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|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2011-01-27                                    |
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[ Note: This item is more than three 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]
Jan. 27, 2011
TPW Commission Approves Almost $2 Million in Boat Ramp Grants
AUSTIN -- The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission today approved $1.81 million in federal matching funds for boat ramp projects at two state parks and in seven communities. It also okayed $894,700 in boat ramp funding for Luling and Gonzales conditioned on future receipt of additional federal freshwater boating access funds.
TPWD received a total of 11 requests for $2.7 million in federal matching funds for public boating access construction and renovation projects. Construction for approved projects is supported on a 75 percent federal and 25 percent local basis.
The boat ramp grant program, authorized by the Texas Legislature in 1975, is funded under the Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act, also known as the Wallop-Breaux program. The dollars come from a federal gasoline tax on fuel purchased for recreational boating and an excise tax on fishing tackle.
State parks that will receive federal matching funds for boat ramp projects are Goose Island and Lake Somerville.
Goose Island State Park will use $84,000 in matching funds to renovate the park's boat ramp and courtesy dock on Aransas Bay, which is currently closed due to disrepair.
Lake Somerville State Park will use its $150,000 in federal matching funds for dredging of a silted-in channel and construction of a bulkhead in Nails Creek State Park that will make the boat ramp functional at most water levels.
Two projects in the Rio Grande Valley approved for funding will benefit anglers and boaters in Cameron and Willacy counties.
The City of Rio Hondo will receive $136,110 in matching funds to buy a lot next to an existing boat ramp on the Arroyo Colorado, for parking and security lighting.
The commission awarded $249,480 in matching grant funds for the Willacy County Navigation District for construction of a new, one-lane boat ramp to provide boating access to the Lower Laguna Madre. The funds also will help pay for a parking area, access road, courtesy dock, restroom, bulkhead, lighting, landscaping and signs at the Port Mansfield boat ramp.
Also in South Texas, the Refugio County Water Control Improvement District will receive $500,000 in federal monies to make improvements to the boat ramp that provides the only public access to Mission River, 3.5 miles upstream from Mission Bay. The matching share grant will help fund renovation of the boat ramp, as well as construction of a dock with lighting, a bulkhead and parking lot.
In North Texas, the Brazos River Authority will use $82,500 in federal funds for renovations to a dilapidated Lake Granbury boat ramp, construction of bulkheads and a dock, and installation of lighting and signage.
Near Houston, the City of Kemah won approval for $500,000 in matching funds to renovate the Hurricane Ike-damaged Clear Lake Causeway boat ramp, parking lot and access road. The grant also will help pay for a new bulkhead, docks, boat lift, lighting and signs at the existing boat ramp.
In addition, Brazoria County was awarded $21,924 in federal matching funds to renovate the loading dock at the Swan Lake boat ramp and to resurface the adjacent parking area. The facility provides public boating access to the Intracoastal Waterway and Gulf of Mexico.
Until additional federal boat ramp funding becomes available, the commission-approved grant proposals from the City of Luling, $500,000 for the Zedler Mill Park boat ramp construction project, and City of Gonzales, $394,700 for a new one-lane Guadalupe River boat ramp, will have to wait.
For more information about boat ramp grant awards or to receive application forms, see TPWD's grants Web page, phone the department's Recreation Grants Department at (512) 389-8224 or e-mail: rec.grants@tpwd.texas.gov.
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On the Net:
http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/grants
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[ 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: Rob McCorkle ]
Jan. 27, 2011
Almost $4 Million in Indoor, Outdoor Grants to Benefit Texas Communities
AUSTIN -- The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission approved more than $3.8 million in competitive grants for city and county parks, sport complexes, nature trails and recreation centers across the state. Seven out of 35 eligible grant requests for indoor and outdoor recreational facilities were chosen by the commission for funding.
Indoor and outdoor recreation grants are made to local governments from the Texas Recreation and Parks Account program funded with a portion of the state sales tax collected on sporting goods.
The commission approved only one out of four indoor recreation projects submitted by political subdivisions with less than 500,000 population that were eligible for matching funds. La Grange will receive $750,000 to renovate and further develop the 12,190-square-foot Randolph Recreation Center in the northeastern part of the city. Project plans include constructing a kitchen, media center, meeting facilities and rooms to host a variety of activities, including exercise, arts and crafts and reading.
Two political subdivisions with populations of more than 500,000 were funded under TPWD's Urban Indoor Recreation Grant program. Fort Worth's and San Antonio's grant applications, totaling $1.21 million, received approval.
The City of Fort Worth will use $1 million in matching grant monies to construct a 23,000-square-foot community center at 4680 McPherson Blvd. in the southwest part of the city. The proposal includes installation of an indoor climbing wall, rainwater collection system, demonstration gardens and signs.
The City of San Antonio's request for $212,500 in matching state funds was approved for the renovation and expansion of the Jingu House at 3853 N. St. Mary's. The money will be used to install a fire hydrant and make renovations to interior finishes, the restroom, observation deck and parking patio extension.
TPWD received 29 eligible applications for outdoor recreation funds totaling $12.9 million. The commission voted to provide state matching funds totaling $1.84 million to four governmental entities.
Corsicana will receive $500,000 in state matching funds to support the acquisition of 30.9 acres of city-owned parkland to develop an athletic complex in the western part of the city. Funds will be used to develop baseball and softball diamonds, a sand volleyball court, a multipurpose court, a playground, a pavilion, trails and a picnic area with tables.
The commission also approved a $500,000 outdoor grant to Gun Barrel City to help secure an 11.6-acre donation of land to expand and further develop 40-acre Community Park #3 in the central city. Development plans include new tennis and basketball courts, a soccer field, fishing pier, a covered amphitheater stage, gardens and trails with interpretive signage.
A third $500,000 grant application from Haltom City also garnered approval from commissioners. The matching funds will be used to acquire 44.5 acres adjacent to Little Fossil Creek and a 20-acre lake for development of a linear park in the center of town. The park will include trails with an overlook and boardwalk, a pavilion, fishing pier and gardens.
The fourth outdoor recreation grant, for $348,000, will help Vinton upgrade the 2.27-acre City Hall Park in the central part of the city. The city plans to use the funding for a playground, pavilion, benches, picnic tables with grills, a trail, xeriscape garden and native tree plantings.
For more information about the grant awards or to receive application forms, see TPWD's grants Web page or phone the department's Recreation Grants Department at (512) 389-8224 or e-mail: rec.grants@tpwd.texas.gov.
---
On the Net:
http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/grants
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[ Note: This item is more than three 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]
Jan. 27, 2011
TPWD Pulls Seatrout from Fishing Regulation Proposals
AUSTIN - The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will not recommend any changes to spotted seatrout regulations this year, citing no biological urgency and split reactions to potential length or bag alternatives during public scoping meetings and in online angler surveys.
Recent declines in relative abundance of spotted seatrout in some of the mid-coast bays led TPWD to open discussions regarding possibly implementing additional conservation measures for other bay systems. "We're seeing increased spotted seatrout recruitment in many Texas bay systems and our creel surveys are showing fairly high angler satisfaction levels," said Robin Riechers, TPWD Coastal Fisheries Division Director. "We opened the idea up for discussion at public scoping meetings and saw no compelling reason to move forward with a proposal at this time."
TPWD's list of proposed changes to fishing regulations for 2011-12 includes the following:
--Implement regulations on two impoundments that are soon to be opened to the public, Wheeler Branch (Somervell County) and Lake Kyle (Hays County);
--Alter catfish regulations on Kirby Reservoir (Taylor County) and Lake Palestine (Cherokee, Anderson, Henderson, and Smith counties);
--Alter bass regulations on Lake Alan Henry (Garza County);
--Standardize harvest regulations on waters shared with Louisiana (Toledo Bend Reservoir, Sabine River and Caddo Lake);
--Clarify regulations governing the retention of bycatch by captain and crew on licensed commercial shrimp boats;
--Correct typographical errors regarding gag grouper and snook.
The proposals will be detailed during a series of public meetings around the state and available for review and comment on TPWD's website. A final rulemaking by the TPW Commission will be made at its March 30-31 public hearing.
Comments and questions about the proposal may be submitted to Ken Kurzawski (Inland Fisheries) at (512) 389-4591, e-mail: ken.kurzawski@tpwd.texas.gov; Art Morris (Coastal Fisheries) at (361) 825-3356, e-mail: art.morris@tpwd.state.tx; or Robert Goodrich (Law Enforcement) at (512) 389-4853, e-mail: robert.goodrich@tpwd.texas.gov. Comments may also be submitted via the department's website at http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/business/feedback/public_comment/.
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[ 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 ]
Jan. 27, 2011
TPWD Sets Statewide Public Hearings
AUSTIN -- The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is recommending changes to next year's hunting and fishing regulations. The department is seeking comment on these proposed changes to the state's hunting and fishing regulations during a series of public hearings.
Each year, TPWD considers changes in hunting and fishing regulations to achieve resource management objectives and maximize outdoor recreation opportunities consistent with good stewardship.
The public is encouraged to attend public meetings in their area and provide comment on proposed changes. The TPW Commission will make final rulemaking at its March 30-31 public hearing in Austin.
Public comment on proposed changes may be made in writing to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Statewide Hunting and Fishing Proclamation Public Comment, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, Texas 78744. Comments may also be submitted via the department's website at http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/business/feedback/public_comment/ or through the following resource points of contact:
--Robert Macdonald (Wildlife) at (512) 389-4775; e-mail: robert.macdonald@tpwd.texas.gov.
--Ken Kurzawski (Inland Fisheries) at (512) 389-4591, e-mail: ken.kurzawski@tpwd.texas.gov.
--Art Morris (Coastal Fisheries) at (361) 825-3356, e-mail: art.morris@tpwd.state.tx.
--Robert Goodrich (Law Enforcement) at (512) 389-4853, e-mail: robert.goodrich@tpwd.texas.gov.
Schedule of Statewide Public Hearings
All meetings are scheduled for 7 p.m.
March 1
--Rusk, Cherokee County Courthouse, 135 S. Main.
--Corpus Christi, TAMU Corpus Christi National Resource Center Room 1003, 6300 Ocean Dr.
March 2
--Lubbock, Lubbock County Courthouse, 904 Broadway.
--Jefferson, Marion County Courthouse Room 210, 114 W. Austin St.
--Port Arthur, Lamar College, Carl Parker Center 2nd Floor, 1880 Lakeshore Dr.
--San Antonio, Lions Field Adult Center, 2809 Broadway.
March 3
--Dickinson, TPWD Marine Lab, 1502 Pine Dr.
March 8
--Hemphill, Sabine County Courthouse, 201 Main St.
March 9
--South Padre Island, South Padre Island Convention Center, 7355 Padre Blvd.
--Tyler, Smith County Courthouse, 100 N. Broadway.
--Fort Worth, Cabela's, 12901 Cabela's Dr.
March 10
--Sulphur Springs, Hopkins County Courthouse, 118 Church St.
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[ Note: This item is more than three 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]
Jan. 27, 2011
TPWD Proposing Spring Turkey Closure for 15 East Texas Counties
AUSTIN - The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is considering closing spring turkey hunting in 15 East Texas counties where turkey populations are believed to have dipped below what biologists believe are sustainable numbers. The recommendation tops a brief slate of proposed hunting regulation changes for 2011 presented to the TPW Commission's Regulations Committee.
Public comment will be taken on all proposed changes prior to any rulemaking by the Commission at its March 30-31 public hearing.
Closing spring turkey seasons in the following counties will enable biologists to reassess Eastern turkey restoration efforts in areas having suitable habitat, restock sites and provide brood stock protection. Counties proposed for hunting season closure and further restocking consideration include: Cherokee, Delta, Gregg, Hardin, Houston, Hunt, Liberty, Montgomery, Rains, Rusk, San Jacinto, Shelby, Smith, Tyler and Walker.
The agency's goal is to reopen hunting once the Eastern turkey populations in the affected counties are capable of sustaining harvest.
TPWD is also proposing to delay spring Eastern turkey hunting in the remaining counties having an open season by two weeks. If adopted, the spring Eastern turkey season would run from April 15-May 14 beginning in 2012. Biologists say the delay would give hens time to begin nesting prior to the season opening.
Biologists are also recommending altering the bag composition during the spring season for Rio Grande turkey in all counties with a bag limit of four turkeys. The current bag composition for turkey during the spring season is gobblers only. The proposal would make any bearded turkey legal during the spring season. TPWD has determined the Rio Grande turkey population in Texas is large and stable, and since bearded hens constitute less than 5 percent of the total hen population, allowing harvest of bearded hens during the spring season would not have a negative impact on the population.
TPWD is also proposing to clarify that Managed Lands Deer permits for mule deer are valid during the archery-only season for the take of mule deer by means of archery equipment. This recommended change would clear up any confusion as to when MLDPs can be used for mule deer.
Comments on the proposed rules may be submitted by phone or e-mail to Robert Macdonald (512) 389-4775; e-mail: robert.macdonald@tpwd.texas.gov, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, Texas 78744. Comments may also be submitted through the department's Internet web site and at upcoming public meetings to be scheduled around the state.
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