Edward Parten: 2013 Texas Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame

>> YOU SEE MY GRIN? THAT SAYS THAT I'M DOING SOMETHING I LOVE TO DO FRIENDS, FISH AND FUN

BACK IN THE LATE 60S I HAD A GUY THAT WORKED FOR ME THAT SAID HE'D LIKE TO GO FISHING I SAID, "I DON'T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT FISHING, NEVER BEEN FISHING A DAY IN MY LIFE" HE SAID "WELL LET'S GO OUT HERE AND I'LL SHOW YOU" WE WENT OUT AND SAT ON THE SIDE OF A BRIDGE EMBANKMENT AT LAKE HOUSTON AND WE FISHED ALL DAY NEVER CAUGHT A FISH

I SAID "THERE'S GOT TO BE MORE TO FISHING THAN THIS" A COUPLE OF YEARS LATER A FRIEND OF MINE SAID "ED, LET'S GO UP TO SAM RAYBURN" WE WENT UP AND WE CAUGHT A LOT OF FISH ON TOP-WATER BAIT WE WAXED 'EM (fish splashing) SHE'S LEGAL

NOT BIG BUT LEGAL TO ME THAT'S BEAUTIFUL GONNA PUT HER BACK TO WHERE SHE LIVES >> BIG ED IS BIG ED YOU KNOW, LET'S PUT IT THIS WAY, YOU'RE NOT GOING TO MISS HIM IN A CROWD

IN MY YEARS WITH THE PARKS AND WILDLIFE WE TRAVELED ALL OVER THE STATE MEETING WITH FISHERMEN, ANGLERS AND ORGANIZATIONS TO TALK ABOUT ISSUES AND IT DIDN'T MATTER WHERE WE WERE, THERE WAS ONE PERSON THAT WAS ALMOST ALWAYS THERE AND THAT WAS ED PARTEN >> HE DEDICATES SO MUCH TIME AND EFFORT TO FISHING IT'S HIS PASSION >> THE SIZE LIMIT BACK IN THE 80S WAS PROBABLY THE MOST CONTROVERSIAL THING THAT WE PROPOSED

AND ED WAS A BIG SUPPORTER >> BACK WHEN I STARTED BASS FISHING IN THE LATE 60S WE HAD A VERY LIBERAL POSSESSION LIMIT AND NO SIZE LIMIT AND WE FELT THAT THE RESOURCE WAS BEING DEPLETED YOU COULD HIRE A GUIDE ON TOLEDO BEND, TWO PEOPLE IN A BOAT AND THEY COULD CATCH 45 FISH, GO IN AT NOON, CLEAN THOSE FISH, GO BACK OUT AND CATCH ANOTHER 45 FISH AND A LOT OF THOSE WOULD BE 9, 10, 11, 12-INCH FISH >> I CAN REMEMBER TOURNAMENTS WHERE FISH WERE PILED UP – HUNDREDS AND HUNDREDS BEING THROWN AWAY

AND OF COURSE CATCH AND RELEASE WAS NOT A REAL POPULAR THING >> WE WORKED WITH TEXAS PARKS AND WILDLIFE AND IN 86 WE HAD A PREMIERE CATCH AND RELEASE PROGRAM AND A FIVE FISH, FOURTEEN-INCH MINIMUM LENGTH LIMIT ON MOST LAKES THROUGHOUT THE STATE OF TEXAS I'M CONVINCED THAT THAT HAS MADE TEXAS ONE OF THE NUMBER ONE PREMIERE BASS LAKES IN THE NATION ANOTHER THING THAT WE'RE REAL PROUD OF IS THE FIVE-DOLLAR FISH STAMP WE WORKED HARD TO FIGURE OUT WHAT WOULD BE ACCEPTED BY THE LEGISLATURE AND WHAT TEXAS PARKS & WILDLIFE WOULD GO ALONG WITH

>> WE NEEDED SOME ANGLERS TO COME AND TESTIFY IN FRONT OF THE LEGISLATURE TO SUPPORT WHAT WE WERE TRYING TO DO AND WE COULD ALWAYS DEPEND ON ED >> WE ENDED UP WITH A FRESHWATER STAMP THAT WAS BASICALLY DESIGNED TO HELP BUILD NEW FISH HATCHERIES, REPAIR FISH HATCHERIES AND TO STOCK FISH WHERE WE HAD KIDS OR ELDERLY-PHYSICALLY CHALLENGED PEOPLE BUT I THINK SOMEWHERE CLOSE TO 50 MILLION DOLLARS HAS BEEN GENERATED THROUGH THAT FIVE-DOLLAR STAMP HABITAT IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT TO ALL FORMS OF WILDLIFE AND EVERY BODY OF WATER THAT IS PROLIFIC HAS AN ABUNDANCE OF COVER AND HABITAT

AND WE TBBU TABC WAS ONE OF THE FIRST GROUP OF PEOPLE THROUGH BOTH ORGANIZATIONS THAT STARTED NATIVE GRASS PLANTINGS AND WE WORKED WITH SOME BRILLIANT PEOPLE THAT KNEW A LOT ABOUT NATIVE GRASSES AND WHAT WOULD AND WOULDN'T GROW AND WHAT AN ASSET IT'S BEEN AQUATIC VEGETATION HELPS PURIFY WATER IT HELPS PREVENT EROSION

IT HELPS FILTER SILTATION >> SIX OR SEVEN YEARS AGO, SEVERAL OF US RECOGNIZED THE FACT THAT IF WE DON'T HAVE SOME YOUTH INVOLVED IN THIS THING OUR SPORT'S GOING TO GO AWAY LOOK AT US, WE'RE ALL GETTING OLD >> DOH, HE'S A BIG ONE! >> ED REALIZED THAT AND HAS REALLY PUSHED TO BE INVOLVED WITH YOUTH STUFF TABC HAS RUN A COUPLE OF YEARS OF YOUTH TOURNAMENTS AND IT'S ALL BECAUSE OF WHAT HE'S DONE

>> WE HAVE BUILT A FISH HATCHERY AT ATHENS, HAVE MARKED RIVER CHANNELS ON LAKE LIVINGSTON THE HANDICAPPED PIERS THAT WE BUILT, WE'RE VERY, VERY PROUD OF BUT THERE'S STILL A LOT FOR US TO DO I ALWAYS REMEMBER WHAT RICK LUND SAID "IF YOU ENJOY THE SPORT OF BASS FISHING YOU'RE OBLIGATED TO GIVE BACK

" AND I DON'T EVER WANT TO FORGET THAT

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