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+-------------------------------------------------------------------------+ | TPWD News Releases Dated 2012-11-08 | +-------------------------------------------------------------------------+ | 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 email@example.com and mention Plain Text Pages. | +-------------------------------------------------------------------------+ [ 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: Brian Van Zee, (254) 867-7974, firstname.lastname@example.org or Mike Cox, (512) 389-8046, email@example.com ] Nov. 8, 2012 Emergency Zebra Mussels Order Made Permanent AUSTIN - The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission voted Thursday to make permanent an emergency order adding Lake Ray Roberts, Lake Lewisville and the section of the Elm Fork of the Trinity that connects the two reservoirs to the list of water bodies under special regulations intended to control the spread of zebra mussels. The emergency order had been signed by TPWD Executive Director Carter Smith at the end of July following the discovery earlier that month of the destructive invasive species in Lake Ray Roberts, which is north of Denton. Earlier this year, the commission amended TPWD's regulations that impact anglers and boaters on a section of the Red River including Lake Texhoma and Lake Lavon. All water needs to be drained from boats (this includes live wells and bilges) before leaving any water body with the special regulations in order to comply with rules prohibiting the transport of harmful exotic species. Taking this precaution is crucial in efforts to slow the spread of zebra mussels, since contaminated boats are one of the primary ways this happens. Draining water from boats prevents the spread of a microscopic form of the zebra mussel called a veliger, which is invisible to the naked eye. The rule approved by the commission Thursday does allow a person to travel on a public roadway via the most direct route to another access point located on the same body of water without draining water from their boat. The zebra mussel is a small, non-native mussel originally found in Eurasia. It has spread throughout Europe, where it is considered to be a major environmental and industrial menace. The animal appeared in North America in the late 1980s and within 10 years had colonized in all five Great Lakes and the Mississippi, Tennessee, Hudson, and Ohio river basins. Since then, they have spread to additional lakes and river systems, including in North Texas. Zebra mussels live and feed in many different aquatic habitats, breed prolifically, and cannot be controlled by natural predators. Adult zebra mussels colonize all types of living and non-living surfaces including boats, water-intake pipes, buoys, docks, piers, plants, and slow moving animals such as native clams, crayfish, and turtles. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates the potential economic impact of zebra mussels to be in the billions of dollars. For more information on zebra mussels and how to clean, drain and dry a boat, visit http://www.texasinvasives.org/. -30- [ 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, firstname.lastname@example.org ] Nov. 8, 2012 Game Warden Field Notes The following items are compiled from recent Texas Parks and Wildlife Department law enforcement reports. --An Oily Situation A Reeves County game warden received a call from Ward County regarding some illegal hunting taking place near an oil rig. The caller said the three out-of-state hunters were driving the oilfield roads shooting dove from their vehicle. The warden responded to the call that night after the men got off work and saw them cruising the roads, but not shooting. After the vehicle disappeared, the warden waited at the rig to talk to the three men and confirm the hunting story. After some discussion, the three men admitted to shooting dove on the oilfield roads with a pellet gun. The men were charged with hunting without a license and hunting dove by illegal means. --Learning by Example While serving an arrest warrant in Lubbock County, two South Plains game wardens heard a distant shotgun blast and decided to investigate. The wardens found a maize field with several guided hunters and a hunting guide, all hunting. When the wardens contacted the group, the guide tried diverting their attention from a large pile of doves and a certain shotgun. After some questioning by the wardens, the guide admitted to having shot more than his daily bag limit of dove with an unplugged shotgun. Citations were issued. --Covering for a CousinA Williamson County game warden was patrolling a new section of a farm-to-market road that dissects several ranches that is not yet open to the public when he spotted a vehicle inside a ranch with a subject standing nearby drinking a beer. The warden watched the individual for about 15 minutes before he heard a gunshot in the distance beyond the truck. When the subject spotted the warden, he immediately got out his phone and appeared to calling someone. The warden started his truck and continued down the road giving the subject the perception that he was leaving. After waiting down the road for a while, the warden returned to the location where the subject was parked and spotted another male with his son near the truck shooting at several doves well after sunset. The warden parked his truck and walked several hundred yards to make contact with the hunters. When he arrived, the hunter with his son was no longer there. The lone hunter was in compliance with state laws and told the warden that the other man was his cousin and was heading back to the house. The man was stalling answering questions about the other hunter as if buying time for his cousin's escape. The warden was able to make it back to his patrol truck, drive to the front of the property, and find the hunter before he got away. As the warden tried to conduct a compliance check on the man, he denied hunting and became verbally aggressive. The warden advised Williamson County of the situation and requested back up. When two deputies arrived, the man became more compliant, admitted to hunting and said he hid his shotgun in his cousin's truck. It was discovered that the man not only shot at a dove after sunset, but he did not have a hunting license, or identification. --Can I Keep Him? After receiving a call from the Travis County Sheriff's Office, a game warden responded to a Lakeway residence shortly after midnight where the tenants possessed live white-winged dove in an oversized cage. The birds had been brought to the home three or four months ago as nestlings in order to nourish them for release. When asked why they weren't released, one of the residents said that she had grown attached to them. A citation was issued after the release of the game birds. --Game Fish Aren't Bait A Dimmit County game warden was checking some fishermen along a recently flooded river and noticed a man sitting by himself and not wanting to look his way. After the warden contacted the man and checked his fishing license, the warden noticed a bait bucket in the water. The warden asked the man about the kind of bait he was using and he replied, "Some shad that I caught." After an inspection of the bait bucket, the warden found the fisherman in possession of seven undersized crappie and five undersized largemouth bass mixed in with the shad and minnows. All of the undersized game fish were released, and citations issued for possession of undersized game fish. --Little White Lies A Tarrant County game warden was checking fishermen on Lake Grapevine when she pulled up to a boat that was drift-fishing for catfish. When she made contact, she noticed some large fish scales next to an open pocket knife. As the men searched for their fishing licenses, the warden noticed a small white bass on the floor of the boat next to one of the men's feet. She asked the men what they were using for bait, and they pointed to a bucket of shad. The warden retrieved the white bass from the floor of the boat, and it was missing one fillet and its tail. The men were asked to reel in their lines, and two of the four lines had been baited with the undersized white bass. The men received an education about the illegality of using game fish for bait, and citations were issued. --A Shot in the DarkA McLennan County game warden received a trespass call. While unable to immediately locate the individuals, he decided to wait in the area. After dark, the warden saw a vehicle stop just down the road and noticed a group of people get out with an AR-15 rifle and flashlight. They began to shoot off the road into a nearby creek and field, so the warden approached the group and issued a citation for discharging a firearm from a public road. No evidence of hunting from the road was found. Forty-five minutes later, another truck stopped down the road in the same general area, and a man got out of the truck with an AK-47 and fired numerous rounds into the creek. When the warden made contact with the shooter, he noticed open containers in the vehicle. The subject said he was testing his AK-47 on the turtles in the creek. No turtles were located and citations were issued. -30- [ 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, email@example.com ] Nov. 8, 2012 Game Warden named Texas Wildlife Officer of the Year AUSTIN - Texas Parks and Wildlife Game Warden Danny Kelso has been recognized as Texas Wildlife Officer of the Year by the Shikar-Safari Club International. TPWD Executive Director Carter Smith presented Kelso with the prestigious award at today's meeting of the Parks and Wildlife Commission at the Austin headquarters. This marks the 32nd year this award has been presented to a Texas game warden. "During Danny's career he has built a reputation as being a 'go to' person in his community," said Smith. "In addition to his game warden duties, he frequently assists local entities with law enforcement, firefighting, and community events." Kelso was a member of the 42nd Texas Game Warden Training Academy graduating class in April 1991. In his 22 years of service as a state game warden, Kelso has been stationed in Aransas County and Refugio County. Kelso has been successful in the apprehension of several groups of poachers in his assigned area, and he has filed many cases on subjects taking and attempting to take white-tailed deer from public roads in Refugio County. He has also successfully apprehended numerous waterfowl hunting violators on the Wildlife Management Area in Refugio County. One of Kelso's most notable cases was when he saw a truck drive by his residence, with subjects checking if he was on duty. Upon seeing his familiar green truck in the driveway, they drove to the WMA to engage in a day of duck hunting. Kelso drove to the WMA, hid his truck in the brush and waited for the hunters. At the end of the day, he was able to apprehend the subjects leaving the WMA with several ducks in their possession. "The hunters learned two key facts that day," Smith said, "the season had closed two weeks prior, and game wardens are always on duty." -30- [ Note: This item is more than a year old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ] [ Media Contact: Rob McCorkle, 830-866-3533, firstname.lastname@example.org ] [RM] Nov. 8, 2012 TPW Commission Okays Pursuit of Government Canyon Land Deal AUSTIN -- The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission at its Thursday meeting authorized Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Executive Director Carter Smith to take all necessary steps to finalize a land purchase that would add roughly 461 acres to the Government Canyon State Natural Area at the northwestern edge of San Antonio. TPWD staff has been working with the City of San Antonio, The Nature Conservancy and the owner of the MaBe Canyon Ranch that adjoins the northeastern boundary of the 8,623-acre state natural area to acquire the additional acreage in the Edwards Aquifer recharge zone in a rapidly developing part of the city. Pending an approval vote from the San Antonio City Council, $7 million in Edwards Aquifer Protection Program bonds would be applied toward the $8.8 million purchase price. Though the contract is still pending, ranch owner Stephen Lowder has agreed to a bargain sale of the property that shares a two-mile common boundary with the state natural area. Other funds for the purchase consist of a $1.59 million endangered species grant from the U. S. Fish & Wildlife Service, $150,000 in federal Land and Water Conservation funds and a matching $150,000 in donations. MaBe Canyon Ranch has long been identified as a high priority for acquisition to expand recreational opportunities and to protect land in the Edwards Aquifer recharge zone, as well as habitat for endangered golden-cheeked warblers and karst invertebrates. The property also includes a limestone ridge that sits at the second highest elevation in Bexar County. In other action, the commission directed TPWD's director to take steps needed to purchase 120 acres of the Copeland Ranch adjacent to Palo Pinto Mountains State Park to add to the not-yet-open 3,300-acre state park located in the Cross Timbers region west of Fort Worth. -30-