Texas Parks and Wildlife is one of my favorite government entities. Ever. I literally learn something everyday when I check out their Facebook page.

The two photos shared by TPWD is of ShareLunker 410 caught in 2006 in lake Conroe and ShareLunker 566 caught on February 10, 2017 in Marine Creek Lake in Fort Worth. It has been confirmed that the latter is the offspring of the former and demonstrates the value of this program when it comes to spawning quality fish for Texas reservoirs.

Have you heard about the Toyota ShareLunker Program? Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center, home to the ShareLunker program for the last 31 years, encourages anglers who catch 13-pound and over largemouth bass to donate the fish to Texas Parks and Wildlife for spawning purposes.

Data collected from the program shows it takes 8-to-10 years for a bass to grow to 13 pounds and that's the goal of this program. The increased interest in Texas bass fishing runs parallel with the number and quality of fish caught in local reservoirs. It just so happens that communities near popular bass fishing lakes reap significant rewards economically from local and traveling anglers.

Check out what the ShareLunker Program has done over the last three decades:

  1. improved knowledge of proper handling and care of big fish
  2. developed and communicated to anglers recommendations for handling fish in ways that improve survival
  3. established weigh and holding stations at major reservoirs around the state to improve the survival of big fish by providing the proper environment for them until pickup by trained TPWD personnel
  4. generated nationwide interest in Texas bass fishing and increased tourism, as evidenced by 82 ShareLunkers having been caught by residents of 22 states other than Texas
  5. documented the number of lakes producing 13-pound or larger bass from one in 1980 to 62 by 2011
  6. created awareness of the value of catch-and-release fishing
  7. developed a selective breeding program that produces broodfish used throughout the TPWD hatchery system, helping spread ShareLunker-derived genetics to all public waters stocked with Florida largemouth bass by TPWD
  8. generated free publicity for bass fishing in Texas worth millions of dollars by providing the basis for thousands of newspaper, magazine, television, radio and electronic media stories
  9. provided funding to develop cutting-edge genetic fingerprinting techniques that makes it possible for TPWD to identify ShareLunkers and their offspring stocked into public waters.