OUTDOORS: ShareLunker season begins

The Texas ShareLunker program has created awareness of catch-and-release fishing.
The program was created by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department more than 30 years ago, and it has brought attention to the state’s selective breeding program and generated interest in Texas bass fishing.
There are changes to the ShareLunker program that will be implemented starting this weekend.
Only entries collected from Jan. 1 to March 31 will be accepted as brood stock for spawning.
“Our analysis of spawning results has determined that January-March provides the greatest opportunity to obtain good candidates (for spawning),” TPWD’s Chief of Inland Hatcheries Todd Engeling said.
ShareLunkers caught from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31 and again April 1-30 will be weighed and measured, and TPWD staff will obtain a fin clip for genetic purposes, Engeling said.
Every ShareLunker caught in January, February and March will be transported to the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens.
Also new this season, TPWD staff will attempt to spawn all ShareLunkers regardless of genetics.

Big Time Hunt drawing

Hunting seasons are underway in Texas, and more opportunities are on the horizon – including chances at premium guided hunt packages.
The packages are available through the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Big Time Texas Hunts program.
The deadline to apply is Oct. 15.
Proceeds benefit conservation, wildlife management and public hunting.
For information, and to purchase an entry, call 1-800-895-4248. Read more in the Oct. 1 Bowie News.

ShareLunkers, like the one shown here, are stocked in many Texas waterways. The special bass provide a challenge for seasoned anglers. (Courtesy photo from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department)