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Home | Tag Archives: Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation

Tag Archives: Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation

Last Legacy Lunker of 2020 lured in from O.H. Ivie

AUSTIN— O-M-G is right, O.H. Ivie, about an hour east of San Angelo, has produced the fourth and final Toyota ShareLunker “Legacy Class” entry over 13 pounds during the final weekend of the 2020 donation season March 29.

Angler James Maupin from Cypress had scheduled a trip to Lake Amistad with his dad, but it had to be cancelled. Instead the pair ventured to O.H. Ivie where Maupin caught ShareLunker 585 on a Texas rig in seven feet of water.

The Legacy Class ShareLunker weighed in at 13.15 pounds, 27 inches in length and 20 inches in girth.

“We go to Lake Amistad every year and spend 10 days fishing,” said Maupin. “We did pretty well the first day but when we got back to the boat ramp, we found out they shut down the lake because of COVID-19, so we packed up and headed to the nearest lake- O.H. Ivie.”

After a nearly four-hour drive, Maupin had arrived on the shores of O.H. Ivie for the first time ever. Maupin and his dad fished the lake for about three days and on the last day of his trip he reeled in the catch of a lifetime.

“I thought it could’ve been a ShareLunker so we weighed her, and she was a little over 13 pounds,” said Maupin. “I put her in the live well and called the marina immediately. They had an official scale, so we got her weighed and measured, and the ShareLunker guys came out to come get her.”

Kyle Brookshear, who manages the ShareLunker program for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department said the team were hoping another bass from O.H. Ivie would find its way back into the program.

“We have been patiently waiting for O.H. Ivie to produce another ShareLunker Legacy Class bass and are extremely excited to receive this fish to cap off the collection season,” said Brookshear. “The lake produced multiple bass weighing more than 13 pounds from 2010-2012. That was also the last time their selectively bred offspring were stocked into the reservoir. There is good probability that this fish is one of those offspring stocked 8-10 years ago.”

Genetic analysis is currently underway to determine if direct lineage to those lunkers exists.

“It takes a strong partnership between the anglers and the agency to help produce results like these in Texas public waters,” said Brookshear. “We are thankful to the anglers, like James, for loaning these world class size bass to our selective breeding program so that we can continue producing bigger, better bass to stock in Texas lakes.”

Sharelunker 585 is the fourth and final entry of the Toyota ShareLunker “Legacy Class” donation season that ended March 31. His fish will be a member of the TPWD selective breeding program and help spawn generations of bass for Texans.

“I think [the program] is fantastic,” said Maupin. “It’s my passion to be out there bass fishing. Without the ShareLunker program, I probably would have never caught her. I’ve got a 5-year-old daughter and she loves to fish too, so hopefully that offspring will be caught by her one of these days. That’s pretty cool.”

The other “Legacy Class” entries caught from public water in Texas this year include ShareLunker 584, a 13.28 pound bass caught by Blake Cockrell on Lake Alan Henry on March 1; ShareLunker 583, a 15.34 pound bass reeled in from Lake Nacogdoches Feb. 29; and ShareLunker 582, the second a 14.36 pound bass also caught by Blake Cockrell on Lake Alan Henry.

Every angler who loaned a 13 pound or larger “Legacy Class” bass to the Toyota ShareLunker program during the spawning period January 1 to March 31 will receive a Toyota ShareLunker Catch Kit containing branded merchandise and fishing tackle items, a 13lb+ Legacy Class decal, VIP access to awards programming at the Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest, a replica of their fish, and an entry into the year-end ShareLunker Prize Drawing to win a $5,000 shopping spree and an annual fishing license.

These anglers will also be entered into the “Legacy Class” Prize Drawing for a $5,000 shopping spree and an annual fishing license at the end of the spawning period. TPWD will officially announce the drawing winner at the Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest at Lake Fork June 5-9.

Although the “Legacy Class” donation season has ended, anglers can still enter catch data on their 8 pound, or 24″ or larger largemouth bass into the Toyota ShareLunker Program through December 31.

These anglers will receive recognition, a catch kit and will be eligible to win prizes. Anglers are encouraged to download the Toyota ShareLunker free mobile app before they go fishing to be ready to enter data as soon as they catch their lunker.  Entries can be made on the app or online.

Each angler who enters an 8 pound or 24 inches and larger lunker bass on the mobile app or website will receive a Toyota ShareLunker Catch Kit containing branded merchandise and fishing tackle items and an entry into the year-end ShareLunker Prize Drawing for a $5,000 shopping spree and an annual fishing license.

Anglers will also receive a vehicle decal to display their achievement – “Lunker” class for bass at least 8 pounds or 24 inches, “Elite” class for bass 10 to 12.99 pounds, and “Legend” class for bass at least 13 pounds.

The Toyota ShareLunker Program is made possible in part by the generous sponsorship of Toyota. Toyota is a longtime supporter of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, providing major funding for a wide variety of education, fish, parks and wildlife projects.

Prize donors Bass Pro Shops, Lake Fork Taxidermy, Stanley Jigs and American Fishing Tackle Co. also provide additional support for this program.

For updates on the Toyota ShareLunker Program and to view photos of all of the 13-pound-plus largemouth bass caught this season, visit the Toyota ShareLunker Program Facebook page or website.

Gear Up for Game Wardens Hits $1 Million milestone

Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation’s Gear Up for Game Wardens program has hit a $1 million fundraising milestone just two years after the program launched.

Through private donations, Gear Up for Game Wardens provides specialty equipment Texas Game Wardens need to maintain safety and ensure the highest level of service for the people of Texas. While the state provides the basic necessities for game wardens to do their jobs, there is still a critical need for additional equipment.

Since the program launched, close to 800 donations have been made, for a total of just over $1 million raised. Since October 2017, specialty equipment and gear has been purchased and deployed across all eight game warden regions in Texas.

Specialty gear provided by the program that is now being used by Texas Game Wardens includes search and rescue (SAR) drones, SAR inflatable boats, side scan sonar units, water rescue dry suits, night vision and thermal imaging units, ATVs, UTVs and specialized K-9 units.

The program launched in October 2017 after a group of dedicated individuals approached Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation (TPWF) with an idea of how they might support the efforts of Texas Game Wardens.

TPWF is the official nonprofit funding partner of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD). Discussions continued, a leadership committee was formed and a website,, was launched to facilitate donations.

“Texas Game Wardens play an important role in the lives of all Texans,” said Dan Flournoy, chair of the Gear Up for Game Wardens Leadership Council. “Along with their duty to protect the natural resources we all hold dear, they are also on the frontlines of natural disasters such as Hurricane Harvey. There have been other significant flooding events in Texas since Gear Up for Game Wardens launched, and there is no doubt in my mind that specialty gear provided through this program has saved lives.”

Donations have come from all corners of the state and in all amounts, from $25 to more than $66,000 from the Saltwater Anglers League of Texas (SALT). The Sabine River Authority has also stepped up in appreciation of what Texas Game Wardens do for the people of Texas and has donated more than $70,000 in several grants to the program.

An outreach event in Concan earlier this year called Women Who Wander dedicated the proceeds of the event to Gear Up for Game Wardens for a total of more than $34,000. In addition, co-chairs of the leadership council have staged fundraisers all over the state to fund equipment for their local game wardens.

“The local committees are what make the program successful, and 100 percent of every donation received for equipment goes directly to purchase the specialty gear that our Texas Game Wardens need,” said TPWF Executive Director Susan Houston. “We are deeply grateful for the support of the committees, and for each and every donation we have received.”

Flournoy recounts the story of a phone call he received from a West Texas bank asking about how a bank customer could make a donation to Texas Game Wardens. T

he customer’s husband, who suffers from Alzheimer’s, had wandered from their rural home and could not be found for hours. A Texas Game Warden tracked him down with the aid of an ATV funded by Gear Up and brought him safely home right before dark. The grateful woman wanted to show her support and made a $500 donation to Gear Up for Game Wardens.

The bank officer let Flournoy know that this was a sizable donation for the couple.

“That phone call really touched my heart and made me really appreciate how Texas Game Wardens help all Texans,” said Flournoy.

Texas Game Wardens have watched over the lands, waters, wildlife and people of Texas for more than 100 years.  Every year, Texas Game Wardens patrol over 10 million miles by vehicle and 130,000 hours by boat, facing challenges as unique as the 254 counties they serve.

To find out more about the program, or to make a donation, go to

“The level of support we have received from the Gear Up for Game Wardens program administered by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation is absolutely incredible,” said Col. Grahame Jones, who heads the Law Enforcement Division at TPWD. “Most of all, every Texas Game Warden is deeply appreciative of the hundreds of Texans who have donated to Gear Up.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation Appeals for Final Push for Balmorhea Pool Repair

Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation (TPWF) is making a final push for donations to match a $1 million challenge grant provided by Apache Corporation to make repairs to the spring-fed pool at Balmorhea State Park.

“We greatly appreciate the generous support of our partners in West Texas who have stepped up to support this iconic destination for Texas families from near and far,” said Apache Corporation CEO John Christmann. “These businesses and individuals have demonstrated the collective impact we can have when we all work together. We hope all those who have ever enjoyed the pool at Balmorhea State Park will consider doubling their impact through Apache’s dollar for dollar match.”

TPWF established the fund to raise the money needed for the $2 million repair when Apache Corporation stepped forward with the challenge grant.

Thanks to several large donations and pledges from Texas companies and the generosity of hundreds of individuals, $625,000 has been raised so far.

Apache Corporation has pledged to match dollar for dollar any donation made by the end of the year up to $1 million. Donations can be made online at

Saulsbury announced a $100,000 donation to the fund last week. Generous donations have also been made by several other Texas companies, including McCoy Remme Ranches, Legend Energy Services, Pioneer Energy Services, and Patterson-UTI Drilling Company.

“We’ve received nearly 400 individual donations for this project,” said Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation Executive Director Anne Brown. “The response demonstrates how much people love the Balmorhea pool, where generations of Texans have enjoyed its cool, clear waters. We are grateful for Apache’s generosity and for all the donations we’ve received so far. We hope to close the year out by meeting the $2 million goal.”

The pool at Balmorhea State Park was closed in early 2018 following a structural collapse of a wall caused by years of erosion from the flow of water from the springs. The repairs to the pool at Balmorhea State Park are ongoing.

The pool is expected to re-open in early 2019.

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