TPWD Expands Toyota ShareLunker Program
This year, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Toyota ShareLunker Program features a new year-round participation season and more opportunities for anglers to be recognized for contributions to the big-bass initiative.
“For the first time ever, anglers who catch a largemouth bass 8 pounds or larger can participate simply by providing important catch information for us to use to improve bass fisheries science,” says Kyle Brookshear, coordinator of the 32-year-old program.
Four new levels of achievement are offered; prize details can be found at texassharelunker.com.
Anglers can now submit photos of the fish being properly measured, weighed and held on their smartphone using the new free Toyota ShareLunker mobile app. Anglers can also provide a genetic sample of their largemouth bass by collecting and sending fish scales to TPWD using simple instructions from the app and website to help fisheries biologists evaluate the impact of the ShareLunker breeding and stocking program in the gene pool.
Hall of Fame Honors Freshwater Fishing Icons
The Texas Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame in Athens will induct writer Shannon Tompkins and the Lake Fork Sportsman’s Association in May.
Tompkins, a Houston Chronicle reporter/columnist, is a past president of the Texas Outdoor Writers Association whose award-winning articles highlight recreational fishing, state fisheries management/regulations and aquatic invasive species.
“Shannon is passionate about conservation and the outdoors, and that passion is reflected in his writing,” says Dan Kessler, TFF Hall of Fame committee chair. “He doesn’t just tell people how to fish, he has the unique ability and talent to help people understand why they should care about freshwater fishing and conservation in Texas.”
The Lake Fork Sportsman’s Association has worked to protect and promote Lake Fork’s natural resources since 1999: operating a live release boat to decrease tournament stress on the fishery, donating fishing tackle to high school fishing teams, hosting free fishing events to draw kids into the outdoors, placing artificial habitats into the lake to enhance recreational fishing, and planting native aquatic vegetation to improve habitat for fish and wildlife.