- Harlingen Area Chamber of Commerce
Las Palomas Wildlife Management Area - Longoria Unit
From the intersection of US 77 and TX 186, continue south on US 77 to FM 2629 and the town of Sebastian. Go west on FM 2629, and veer south on FM 506. Continue approximately 1.5 miles south on FM 506 from its intersection with FM 2629 to Las Palomas Wildlife Management Area (WMA) Longoria Unit. From the Rio Grande Valley to Big Bend, there are numerous units that comprise Las Palomas WMA. All properties within the Las Palomas WMA were purchased to provide habitat for White-winged Doves in Texas. Hunters furnished the funds for these acquisitions. These properties also provide critical habitats for a variety of Valley birds, not just White-winged Doves. As these tracts are restored and mature, they will provide increasing opportunities for wildlife watchers (as well as hunters) to enjoy the outdoors.
The Longoria Unit has a short accessible trail with feeding and watering stations. During hunting seasons, certain Las Palomas sites may be closed to birders. Review the public notices posted in the public information kiosks.
As TPWD properties, the wildlife management areas are open to the public on a fee basis. However, the WMAs lack the staff to collect the fees on site. Birders visit these sites on an honor system. The fees are vital to maintaining these areas that provide important habitat for numerous birds other than game species. Therefore, please take the time to purchase a Limited Public Use Permit, or Annual Public Hunting Permit. These can be purchased at any state park, TPWD law enforcement office, or from merchants selling Texas hunting and fishing licenses. You may also call TPWD Austin headquarters at (800) 895-4248 to purchase these by credit card.
Continue south on FM 506 to TX 107 in Santa Rosa. Go east on TX 107 to FM 800. Travel south on FM 800 to FM 2994, then west on FM 2994 about 2 miles to Tiocano Lake. The lake extends from this location to FM 733, then south of FM 733 for a considerable distance. Tiocano is another ephemeral lake, and in dry seasons contains little if any water (although ponds along FM 733 are usually wet). During wet seasons, this large depression fills, and attracts thousands of shorebirds and waterfowl.