year. The booklets are also available at TPWD law enforcement offices. Information about Special Permit drawn hunts can be found on-line or by calling toll free (800) 792-1112.
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On the Net:
http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/huntwild/hunt/public/
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[ Note: This item is more than five years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ General Media Contact: Business Hours, 512-389-4406 ]
[ Additional Contacts: Mark Webb, TPWD Inland Fisheries, (979) 224-0232, mark.webb@tpwd.texas.gov; Ron Gunter, Seven Coves Bass Club, (936) 524-4413, regunter@consolidated.net; Tom Harvey, TPWD News, (512) 389-4453, tom.harvey@tpwd.texas.gov ]
July 22, 2009
Native Plant Restoration Set for July 25 at Lake Conroe
Revegetation Part of Statewide Effort to Benefit Fisheries, Water, People
CONROE, Texas -- This Saturday morning, July 25 on Lake Conroe, state fisheries biologists and volunteers will plant about 150 native plants in protective cages, part of a statewide effort to restore lake vegetation that improves water quality, prevents erosion, and provides high quality habitat (food and shelter) for fish and other wildlife.
The event is sponsored by the Lake Conroe Seven Coves Bass Club (a BASS affiliate) under the direction of Ron Gunter. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD), The San Jacinto River Authority (SJRA), and the U.S Army Corps of Engineers Lewisville Aquatic Ecosystem Research Facility (LAERF) are cooperators and supporters of the project.
The replanting team will meet at Stow-a-way Marina (http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/fishboat/fish/recreational/lakes/conroe/access.phtml#pointc) at about 7:45 a.m. Saturday and plan to get on the water by 8:00 a.m. Work should wind down around noon. Volunteers are welcome, just plan to get wet!
This is the first vegetation planting by the Seven Coves Bass Club for 2009 but at least two more planting days are anticipated during this summer.
The team will be planting a mixture of water willow, pickerel weed, bullrush, spike rush, and water lily. The cages for most plants will be tray cages (which look like an upside down basket made of vinyl-coated fence material), with ring cages (six-foot tall, seven-foot in diameter rings made out of vinyl coated wire) used to protect the water lilies.
Although all the plants will be grass carp-resistant (plants grass carp don't like to eat) the cages are still needed to keep fish and other animals from disturbing the plants until they are well established.
TPWD, SJRA, and LAERF, with assistance from BASS, have been developing methods for establishing native vegetation in reservoirs since 1995. The techniques developed are known as the founder colony approach, where strong mature native plants are planted in protective enclosures (cages) in the best conditions possible in a reservoir, then allowed to expand on their own from these "founder colonies." In this way, the plants can spread themselves through seed, fragments, and other reproductive structures far faster and more economically than we can actually plant them. From 1996 through 2007 this approach established more than 1,000 acres of native aquatic vegetation from about a quarter-acre of founder colonies at Lake Conroe.
Because of rapidly expanding hydrilla in Lake Conroe over 100,000 grass carp were stocked in 2007 and 2008. The result was the hydrilla has been eliminated but the native plant coverage has also been reduced to about 150 acres.
As part of the overall vegetation management plan at Lake Conroe the Seven Coves Bass Club applied for and received a conservation grant for about $45,000 from BASS and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to build a native plant nursery on property provided by SJRA below the Lake Conroe Dam in order to produce grass carp resistant native plant species to re-vegetate Lake Conroe. TPWD provided additional funding ($25,000) for equipment needed to help the nursery operate and SJRA provided $25,000 to purchase appropriate native plants from LAERF as nursery brood stock to grow plants for current and future plantings.
The Seven Coves Bass Club produced and planted over 1,200 native plants last year and hope to plant even more this year. The Seven Coves Lake Conroe Plant Nursery is capable of producing about 1,600 plants every six weeks during the growing season.
The Lake Conroe project is part of a larger, statewide effort to restore native vegetation at reservoirs. There have been revegetation plantings in recent years at Lake Waco, Lake Grapevine, Choke Canyon, Jacksonville, Coleman, and other water bodies. TPWD continues to seek additional funding and volunteer support to expand the program. Any interested parties should contact Mark Webb at mark.webb@tpwd.texas.gov or (979) 822-5067.
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