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|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2014-01-21                                    |
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[ Note: This item is more than six months old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ General Media Contact: Business Hours, 512-389-4406 ]
[ Additional Contacts: Rob McCorkle, TPWD, (830) 866-3533 or robert.mccorkle@tpwd.texas.gov; Andy Sipocz, Texas State Parks, (832) 330-2369 or andrew.sipocz@tpwd.texas.gov ]
Jan. 21, 2014
Tree Planting Slated for San Jacinto Battleground Prairie
Jan. 23, 2014 -- Update: This news release has been edited to reflect a change in the schedule for the planting. It was originally set for Feb. 6-7, but all planting will take place Feb. 6.
LAPORTE - Volunteers from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Shell Oil Co. and Apache Corporation on Feb. 6 will be planting almost 300 trees at San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site as part of an ongoing prairie restoration project.
Live oaks, shumard oaks, cedar elms and loblolly pines will be among 280 trees planted on part of the 110-acre of tall-grass prairie being restored to its 1836 look to help visitors visualize the battleground as it would have appeared during the Battle of San Jacinto, which secured Texas' freedom from Mexico.
The trees will be planted in a 100-yard wide strip within a four-acre area to serve as a visual buffer between the battlefield and neighboring petroleum industry facilities. A similar number of trees will be planted next year to complete a planned seven-acre buffer. Funding for the trees came from Apache Corporation.
The tall prairie grasses and trees were critical to the outcome of the battle, allowing the greatly outnumbered Texans to go undetected in a surprise attack on Gen. Santa Anna's encamped Mexican force. While portions of the battleground retain the same tall grasses that helped hide Gen. Sam Houston's Texan troops as they approached on April 21, 1836, the planting area had grown over with Chinese tallow trees and other invasive species.
The new trees will replace the invasive species cleared last fall from portions of the battlefield that was seeded with native grasses and flowers. The restored tall-grass prairie serves as habitat for such prairie-dependent wildlife as marsh hawks and meadow larks, which are often seen by visitors.
The San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site is a National Historic Landmark and the location of the culminating military event of the Texas Revolution. There is no entry fee for the site and it is open daily 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
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[ Note: This item is more than six months 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, Texas Parks and Wildlife, (254) 867-7974, brian.vanzee@tpwd.texas.gov ]
Jan. 21, 2014
Zebra Mussels Confirmed in Lake Lavon
ATHENS--Zebra mussels have now been confirmed by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in Lake Lavon.
The presence of live zebra mussels or veligers, their larvae, has now been confirmed in six Texas water bodies: Lakes Texoma, Ray Roberts, Lewisville, Bridgeport, Belton, and Lavon.
A team of USGS scientists led by Dr. Christopher Churchill has been monitoring North Texas reservoirs and rivers for the presence of juvenile and adult zebra mussels as well as for the presence of zebra mussel DNA. Lake Lavon's water samples recently tested positive for zebra mussel DNA and a veliger was also positively identified.
The USGS tests also detected zebra mussel DNA in lakes Grapevine, Fork and Tawakoni. This is the first detection of zebra mussel DNA in lakes Fork and Tawakoni. However, three consecutive surveys have detected zebra mussel DNA in Lake Grapevine making it highly suspect.
Dr. Robert McMahon, Professor Emeritus of Biology at the University of Texas at Arlington, says that while this news is of concern, he suspects that Lake Fork cannot sustain a zebra mussel population because of low levels of calcium, which the mussels use to construct their shells. He believes that Lake Tawakoni is likely more susceptible.
The finding of zebra mussel DNA in a lake does not necessarily mean that it is infested, but it may indicate that boaters are inadvertently moving zebra mussels or zebra mussel DNA from lake to lake. The USGS sample from Lake Fork was collected near the FM 17 boat ramp and the samples from Lake Tawakoni were collected near Lake Tawakoni State Park and South Shore Marina. The USGS will conduct a follow-up lake survey at Lake Lavon later this month and will resume routine sampling this spring at all areas that are currently monitored, which include lakes Texoma, Lavon, Ray Roberts, Ray Hubbard, Lewisville, Grapevine, Fork, Tawakoni and Palestine. The USGS also monitors several riverine areas including Sister Grove Creek, Elm Fork of the Trinity River, and Denton Creek.
Zebra mussels were first discovered on boats being transported from out of state to Lake Texoma in 2006. In 2009, Lake Texoma became the first lake in Texas to become infested. Zebra mussels can quickly cover boats and motors left in infested waters, clog public-water intake pipes and water-cooling systems, negatively impact aquatic ecosystems and can make water recreation hazardous because of their razor-sharp shells.
Boats are believed to be one of the main ways that zebra mussels move from one lake to another. The only way for boaters to ensure they're not transporting zebra mussels is to always clean, drain and completely dry boats, trailers and gear after leaving a water body.
Texas Parks and Wildlife has instituted rules requiring persons leaving or approaching public water in 17 Northeast Texas counties to drain all water from their vessels and on-board receptacles. This applies to all types and sizes of boats whether powered or not, personal watercraft, sailboats or any other vessel used to travel on public waters. A proposal to extend the regulation to 30 additional counties in North and Central Texas will be considered by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission at its Thursday meeting. Information about the proposed change and a form for online public comment until 5 p.m. Tuesday may be found at http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/business/feedback/public_comment/proposals/201401_water_draining.phtml.
Under the current rules in the 17 counties, live fish cannot be transported in water that comes from the water body where they were caught and personally caught live bait can be used only in the water body where it was caught.
TPWD and a coalition of partners are working to slow the spread of zebra mussels by reminding boaters to Clean, Drain and Dry their vessels before traveling from one lake to another. The partners in this effort include: North Texas Municipal Water District, Tarrant Regional Water District, City of Dallas Water Utilities Department, Trinity River Authority, San Jacinto River Authority, Sabine River Authority, Brazos River Authority, City of Waco, Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority, Lower Colorado River Authority, Upper Trinity Regional Water District, Canadian River Municipal Water Authority, City of Grapevine, City of Houston, and the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.
For more information regarding zebra mussels, visit www.texasinvasives.org/zebramussels and http://nas.er.usgs.gov. Marinas or anyone wishing to receive a supply of informational brochures, wallet cards or posters about zebra mussels to distribute to boaters can submit a request for materials at http://www.texasinvasives.org/action/spreadword.php.
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On the Net:
http://www.texasinvasives.org/zebramussels
http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/business/feedback/public_comment/proposals/201401_water_draining.phtml
http://nas.er.usgs.gov
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