+-------------------------------------------------------------------------+
|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2011-01-03                                    |
+-------------------------------------------------------------------------+
|  This page contains only plain text, no HTML formatting codes.          |
|  It is not designed for display in a browser but for copying            |
|  and editing in whatever software you use to lay out pages.             |
|  To copy the text into an editing program:                              |
|    --Display this page in your browser.                                 |
|    --Select all.                                                        |
|    --Copy.                                                              |
|    --Paste in a document in your editing program.                       |
|  If you have any suggestions for improving these pages, send            |
|  an e-mail to webtech@tpwd.state.tx.us and mention Plain Text Pages.    |
+-------------------------------------------------------------------------+

[ Note: This item is more than three years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ General Media Contact: Business Hours, 512-389-4406 ]
[ Additional Contacts: Zoe Ann Stinchcomb, (903) 670-2238, zoeann.stinchcomb@tpwd.texas.gov ]
Jan. 3, 2011
Texas State-Fish Art Contest Seeks Entries
Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center to Host National Expo in 2011
ATHENS--Student artists across Texas take notice: It's time to start preparing your entries for the 2011 Wildlife Forever State-Fish Art Contest.
The contest is open to all students in public, private or home schools and requires submission of a one-page essay and a drawing of an officially recognized state fish. Entry deadline is March 31 each year.
Contest rules, guidelines and entry information can be found at www.tpwd.state.tx.us/fishart.
Support for the Texas division of the contest is provided by the Toyota Texas Bass Classic, which makes it possible for the top three Texas entries in each grade level to win cash prizes. First place in grades 10--12 wins $1,000; second place $750; third place $500. Prizes in the 4--6 and 7--9 grade levels are $100 for first; $75 for second; $50 for third.
Additional support for the contest is provided by Strike King Lures, the William E. Armentrout Foundation and Friends of the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center.
One outstanding piece of artwork each year is selected for the Art of Conservation Award, and a commemorative stamp featuring the artwork is produced for sale. Proceeds from sales of the stamp are used to fund conservation projects. In 2010 a drawing of a steelhead trout by Liberty High School senior Anh Thu Do was selected as the Art of Conservation winner. The 2011 winner will be unveiled at the national expo to be held at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center June 25, 2011.
Educators who wish to have their students enter the contest can download the free "State-Fish Art Contest Lesson Plan" at www.statefishart.com. The interdisciplinary curriculum includes lessons and activities, a species identification section profiling each state fish, a glossary and student worksheets.
Located in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, Wildlife Forever is a non-profit multi-species 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.
-30-

[ Note: This item is more than three 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]
Jan. 3, 2011
O.H. Ivie Continues Toyota ShareLunker Streak
ATHENS--O.H. Ivie Reservoir continues to pump out Toyota ShareLunkers. The West Texas lake produced Toyota ShareLunker 506 on January 1.
The 13.59-pound bass was the eighteenth ShareLunker from the lake and was caught by 15-year-old Nathan Peņa-Alfaro of Benbrook. The sophomore at Western Hills High School was fishing in 14 feet of 43-degree water with a live sunfish.
The catch strengthens O.H. Ivie's hold on fourth place among all-time producers of big bass in Texas, ranking ahead of such better-known lakes as Amistad (12 ShareLunkers), Falcon (11), Choke Canyon (13) and Conroe (16).
What is amazing about O.H. Ivie is that it has produced 13 of its 18 ShareLunkers since January 16, 2010. Only Lakes Fork (246 fish), Alan Henry (25) and Sam Rayburn (23) have had more entries into the ShareLunker program.
The big fish gave Peņa-Alfaro a battle to remember. "I feel this tug, and I think I'm stuck, because it was just slowly moving with it," he said. "All of a sudden my rod tip just went straight down, and I started reeling and set the hook. At first we thought it was just a nice fish, a nine-pounder or eight-pounder. She tail-danced probably 30 feet away, and we didn't think it was that big. Then she came in to about 20 feet away and tail-danced again, and we realized the size she was. She dove under the boat, and my pole was hitting the boat and going under the boat."
Peņa-Alfaro's stepfather netted the fish, and once she was in the boat they realized what they had. "I was speechless," Peņa-Alfaro said, "I was just shaking. But there was a lot of yelling and high-fives."
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.
For complete information and rules of the ShareLunker program, tips on caring for big bass and a recap of last year's season, see http://archive.tpwd.state.tx.us/sharelunker. The site also includes a searchable database of all fish entered into the program along with pictures where available.
Information on current catches, including short videos of interviews with anglers, is posted on http://www.facebook.com/sharelunkerprogram. An article about O.H. Ivie and other hot bass lakes in Texas will appear in the February 2011 issue of Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine.
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.
-30-

[ Note: This item is more than three 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]
Jan. 3, 2011
Benbrook Youth Reels in State Record with ShareLunker Catch
ATHENS--Nathan Peņa-Alfaro did not expect to catch a Toyota ShareLunker when he went fishing with his family at O.H. Ivie Reservoir New Year's weekend, much less a fish that would garner him two junior angler records.
The 13.59-pound largemouth bass he landed became the new water body record for O.H. Ivie and the new junior angler state record for largemouth bass caught from public waters as well as Toyota ShareLunker 506.
A video interview with Peņa-Alfaro is at www.facebook.com/sharelunkerprogram.
Peņa-Alfaro's catch was not the largest ever landed by a junior angler in Texas. In 1993, Chris Leslie, age 13, of Emory caught a 14.27-pound bass from Lake Fork, but at that time separate records were not kept for junior anglers.
In 2007 Jesse Roberson, age 9, of Goldthwaite caught the current junior angler record for private waters, a 15.54-pounder from Lake Merritt.
Peņa-Alfaro, a student at Western Hills High School in Benbrook, attributes his catch to the fact that he did his research before going fishing. "We heard they were catching big fish from O.H. Ivie on live sunfish," he said. Bobbie Gayle of Millersview used a live sunfish to catch the season's first Toyota ShareLunker, also from O.H. Ivie, on December 15, 2010.
Both fish were caught from about 15 feet of water.
Researchers with rods and reels might want to take notice.
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.
-30-