Reel in a Lunker and Get Some “Loot”

February 16th, 2018
angler with bass

Angler Larry Mosby with his 13.06 pound ShareLunker! Entry #567

 

This is Passport to Texas

This year, the Toyota Sharelunker program expanded to include largemouth bass eight pounds or more. Anglers may submit data year-round into one of four classes: Lunker, Lunker Elite, Lunker Legend and Lunker Legacy.

And anglers can submit a fish into one of those four classes through our mobile app or our web based form.

Kyle Brookshear oversees the program.

Our mobile app allows an angler to enter the data field, such as the date and time that it was caught—the weight the length. And then document those with a photograph and submit those to us. And once they’re reviewed and confirmed, they’ll be entered into the program.

Lunker Legacy class permits anglers to submit their data and loan 13+ pound lunkers caught during the January 1st—March 31st spawning window.

For entering, an angler in any of those categories receives a catch kit. In addition to that, everyone who enters into one of those four categories, is included in a grand prize drawing of a $5K shopping spree at the end of the year. Those anglers that enter the Legacy Class program are in an additional drawing for another $5K shopping spree.

Find details about the program changes as well as the items found in each catch kit, and how to submit your catch data at texassharelunker.com.

The Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Changes to ShareLunker Program

February 15th, 2018
 Toyota Texas ShareLunker program

Toyota Texas ShareLunker program

This is Passport to Texas

The ShareLunker Program is a promotion and enhancement program for Lunker bass fishing in Texas. It selectively breeds trophy largemouth bass donated by anglers.

[Starting] this year we expanded that program to include eight pound bass, nine pound bass, ten pound bass, etc.…all the way up and over thirteen pounds.

Kyle Brookshear oversees the Toyota Texas Sharelunker Program. Why the change?

We wanted to get involved with more anglers out there and begin to recognize them for their achievements. Because, really, a 13-pound bass is the fish of a lifetime, but so it an eight, nine, ten…. And so, we wanted to recognize anglers at other levels of achievement for their catches.

In addition, Brookshear says collecting data on bass 8lb+ helps Texas Parks and Wildlife better understand the influence of ShareLunker genetics in each public water body. He says they’ll continue to collect and spawn 13-pound bass, caught January 1st through March 31st.

And then, we’re not only stocking some of those fingerlings out into the lakes of Texas, but the new change is we are incorporating them into our brood stock development so that eventually, we’ll greatly increase the number of fingerlings that are direct sharelunker descendants that are stocked out in Texas public lakes.

Find details at texassharelunker.com.

The Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Pronghorn Restoration and Rural Economy

February 14th, 2018
Pronghorn Antelope

Pronghorn Antelope

This is Passport to Texas

Wildlife biologist Shawn Gray finds pronghorns fascinating, and hopes you will, too.

The pronghorn is a unique mammal of North America; it’s the only one found in its family. It’s the fastest mammal in North America. It’s a big game species.

Gray is the pronghorn program leader and oversees the Pronghorn Restoration Project. Because it’s is a game species, hunting them should pick up as their population grows, thus benefitting local communities.

In 2008, we issued probably like 800 buck only hunting permits. And, shoot, in 2009 or 10, we were issuing less than 100. And there’s a lot to that. Not only is it the money that they get for trespass access for hunting, but the hunters come into the local communities and spend time and spend money. So, there’s a lot of those economic impacts as well with a much reduced pronghorn population out here.

The Trans-Pecos pronghorn population dipped below 3K in 2012, and Gray says through translocation and natural reproduction, they hope to see the number rise to 10K.

Most of the local communities in the Trans-Pecos really miss the pronghorn. And they really want to see pronghorn back on the landscape at numbers that they are used to seeing.

With the continued success of the restoration project, they may get their wish.

The Wildlife Restoration program supports our series and funds pronghorn restoration in Texas.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Re-homed on the Range

February 13th, 2018
Pronghorn capture and release.

Pronghorn capture and release.

This is Passport to Texas

Wildlife biologist, Shawn Gray, stays busy most days in his role as Texas Parks and Wildlife pronghorn and mule deer program leader in the Trans Pecos.

I get to oversee the management and research for the two species for Texas Parks and Wildlife.

This includes orchestrating the restoration of these species to their native range. Last year, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department successfully relocated 109 pronghorn.

Our surplus populations are located in the Northwest and Northeast Panhandle. We take animals from healthy populations there to boost our local populations in the Trans Pecos that have in recent years seen historic decline.

Texas Parks and Wildlife worked with partners to redistribute the animals.

Translocation has been one of the management tools we’ve been able to do to help those populations rebound. There’s a whole suite of things that we do to improve populations. And, of course, we always need help from Mother Nature to make all those things work for us.

Drought was a leading factor in the pronghorn’s decline in the Trans Pecos, but Gray says the reasons are more complex than that alone. After trapping the animals, each received a health checkup; some were fitted with radio collars.

Through time and our management practices, the populations have been responding well.

The Wildlife Restoration program supports our series and funds pronghorn restoration in Texas.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Learn to Camp–No Experience Required

February 12th, 2018
Texas Outdoor Family Workshop

Texas Outdoor Family Workshop

This is Passport to Texas

Have your kids been begging you to take them on an overnight camping trip at a Texas State Park? Have they talked excitedly about sleeping in a tent and making s’mores over a campfire, or maybe even catching a fish? If you’ve been putting them off because you’re out of practice, or never learned the skills in the first place—we can help.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department offers the Texas Outdoor Family program to help you to hone or to develop outdoor skills. During one or two-night workshops, state park staff lead families through the basics of setting up camp and getting the most out of their time in nature.

All camping gear and equipment required for an overnight stay at the park is included with each reservation! Just bring your family—that’s up to six people—sheets, blankets and food and you are ready for a camping adventure.

But you need to register in advance, and workshops fill fast. Workshops are scheduled in March at Lake Tawakoni State Park, Galveston Island State Park, Buescher State Park, Lake Ray Roberts State Park, and Huntsville State Park. There are more workshops in April, May and June at other state parks.

Texas Outdoor Family Workshops are always fun; you’ll leave the park with new confidence in your ability to enjoy overnight camping with your family and friends.

Find details in the calendar section of the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti