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|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2012-05-24                                    |
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[ Note: This item is more than a year old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: Mike Cox, 512-389-8046, mike.cox@tpwd.texas.gov ]
May 24, 2012
Game Warden Col. Pete Flores Receives National Honor
AUSTIN - Col. Pete Flores, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Law Enforcement Division Director, has received the first-ever Legacy Award from the National Association of Conservation Law Enforcement Chiefs.
The award, a bronze sculpture of a vigilant game warden called "Standing Watch" was presented by Gene Elms, law enforcement director for the Arizona Game and Fish Department at the meeting of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission May 24.
In conferring the award, Elms said it was in recognition of Flores' "contributions and undaunted work in securing a future for wildlife, conservation and game wardens" in the United States.
Flores is retiring at the end of the month after more than 27 years of state service. Chief of Staff David Sinclair, a 40-year TPWD veteran, has been named acting division director.
Under Flores' leadership, state game warden training moved from an outdated 1978-vintage, 6.2-acre facility in central Austin to a new 220-acre campus with 39,000 square feet of state-of-the-art building in Hamilton County.
Beyond an expanded role that includes environmental crimes enforcement, undercover investigations of interstate wildlife crimes and extensive outreach to build rapport in local communities, game wardens also assumed greater border security duties on Flores' watch, adding more "boots on the ground" and new types of boats, vehicles, and firepower.
A native of Laredo, Flores went to work for TPWD following his graduation from Texas A&M University.
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[ Media Contact: Steve Lightfoot, 512-389-4701, steve.lightfoot@tpwd.texas.gov ] [SL]
May 24, 2012
TPWD Outlines Course of Action for Quail
AUSTIN - State wildlife officials are taking a "boots on the ground" approach to bobwhite quail management in Texas as part of a strategic action plan that involves hunters, landowners and science. The plan focuses on habitat management and does not include changes in harvest regulations.
Because regulations will not compensate for losses in quail habitat, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is making no changes to the quail hunting season for 2012-13. The season will open Oct. 27 and close Feb. 24, 2013 with a daily bag limit of 15, possession limit of 45.
"Hunting is a tool to regulate harvest of quail, but not a tool that could impact quail recovery at a landscape level," said Robert Perez, TPWD Upland Game Bird Program Leader. "Hunting didn't create this problem."
The long term trend in declining bobwhite populations have also impacted more than two dozen other grassland bird species that are not hunted. Biologists recognize the primary cause for these declines is loss of usable habitat.
During the next four years, TPWD will implement and monitor quail management strategies at three "focus area" sites in different parts of the state. The model for the project was developed in cooperation with the National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative and the Oaks and Prairies Joint Venture and is a component of TPWD Wildlife Division's Upland Game Bird Strategic Plan.
"These efforts will allow us to test the hypotheses that given enough usable habitat, we can sustain viable populations of quail over boom and bust cycles," Perez said. "Historically, our wildlife biologists have worked with landowners to develop management plans for quail, but we've never attempted to quantify those efforts at a larger scale."
During the upcoming hunting season, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department biologists will also be looking to hunters to help collect and report data that can be used to more accurately monitor quail harvest. Currently, TPWD relies on information gathered through its annual Small Game Harvest Survey of hunters to determine bobwhite quail harvest, which does not include daily harvest by county.
By issuing a harvest scorecard to a random group of quail hunters prior to the season, and using methodology similar to that developed for tracking migratory game bird harvest, TPWD hopes to get a more accurate accounting of wild bobwhite harvest.
bird harvest, TPWD hopes to get a more accurate accounting of wild bobwhite harvest.
Related News Roundup
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[ Note: This item is more than a year old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: Mike Cox, 512-389-8046, mike.cox@tpwd.texas.gov ]
May 24, 2012
Michael Hummert Named Marine Law Enforcement Officer of the Year
AUSTIN -- Anyone who spends much time on Lake Texoma in North Texas likely has run into Game Warden Michael Hummert, the 2012 Texas Parks and Wildlife Department marine law enforcement officer of the year.
TPWD Executive Director Carter Smith presented the award to Hummert at the May 24 meeting of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission in Austin.
Warden Hummert, who has served as a game warden for five years, is stationed in Grayson County and spends about 500 hours a year patrolling the sprawling lake along the Texas-Oklahoma border. During his time on the lake, Hummert has made six boating while intoxicated cases, including one that netted the defendant a third-degree felony conviction because he had nine prior DWI charges on his record.
"Because of Michael's streamlining of the BWI process by utilizing the TPWD game warden station on Lake Texoma, through videotaping and blood sampling, most of his BWI cases are plead out before ever going to trial," Smith said.
The felony BWI case came after the warden responded to a boating accident on the lake. Another of the BWI cases resulted from Hummert's successful pursuit of a large, high-speed "cigarette" boat from Texas to Oklahoma waters.
First on the scene of another serious boating accident, Hummert and his partner jumped into the water and steadied a boater's broken neck while at the same time coordinating with other first responders to get a medical helicopter on the scene.
"Because of Lake Texoma's sharing a common boundary with Oklahoma, Michael has become a great asset to not only this state, but to the citizens of Oklahoma as well," Smith said.
Hummert has assisted in several search efforts for drowning victims on the big lake, including two in Oklahoma waters where he was the first officer on the scene.
In addition to law enforcement work where life and death hang in the balance, Hummert hosts a Boy Scouts of America "Safety at Sea" event, with more than 75 scouts receiving valuable instruction in water safety issues and other marine topics.
As the 2012 TPWD marine enforcement officer of the year, Hummert is now eligible to receive the Southern States Boating Law Administrators Association's Officer of the Year Award. If chosen for the SSBLA award, he would be nominated for the National Association of Boating Law Administrators' Officer of the Year Award, to be presented in September.
"Michael has a great working partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, enforcing the closure of the Big Mineral Army of Lake Texoma in protecting migratory bird wintering areas," Smith said.
A native of Grandview, in Johnson County south of Fort Worth, Hummert and his wife live in Pottsboro.
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[ General Media Contact: Business Hours, 512-389-4406 ]
[ Additional Contacts: Lydia Saldaņa, (512) 389-4557, lydia.saldana@tpwd.texas.gov ]
May 24, 2012
Texas Water Safety Efforts Enhanced by San Antonio Foundation
Scott A. Freund Memorial Foundation funds water safety video for driver education students
AUSTIN -- A new water safety video will be produced for Texas driver education courses, thanks to a generous donation by the Scott A. Freund Memorial Foundation. Foundation representatives presented a ceremonial check for $20,000 to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission today.
"These funds will be used to produce a video that will be required viewing for 220,000 drivers education students annually," said Tim Spice, Texas Parks Wildlife Department Boater Education Manager. "Thanks to House Bill 673, which was passed by the 82nd Legislature, critical water safety messages will be delivered via this new vide to all driver ed students in Texas. It's exactly the target audience we need to reach with this life-saving information."
The Scott A. Freund Memorial Foundation was set up in memory of Scott Freund, who was killed in a tragic boating accident on Canyon Lake in 2010. The foundation has been providing funds for equipment for local water safety and water rescue organizations for the last couple of years and wanted to extend its reach to education efforts.
"Promoting boating and water safety is at the core of the Scott Freund Memorial Foundation's charter," said Mathew Freund, who serves as chairman of the board and is Scott's brother. "We're pleased to be able to partner with Texas Parks and Wildlife to spread this important education message about water safety to so many people."
The video is in the planning stages now and should be completed in time for the 2013 boating season.
National Safe Boating week this year is May 19-25, and the presentation today underscored the importance of boater education in making our waterways safer.
Freund noted that educating both new and experienced boat operators on the importance of wearing Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) and attaching kill switches to boat ignitions is also very important to the Scott A. Freund Memorial Foundation.
"Today's PFD's offer convenience, comfort, and are not restrictive to the user," said Freund. "It is our hope that if we can get enough education out there, that boaters will begin embracing life jackets and kill switches in a manner similar to seat belts in automobiles."
---
On the Net:
http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/boatered
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[ General Media Contact: Business Hours, 512-389-4406 ]
[ Additional Contacts: Steve Lightfoot, TPWD, 512-389-4701, steve.lightfoot@tpwd.texas.gov. Steve Wagner, DSC, 800-654-3766 or steve@blueheroncomm.com ]
May 24, 2012
Texas Parks and Wildlife Accepts $50,000 Check from DSC
AUSTIN -- Dallas Safari Club (DSC) leaders today delivered a $50,000 check to support Texas Parks and Wildlife Department programs for public hunting, conservation, education, state parks and law enforcement.
DSC this year set a record with over $1 million in grants for conservation, education and hunter advocacy efforts worldwide. Texas Parks and Wildlife is the largest single recipient with 2012 grants totaling $67,500.
The latest DSC contribution was presented as part of the agency's Commission meeting in Austin.
Carter Smith, executive director of Texas Parks and Wildlife, said DSC grants are helping to fund public hunting and land-lease initiatives, hunter education and youth outreach efforts, Operation Game Thief, life insurance for Texas game wardens and a variety of operational expenses across the agency.
"We're grateful for the generous contribution and our longstanding and important partnership with DSC," said Smith.
"DSC continues to grow as a major force for wildlife, habitat and hunting around the globe, but it's always gratifying to help with important work right here at home," said Ben Carter, DSC executive director.
Funding for DSC grants is generated by its annual convention and expo, always held the first Thursday-Sunday in January. The 2013 event is slated for Jan. 3-6.
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[ General Media Contact: Business Hours, 512-389-4406 ]
[ Tom Harvey, TPWD News, (512) 389-4453 or tom.harvey@tpwd.texas.gov; Andy Goldbloom, TPWD Trails Grants Contact, (512) 389-8128, or andy.goldbloom@tpwd.texas.gov ]
May 24, 2012
$3 Million in Trail Grants Awarded Across Texas
AUSTIN -- The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission today approved $3,014,992 million in federal funding for 26 National Recreational Trail Grant projects in communities across the state. The total includes $485,000 in re-allocated trail funds for trail improvements in seven state parks.
The seven state parks to receive trails funding are Bastrop, Brazos Bend, Cooper Lake, Eisenhower, Government Canyon, Lake Brownwood and Martin Dies Jr. The money will go toward renovating existing trails, making trails more accessible, and helping with layout, design and other improvements.
All told this year, TPWD received 82 project proposals requesting trail grant funding totaling $11.5 million--both figures are records, the most ever received. The 10-member Texas Statewide Trails Advisory Board reviewed the proposals and developed a list of recommended projects for funding based on the quality of the project, its cost effectiveness, its impact on recreational trail opportunities and geographic distribution of funds.
The National Recreational Trails Fund comes from a portion of the federal gas tax generated by the sale of gasoline for use in off-road recreational vehicles such as dirt bikes and All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs). Money from the trail fund goes toward the creation and maintenance of motorized and non-motorized recreational trails.
The Federal Highway Administration manages the fund and distributes portions of it to states based on a formula that takes into account the state's population and fuel sales for off-road vehicles. Nationwide, the program was appropriated $95 million for the current fiscal year. However, funding for the program is included in the Transportation Funding Bill which Congress has funded through June 30, making only 75 percent of the annual apportionment available to states at present.
The program provides 80-20 matching grants, so that in each case the grant recipient must pay for 20 percent of the total project cost. Dollar amounts shown below are 80 percent of the project cost.
List of sponsors awarded funds for trail projects, by county:
--Angelina County -- Cassels-Boykin Trails, $73,336, new 7 mile hike/bike trail, bridges, benches, signs
--Bastrop County -- City of Elgin, Shenandoah Trail, $77,395, new 0.6 mile granite trail
--Bexar County -- San Antonio River Authority, Helton -- San Antonio River Park Trail, $150,000, new 1.1 mile granite/concrete trail
--Bexar County -- Friends of Friedrich Wilderness Park, Friedrich Wilderness Park Trail, $76,700, new 4.7 mile natural surfaced nature trail, signs
--Bexar County -- City of Converse, North Park Walking Trail, $55,142, new 1.2 mile asphalt trail, benches, signs, drinking fountains
--Brazos County -- City of College Station, Iron Bridge Trail, $76,020, renovate 0.6 mile granite trail, benches, signs
--Cameron County -- City of Brownsville, Belden Trail, $151,274, new 1.0 mile asphalt trail, benches, bollards
--Childress County -- City of Childress, ATV & Moto Park Improvements, $180,024, motorized trail park improvements, fencing, tools, erosion control
--Coke County Economic Development Group, Coke County OHV Park, $50,000, new motorized trail park, restroom, utilities, parking, fencing
--Collin County -- Trinity Trail Preservation Association, Trinity Trail Erosion Control Project, $27,960, renovation/erosion control along 25 mile equestrian trail
--Crosby   County -- White River Municipal Water District, ATV Trails, $141,200, new ATV motorized park, parking lot, fencing, signs, pavilion, tables
--Culberson County -- Town of Van Horn, Van Horn Recreational Trails, $150,000, new 4 mile motorized trail, tools/equipment, storage shed, signs
--Fort Bend County -- City of Richmond, Richmond Trail, $109,280, new 0.9 mile granite/concrete trail, bridge
--Harris County -- City of Baytown, Nature Center Trails, Phase II, $73,350, new 1 mile granite trail, benches, signs, fencing, boardwalk
--Hays County -- City of Dripping Springs, Harrison Ranch Park Equine Trail, $100,000, new 1.8 mile natural surface trail, parking area, signs
--Hopkins County -- City of Sulphur Springs, Buford Park Trail, $63,960, new 0.5 mile concrete trail, benches, signs, bollards
--Jefferson County -- City of Beaumont, Klein Park Walking Trail Improvements, $75,000, resurface 0.7 mile trail, ADA imp., benches, signs, drainage
--Lamar County -- City of Blossom, Blossom Recreational Rail Trail, $100,003, new 1.5 mile asphalt trail, bridge railing, vehicle controls
--McLennan County -- Texas Equestrian Trailriders Association, Waco Lake Reynolds Creek Trailhead, $41,976, restroom, shade, storage shed, tools hitching posts
--Montgomery County -- Sam Houston Trails Coalition, Inc., Richards-Raven Trail Network, $150,000, new 20 mile motorized trail, bridges, trailhead, signs, NEPA
--Montgomery County -- Greater Houston Offroad Mt. Bike Association, Spring Creek Greenway Flintridge Trail, $100,000, new 5 mile renovate 6 mile natural surface trail, bridges, signs
--Red River County -- City of Clarksville, Gate to Texas Trail, $128,000, new 2.0 mile crushed aggregate trail, bridge decking/railing, signs
--Tarrant County -- Fort Worth Mountain Bikers Association, Gateway Park Mountain Bike Trail, $14,372, new 0.5 mile natural surface trail, signs, tools
--Val Verde County -- City of Del Rio, San Felipe Creek Trail Improvement, $149,000, new 0.2, renovate 0.2 mile concrete trail, signs
--Walker County -- Sam Houston National Forest, Multiple-Use Trail Rehab. Phase IV, $200,000, renovate 20 mile motorized trail, erosion control, bridge, signs, equipment
--Wood County -- City of Mineola, Mineola Nature Preserve on the Sabine, $16,000, new 1 mile natural/crushed aggregate trail, signs
'http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/business/grants/trpa/'
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[ Note: This item is more than a year old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ General Media Contact: Business Hours, 512-389-4406 ]
[ Additional Contacts: Lydia Saldaņna, (512) 389-4557, lydia.saldana@tpwd.texas.gov ]
May 24, 2012
Texas Businesses Step Up for State Parks
Whole Earth Provision Co. makes $30,000 donation at TPW Commission meeting
AUSTIN -- Whole Earth Provision Co. presented a check for $30,000 to benefit Texas State Parks at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission meeting today. The donation came from a month-long in-store promotion as well as proceeds from the Banff Mountain Film Festival, which was held in Austin in mid-April.
The in-store donation effort took place for the entire month of April in the company's eight stores in Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and Austin. Whole Earth purchased $5 gift cards from Texas State Parks to give to every customer who donated $20. They actively requested donations from their customers and promoted the effort with signage in stores, post cards, press releases, and through social media. The in-store effort brought in more than $20,000, which was a record for Whole Earth.
"The public and our customers have been very enthusiastic in joining us in supporting Texas State Parks," said Jack Jones, Founder and President of Whole Earth Provision Company. "This is the largest response and the most money we have ever raised in a non-profit fund raising campaign and we had a lot of fun doing it. Texas State Parks belong to us all and we are now eagerly planning future support campaigns for OUR parks."
Whole Earth, a store devoted to adventure, travel, and fun, approached TPWD about the promotion after hearing about the fundraising campaign the department launched in December to help close a state parks budget shortfall. The shortfall was caused by last year's devastating wildfires, record drought and triple-digit heat.
"The outpouring of support from Texans and Texas businesses has been gratifying," said Brent Leisure, TPWD State Parks Director. "Whole Earth Provision Company has been a great partner to us and we look forward to working with them in the future to continue supporting our parks."
Other businesses have also made donations or helped raise funds for Texas state parks, including REI, Toyota, La Quinta Inns and Suites, Geico, and Crestview RV. Thanks to these businesses, and the generous donations of private individuals and foundations, close to $1.7 million of the $4.6 million needed to close the gap has already been raised.
With recent rains bringing greatly improved conditions to most of the state, one of the best ways to help state parks is by visiting them, since about 50 percent of the park system operating budget comes directly from visitor fees. There are many state parks located near major metro areas, including 12 within an hour's drive of Austin, 9 within an hour's drive of San Antonio, 8 parks less than an hour away from folks living in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex and 7 about an hour away from those living in the Houston area.
State parks offer an affordable way to spend time with family and friends, and children 12 and under are admitted free. The Texas State Park Pass is a great value at $70, providing free entry to state parks for a year for everyone in a pass holder's vehicle. The pass is also available at a discount for senior citizens.
For more information about visiting Texas State Parks, or to make a donation online, visit www.texasstateparks.org
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[ Media Contact: Rob McCorkle, 830-866-3533, robert.mccorkle@tpwd.texas.gov ] [RM]
May 24, 2012
Mother Neff State Park Set to Almost Double in Size
AUSTIN - The state's first official Texas State Park will grow to almost 400 acres thanks to action taken today by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission. The commission authorized the acquisition of 142 acres of land to add to Mother Neff State Park in Coryell County.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has worked out a deal with two adjacent landowners to purchase 142 acres of land with high quality natural and cultural resources for $1.15 million to add to the existing 259-acre central Texas park. The acquisition includes infrastructure of value to TPWD that will support park operations and the future expansion of recreational and educational opportunities.
Part of the proceeds from TPWD's sale earlier this spring of 2,014 acres of Fortress Cliff Ranch that overlooks Palo Duro Canyon State Park was used to purchase the Coryell County property being added to Mother Neff State Park. Funds used to make the purchase included federal Land and Water Conservation Funds, which by federal law, requires TPWD to use the proceeds to replace public access to the outdoors for which the funds were originally granted.
The new property includes half a mile on the Leon River, impressive river bluff views, a significant spring, forest habitat and extensive prehistoric archeological resources. The acquisition will provide for greatly expanded recreational and interpretive opportunities.
The state park started out as six acres on the Leon River donated in 1916 by Isabella Eleanor (Mother) Neff. After his mother's death in 1921, Gov. Pat Neff created Mother Neff Memorial Park, which later two years later would serve as the nucleus of the new Texas State Park System.
The former land of the Tonkawa Indians consists of pristine limestone hills, prairies, woodlands and Leon River bottomland about 30 miles south of Waco just west of the town of Moody.
For more information about Mother Neff State Park, visit www.texasstateparks.org or call (254) 853-2389.
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[ Media Contact: Rob McCorkle, 830-866-3533, robert.mccorkle@tpwd.texas.gov ] [RM]
May 24, 2012
$100,000 Coca-Cola Grant Will Go to Park with Most Votes
Public Can Begin Voting Today to Help Bastrop Win $100,000
BASTROP - Bastrop State Park is making a strong comeback after last Labor Day Weekend's horrific wildfire that burned most of the park, but an additional $100,000 would give a huge boost to help this beloved and iconic state park rise from the ashes. That's the top grant in the national "America Is Your Park" competition, to be awarded to the park that receives the most votes during a promotion that ends just before midnight on July 15.
Everyone who loves Bastrop State Park can make a difference by casting a vote at Coca-Cola's www.livepositively.com/parks. And while on the Website be sure to register your FourSquare account so you can earn the park 100 votes simply by "checking in" when you visit the park.
Help spread the "love" for Bastrop State Park by telling your family and friends to vote, too, and by posting the link on your Facebook and your other social media accounts. Remember that you can go online daily to cast your vote for Bastrop State Park up until the deadline.
"While all of our state parks deserve support and would benefit from the $100,000 grant in these times of budget shortfalls," says Texas State Parks director Brent Leisure, "rallying around hard-hit Bastrop State Park will give us the best chance to win the cash to continue restoring the national landmark and the Lost Pines ecosystem. This is a grassroots effort that, to be successful requires, support from not only the Bastrop community, but from park-lovers throughout Texas."
If Bastrop State Park collects the most votes in this third annual national competition, the $100,000 award would be used to keep American YouthWorks members working at the park to advance the recovery of the park's infrastructure and forest landscape, according to Leisure.
The Bastrop State Park voting campaign already is receiving support from both the public and private sectors, including Greater Austin Merchants Association and the City of Bastrop. Campaign sponsor Coca-Cola will also be giving Bastrop State Park $10,000 to fund a trail-building event at the park on June 20 and help spread awareness of the promotion.
Since last year's tragic Labor Day fire that hit 96 percent of the 6,500-acre state park, $262,000 in donations for Bastrop State Park recovery have come from a variety of sources. The donations have helped TPWD initiate a contract with American YouthWorks to assist with restoration efforts that include clearing downed trees and other debris, restoring park trails and constructing hand-hewn pine log bridges.
Despite the destruction of much of its loblolly pine forests, Bastrop State Park is seeing the growth of some vegetation and the return of loyal park customers who are returning to camp, rent a cabin, fish, play golf, picnic and listen for the chirp of the park's endangered Houston toads. Visitors can stay at all four campgrounds and the 13 climate-controlled cabins, which are sporting new shingle roofs, and 80 percent of the park trails have been reopened.
Bastrop's Lost Pines wildfire - the most destructive in Texas history - resulted in a three-month closure of the state park, causing serious financial losses for a site that draws 170,000 visitors a year and has an annual $2 million economic impact on Bastrop County.
Coca-Cola collaborated with the National Park Foundation, America's State Parks and the National Recreation & Park Association to develop the grants campaign. Coca-Cola's "Live Positively" initiative also awards a $50,000 and $25,000 grant to the next two runners-up in votes received. In addition, one of the remaining Top 25 vote-getters will be selected in a random drawing to receive a $15,000 grant.
Bastrop Area Flyer (PDF)
Statewide Flyer (PDF)
How To Vote For Bastrop State Park To Win (PDF)
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[ General Media Contact: Business Hours, 512-389-4406 ]
[ Additional Contacts: Brian Van Zee, 254-867-7974, brian.vanzee@tpwd.texas.gov ]
May 24, 2012
TPWD Re-Launches Zebra Mussel Awareness Campaign
North Texas Boaters asked to Clean, Drain and Dry
AUSTIN -- Texas Parks and Wildlife and a coalition of partners are re-launching a public awareness campaign to coincide with the start of boating season and a new regulation that took effect this month asking boaters on Lake Texoma, Lake Lavon and the Red River and its tributaries to remove all water from their boat and trailer before leaving for another body of water.
p>The campaign is aimed at getting boaters to Clean, Drain and Dry their boats to help stop the spread of zebra mussels and other invasive species. Zebra mussels have become well established in Lake Texoma, and they can be spread to other waters on boats and trailers. Boaters are already prohibited from transporting exotic species that are visible to the naked eye, such as adult zebra mussels.
Recent changes mean that boaters and anglers who take steps designed to prevent the spread of invasive species such as zebra mussels, silver carp and bighead carp won't have to worry about being in violation of state laws prohibiting the possession of certain exotic species.
"Our message is simple," said Brian Van Zee, TPWD Inland Fisheries regional director. "Don't be a carrier. If you keep or use your boat or personal watercraft on Lake Texoma, or have operated in out-of-state waterways already infested with zebra mussels, Clean, Drain and Dry your vessel before heading to any other body of water in Texas."
The public awareness campaign, funded with sponsor and partner funding and Sportfish Restoration federal aid dollars, will educate boaters through billboards, signage at marinas and area gas stations, lake buoys and stencils at boat ramps, radio public service announcements, and a number of other media.
Campaign partners include: North Texas Municipal Water District, Tarrant Regional Water District, Trinity River Authority, City of Dallas Water Utilities Department, Sabine River Authority, Canadian River Municipal Water Authority, San Jacinto River Authority, Angelina & Neches River Authority, Brazos River Authority and Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.
Native to the former Soviet Union, zebra mussels found their way to the United States via the exchange of ballast water from ocean-going vessels passing through the St. Lawrence Seaway to ports on the Great Lakes. Since then, the rapidly propagating bivalves have been spreading throughout the U.S. and are currently found in 29 states.
Of immediate concern in North Texas, he said, are lakes such as Lavon, Ray Hubbard, Lewisville, Grapevine, Possum Kingdom, Granbury and others. These lakes are on the Trinity and Brazos River systems and they are heavily used by recreational boaters.
"In their larval form, zebra mussels are impossible to see with the naked eye," Van Zee said. "This is why the new law was passed and why it's particularly important to "Clean, Drain, and Dry your boat before leaving the lake and hitting the road".
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On the Net:
http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/newsmedia/releases/news_roundup/zebra_mussels/
http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/newsmedia/news_images/?g=zebra_mussels
http://www.texasinvasives.org
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