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|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2013-01-02                                    |
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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: Larry Hodge, 903-676-2277, larry.hodge@tpwd.texas.gov ] [LH]
Jan. 2, 2013
Lake Dunlap Produces Toyota ShareLunker
ATHENS--Lake Dunlap, a small reservoir on the Guadalupe River near New Braunfels, became the sixty-third Texas reservoir to produce a largemouth bass weighing 13 or more pounds when Matthew Moccia of Manchaca caught a 13.34-pounder from the lake December 30.
Moccia was fishing in 10 feet of water using a DD22 lure when the bass hit about 10:15 a.m. It measured 26.25 inches long and 23.25 inches in girth.
The fish became Toyota ShareLunker 539 and is currently at the A.E. Wood State Fish Hatchery in San Marcos awaiting the results of DNA testing. If the fish is pure Florida largemouth bass, it will be taken to the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center and held for spawning. If it is not pure Florida, it will be returned to the lake as soon as possible.
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department stocked Florida largemouth bass into Lake Dunlap in 1978 and 1988.
The fish is the third to be entered into the Toyota ShareLunker Program during the current season, which runs until April 30.
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 the ShareLunker hotline at (903) 681-0550 or paging (888) 784-0600 and leaving a phone number including area code. Fish will be picked up by TPWD personnel within 12 hours.
ShareLunker entries are used in a selective breeding program at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center (TFFC) in Athens. Some of the offspring from these fish are stocked back into the water body from which they were caught. Other ShareLunker offspring are stocked in public waters around the state in an attempt to increase the overall size and growth rate of largemouth bass in Texas.
Anglers entering fish into the Toyota ShareLunker program receive a free replica of their fish, a certificate and ShareLunker clothing and are recognized at a banquet at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens.
The person who catches the season's largest entry will be named Angler of the Year and will receive a prize package from G. Loomis. If a Texas angler catches the largest entry of the season, that person also receives a lifetime fishing license.
For complete information and rules of the ShareLunker program, tips on caring for big bass, a list of official Toyota ShareLunker weigh and holding stations and a recap of last year's season, see www.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 when available, is posted on www.facebook.com/sharelunkerprogram.
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.
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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: Steve Lightfoot, 512-389-4701, steve.lightfoot@tpwd.texas.gov ] [SL]
Jan. 2, 2013
TPWD Scoping Potential Coastal Fisheries Regulations
AUSTIN -- The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) has scheduled three public scoping meetings next week to gather input about possible regulation changes for 2013-14. The scoping items include incorporation of a rule regarding recreational possession limit, clarification of fish harassment rules, bonus red drum tag requirement changes and new possession rules in state waters for aquatic resources in excess of federal limits.
All meetings will begin at 7 p.m. and are set for:
--Jan. 7 -- Dickinson TPWD Regional Office, 1502 FM 517 East;
--Jan. 9 -- Corpus Christi on the TAMU CC campus, NRC #1003, 6300 Ocean Dr.;
--Jan. 10 -- San Antonio at Bass Pro Shops, 17907 W. IH 10.
During the regulation restructuring process where fishing and hunting regulations were separated into their own chapters, language regarding the definition of recreational possession limit was not carried forward into the Statewide Recreational and Commercial Fishing Proclamations chapter. Though the definition currently is enforceable from the Statewide Hunting Proclamation, this proposal will incorporate the definition into the Statewide Recreational and Commercial Fishing Proclamation making it clearer. The language to be incorporated reads:
The possession limit shall not apply after the wildlife resource has reached the possessor's permanent residence and is finally processed.
TPWD is also looking to clarify language in the regulations regarding fish harassment, which currently states that it is unlawful for any person to use any vessel to harass fish. In an attempt to clarify this definition to make it clearer, the department proposes the following language:
It is unlawful to use any vessel to harry, herd, or drive fish including but not limited to operating any vessel in a repeated circular course, for the purpose of or resulting in the artificial concentration of fish for the purpose of taking or attempting to take fish.
The department is also considering removing the prohibition regarding simultaneous possession of the red drum tag and bonus red drum tag. Currently anglers must obtain these two tags at separate times. In an effort to make it easier for those anglers who wish to harvest more than one oversized red drum (>28 inches), the department proposes eliminating this prohibition. As TPWD currently only issues about 7,000 bonus red drum tags annually, and oversized red drum makes up only 3 percent of the total harvest, the department expects no negative impact to the population. Anglers would still only be issued one bonus red drum tag annually.
TPWD is also scoping a change making it a state violation for possession in state waters of aquatic resources taken in violation of federal regulations in the Exclusive Economic Zone. Differences currently exist between state and federal regulations. TPWD has maintained an annual agreement with the Office of Law Enforcement (OLE) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration through which TPWD agrees to enforce federal regulations in state waters. The ability to enforce federal regulations will help prevent depletion and waste of aquatic resources.
Public input on these scoping items can also be submitted electronically at http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/business/feedback/public_comment/scoping/ by email to Jeremy Leitz at jeremy.leitz@tpwd.texas.gov, or in writing to Jeremy Leitz, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, TX 78744
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