AUSTIN – Grab a rod and reel and head to Central Texas for a chance to catch one of 30 tagged Guadalupe bass and possibly win a prize. From February 4 until August 31, any angler who catches one of the tagged Guadalupe bass from the Lower Colorado River near Austin and Smithville will be awarded a prize package and be entered into grand prize drawings at the end of the seven-month period.
This contest is the latest effort to help recognize the ecological and recreational importance of the Lower Colorado River – home to the current state record Guadalupe bass. The tournament is being hosted by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) along with partners, All Water Guides, Cleanup the Colorado, and the Texas River School. The Colorado River flows right through the heart of Central Texas with a proximity close to the urban population center of Austin, yet this river fishery remains an underutilized recreational resource.
“We’re incredibly appreciative of our partners and the attention they bring to the Lower Colorado River,” said John Botros, Inland Fisheries River Access Coordinator at TPWD. “Not only will All Water Guides bring the experience of catching a Guadalupe bass to their clients, but they also bestow upon anglers a responsible fishing ethic.”
Of course, nobody likes seeing trash when you are out enjoying the river, added Botros. Many thanks to Cleanup the Colorado and their efforts coordinating the recent LoCo Trash Bash events which have removed over 21 tons of trash from the Colorado River.
TPWD’s investments in angler access and monitoring, the removal of tons of trash from the Colorado River during the LoCo Trash Bash events and educating youth on paddling skills and river ethics supports the collective goals to improve the river environment and get people out on the river. TPWD believes that people can grow a sense of river stewardship through a good experience on the water and the joy of catching a Guadalupe bass.
“We are very grateful for the support from partners like TPWD, All Water Guides, Texas River School and the hundreds of volunteers who have participated in cleanup activities on the Colorado River” said John Erskine, Board Chair of Cleanup the Colorado. “Our goal is to raise awareness of and appreciation for this wonderful resource. We are happy to support this Guadalupe bass prize giveaway so that more people get out and enjoy the river and the great fishing opportunities that exist so close to Austin. We believe that the more people who use the river the more they will be motivated to protect it and keep it clean!”
TPWD is also grateful for its partnership with the Texas River School located in East Austin. Not only does the Texas River School teach paddling skills and river ethics to youth and the underserved community, but they also provide public river access for paddling and fishing as a partner in TPWD’s leased river access program.
“Texas River School and the Chautauqua Foundation have always experienced great benefits working with TPWD and think the Guadalupe bass prize give-away is another wonderful opportunity to showcase our stretch of the Colorado River,” said Joe Kendall, Founder and Executive Director of the Texas River School. “Our access site is located about four miles downstream of the Montopolis Bridge in Austin, and the public access that we provide would not be available had it not been for the support of TPWD. I cannot tell you how many times I have heard how great the fishing is along this portion of the Colorado, or even heard ‘I just caught my personal best!’”
Prize Give-Away Information:
- From February 4- August 31, any angler who catches one of 30 tagged Guadalupe bass from the Lower Colorado River near Austin and Smithville will be awarded a prize package and be entered into grand prize drawings at the end of the seven-month period.
- Eligible Guadalupe bass are tagged with visual Floy anchor tags that read “Reward – Clip tag and call TPWD 512-754-6844.” Each tag has a unique ID number.
- Guadalupe bass have been tagged by TPWD in the Colorado River at locations near Little Webberville Park (just east of Austin) and near the leased river access sites near Smithville.
- Anglers who catch an eligible Guadalupe bass should:
- Take photos with the fish with the tag, preferably with the segment of river and habitat where the fish was caught in the background of the photo.
- Clip the tag from the fish and take a photo of the tag legible enough for the tag number to be read. NOTE: DO NOT pull out the tag from the fish.
- Call the number on the tag to report the tagged fish catch, claim a prize, and to be entered into the grand prize drawing. Anglers should be prepared to provide the tag number, submit photos of the catch, and describe where the fish was caught. Submitted photos will become property of TPWD and may be used in social media or in Agency communications.
- Gift packages containing a Yeti 18 oz bottle and a Buff will be awarded for each eligible tagged Guadalupe bass caught, and grand prizes include a half-day guided trip with All Water Guides, a Yeti Tundra Haul cooler, and complimentary canoe/camp site rental at the Texas River School.
“All Water Guides is proud to support TPWD efforts to bring attention to the Guadalupe bass, our state fish and a favorite freshwater species,” said Alvin Dedeaux, owner of All Water Guides. “The tagged Guadalupe bass competition on the Colorado River will highlight what a great urban fishery we have in our backyard. We hope that you will get out on the water and join the fun!”
The public can learn more details about the prize give-away program by visiting the official website.
To learn more about efforts to conserve Guadalupe bass or where to go fishing for this species, please visit TPWD’s Guadalupe Bass Restoration Initiative webpage, www.tpwd.texas.gov/conserveguadalupebass.