PRO ANGLER TOURNAMENT ON LAKE FORK – Lake Mohave

Tournament will celebrate lake’s 25th anniversary, TPWD fisheries management. – Lake Mohave

Media Contact: Tom Harvey, (512) 389-4453, tom.harvey@tpwd.state.tx.us

Tournament will celebrate lake’s 25th anniversary, TPWD fisheries management.

ATHENS, Texas-Professional bass anglers love Texas. Many feel the state has the best-managed inland fishery in the nation.

The Professional Anglers Association (PAA), Toyota and
other potential sponsors plan to hold a tournament on Lake Fork to mark
the 25th anniversary of the state’s top big bass lake and to highlight
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s (TPWD) role in providing
outstanding bass fishing in Texas. All tournament operating funds will
come from Toyota and other major sponsors of the event in partnership
with the PAA. Although sponsor details have not been finalized for the
event, Toyota’s involvement as a major sponsor complements its on-going
support of wildlife conservation in Texas.

“This is a great opportunity for TPWD to showcase one of
the finest lakes in the country on a national stage,” said Inland
Fisheries Director Phil Durocher. “The funds which will be contributed
to support our programs will certainly help in these tough financial
times,” he continued.

The Lake Fork event is intended to raise a minimum of
$250,000 to directly support TPWD freshwater fisheries management
programs as well as children’s fishing events and activities. All
funding will again come from generous contributions from the event’s
major sponsors.

PAA has agreed to hold the tournament under the existing
regulations for Lake Fork, which has a slot limit that prohibits the
taking of any fish between the lengths of 16 and 24 inches. Only fish
less than 16 inches or over 24 inches may be retained, and only one
fish per day over 24 inches may be kept. “The PAA is honored to partner
with Toyota for this historic event,” said Gene Ellison, Executive
Director of PAA. “We look forward to celebrating the outstanding
management of Lake Fork, and to the challenge of successfully operating
a professional level event that will observe this lake’s slot
limit. Perhaps this event will enable us to set a new standard
for how fish will be handled at all future fishing tournaments,” he
continued.

“Lake Fork was one of the first lakes in Texas with a
restrictive size limit on largemouth bass, and that has helped make
Fork one of the best bass lakes in the nation,” said TPWD fisheries
regulations coordinator Ken Kurzawski. “We applaud the PAA, Toyota, and
other potential sponsors for embracing TPWD’s existing Lake Fork
regulations. We believe this tournament will be a landmark event
showcasing a world class fishing tournament while not compromising the
rules and regulations which make Texas lakes some of the best in the
United States.”

Texas pro anglers are well represented within PAA’s
organization. Jay Yelas of Tyler is treasurer, and Alton Jones of Waco
and Gary Klein of Weatherford serve on its board of directors. PAA is
headquartered in Benton, Kentucky. More information on PAA can be found
on their web site at www.proanglersassociation.com.

– Lake Mohave

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