New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - July 4, 1985, New Braunfels, Texas
Thursday, July 4,1985 10A
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Parks Commission sets hearing on dove seasons
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission will set hunting seasons for mourning and white-winged doves as well as the early teal duck season when it meets in Austin at 9 a.m. on July 31.
Few changes are anticipated in mourning dove season dates or bag limits from last year, but officials are concerned that the whitewing harvest may have to be reduced or the season closed because of poor production rn the Lower Rio Grande Valley during the past two years.
"The 1985 whitewing breeding census indicates 361,000 whitewtngs are nesting in the Valley this year," said Ron George, dove program leader. "This represents the lowest count since 1963 (the last year the season was closed). The whitewing breeding population in the Valley this year is fully 30 perent below the longterm average."
George said citrus orchards, which provide approximately 50 percent of the whitewing nesting habitat in the Valley during a normal year, have suffered a 54 percent decline in acreage due to the severe freeze in December 1983. Citrus growth is currently insufficient to provide the necessary breeding habitat, he said.
The department also proposes to move that portion of the boundary between the Central and South Dove Zones that currently follows U.S. Highway 87 from San Antonio to Port Lavaca northward so as to follow Interstate IO from San Antonio to Orange.
If adopted, the change would place
a portion of Southeast Texas which was in the Central Zone last year in the South Zone for the upcoming season. George said this proposal was prompted by the presence of an excessive number of immature doves during the first few weeks of the season in that region lf adopted, the opening day of the mourning dove season in that area would be September 20 instead ut September I The proposed season dates and bag limits for doves and teal are: Mourning doves North Zone. Sept I- Nov. 9, Central Zone. Sept I Oct 30 and Jan. 4-13, South Zone, Sept 20-Nov 12 or Nov. 8 and Jan. 4-19; shooting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset in all zones, and the daily bag limit is 12 mourning. white-winged and white-tipped doves in the aggregate including no more than two white-wmged and two while-tipped doves; possession limit is twice the daily bag limit.
Teal ducks: Sept. 14-22 bag and possession limit four and eight in the aggregate, respectively: shooting
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Braunig fish survey fascinating, tedious
July 7 from 2-5
LEE ROY MATOCHA
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By CHARLES PARSONS Outdoors writer
Recently, I saw an event that did away with any ideas one might have about careers as biologists, game wardens or wildlife management officers being all fun and no work. Most avid outdoorsmen have no idea of the painstaking work required to keep up our wildlife resources.
This event occurred as Texas Parks and Wildlife biologists took their annual survey of Braunig Lake's fish population. It was accomplished by applying a chemical called rotenone to a one-acre cove that had been blocked off with a small mesh net.
After the rotenone was sprayed on, a process taking 15 minutes, the fish started struggling to the surface as the chemical destroyed the oxygen-producing ability of their gills.
The first hour was fun, as the fish popped up and the netting began. First came the smaller predator
species, led by the threadfin and gizzard shad, tilapia and carp; followed by redfish, bass and channel
After the initial swirling had cleared, the bottom of the cove looked as if a silver carpet had been laid. Within hours, these fish began to bloat and float to the surface.
Two days later, along with uncounted tubfuls of fish, the count and survey were complete. Included in the forage species were gambusia, silverside and bullhead minnows, sailfin mollies, pupfish, tilapia, golden shiners, threadfin and gizzard shad.
Game fish tallies turned up 34 redfish from 8 to ll inches long, all from last year’s stocking. That showed that last year’s stocking had been a success. Two hundred twenty-six largemouth bass were retrieved, mostly two to four inches long, showing that this year’s stocking had a good survival rate.
The catfish numbers were low —
only 24 totalling 26 pounds — but eight good three-pounders were evident along with fingerlings. The small fish show that the catfish are actively spawning.
Tilapia numbered approximately 34,000, totalling 646 pounds. Of these, there were 263 pounds of one- to three-inch fish, 323 pounds of 13- to 16-inch fish and a hundred or so two- to three-pound fish.
Although all anglers are after large trophy fish, this session was an outstanding illustration of the value of even the smnallest fingerling in an overall evaluation of a lake’s gamefishing potential.
Also, these counts and creel surveys give biologists accurate reviews of the results of their fish stockings, the net results of which help increase the weight that individual fishermen take home.
Incidentally, Parks and Wildlife officals recently stocked 400,000 redfish in Braunig.
Tournament coordinator Jerry Moore presents trophies and prizes to Patrick Horn (left) and Brandon Stanley (right).
SANORA JACKSON ME RAIO ll UNO
Brandon Stanley holds his prize winning catfish
Tourney draws 36 youngsters
Canyon Lake Optimists are terming their first annual youth fishing tournament a success with 36 youngsters participating.
Top winner in the tournament held last Saturday on tne lake was Brandon Stanley, whose 1-pound, 8-ounce catfish took the prize for biggest fish. Stanley also won a trophy and a rod and reel as winner in the age 14 to 16 category for heavy stringer.
Second place for heavy stringer in the oldest age group was won by Mark Woods. In the age IO to 13 group, heavy stringer was won by Patrick Horn, while Dave Dondeen and James Bostnck tied for second place Horn also took
the prize for biggest fish in his group and overall heav> stringer.
Youngsters age 7 to 9 had one winner Lindsey Rolinson won prizes for the biggest fish and the heavy stringer.
Optimists met the participants al the Canyon I .ake Tackle Shop at 6:30 a.rn Saturday*. where the> had coffee and rolls before going out to fish in boats Contestants returned to the shop at ll for the awarding of prizes and a free lunch.
Each participant received a free patch Tournament coordinator was Jerry Moore
Parks and Wildlife biologist Jimmy Dean sorted fish netted in the survey, including (top left) thousands of tilapia, the favorite food fish for bass, (top right) an assortment of game fish, from bass to catfish to redfish, and (bottom) the assorted smaller fish that all had to be sorted in the survey.
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