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Texas Parks and Wildlife and a group of partners are working together to manage invasive saltcedar on the upper Brazos River in West Texas at no cost to landowner partners. In 2016, aerial herbicide treatment of 3,500 acres of saltcedar was used to help reduce the impacts of this destructive shrub in the watershed and the project will continue in summer 2017.
Texas Parks and Wildlife is the first state agency to reach "Platinum" status in the City of Austin's Green Business Leader Program.
75 Years in Print The outdoor magazine of Texas has seen some changes over the last three-quarters of a century. Meet the people who craft it each month and see what it takes to deliver the state’s great outdoors to mailboxes and newsstands everywhere.
With so many miles of coastal bottom in the Texas Gulf Coast and very little reef structure for fish to feed upon, Texas Parks and Wildlife has created an Artificial Reef Program that consists of everything from toppled oil rigs to man-made reef balls. Once these structures are encrusted with plants and animals that create habitat, the fish come and the fishermen come too. The latest offering to the reef program is a 371-foot cargo ship called The Kraken. To find out more about the Artificial Reef Program go to http://tpwd.texas.gov/artificialreef
Texas Parks and Wildlife Inland Fisheries staff and the Still Waters Bass Club placed 150 Christmas trees into Stamford Reservior near Abilene to enhance angling opportunities on the lake on January, 28, 2017. Get coordinates on these and other fish attractors around Texas at http://tpwd.texas.gov/fishboat/fish/recreational/lakes/fish_attractors.phtml
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Artificial Reef Program sank a 371-ft cargo vessel, named The Kraken, on Jan. 20, 2017. Dubbed the Kraken after the mythical, squid-like sea monster immortalized on film and in literature, the vessel was sunk 67 miles off the coast of Galveston to create a new artificial reef. Over time, this sunken ship will become an artificial reef that attracts fish, coral and other invertebrates as well as divers and anglers. The Kraken’s proximity to the Flower Gardens Marine Sanctuary also makes it a premiere dive location in the Gulf of Mexico. Learn more about the Artificial Reef Program at http://tpwd.texas.gov/landwater/water/habitats/artificial_reef/index.phtml
Download the free mobile guide to 95 Texas State Parks. Find a park near you, download trail maps and see photos and videos of each park. Available for iOS and Android from http://www.TexasStateParks.org/app
Twenty years ago, Texas Parks and Wildlife opened an $18 million dollar facility dedicated to freshwater fishing that didn't cost them a dime. The Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens, Texas is a world class visitor and education center as well as a fish hatchery producing millions of fish to stock Texas lakes each year. The center was paid for through private funding and corporate sponsors along with federal funding brought together by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation.
Deer hunting brings in more than 2 billion dollars to the state’s economy each year and as fall comes to Texas, more than one million hunters are gearing up for another season. But just how is this year’s season shaping up for sportsmen and women now that we’ve seen a little rain? Texas Parks and Wildlife has this report. For more information about Chronic Wasting Disease, including how to submit deer samples for testing, go to the Texas Parks and Wildlife website at www.tpwd.texas.gov/cwd Also, a new app is now available that allows hunters to carry the Outdoor Annual with them on their mobile devices. You can download at http://www.txoutdoorannual.com/app
It’s a season of plenty for upland bird hunters this year thanks to a lot of rain and a mild summer. Hunting in Texas is big business bringing more than three-billion dollars to the state’s economy. And Texas Parks and Wildlife biologists say this year should be one of the best for bird hunters. A new app is now available that allows hunters to carry the Outdoor Annual with them on their mobile devices. You can download at http://www.txoutdoorannual.com/app Texas Parks and Wildlife reminds hunters they need game bird conservation stamps to hunt dove, waterfowl, turkey and quail and to check the local regulations where they will be hunting.
The Texas Pollinator BioBlitz is a statewide effort to observe and identify as many pollinators as possible from October 7-16, 2016. Anyone can participate in this virtual treasure hunt for pollinators such as bees, butterflies, moths, beetles, birds and other animals and post about them on Instagram or iNaturalist. For details, visit http://tpwd.texas.gov/education/bioblitz/ #SaveThePollinators
Decades of restocking the Eastern Wild Turkey has proven successful for some East Texas counties, but many areas still aren’t seeing birds. A new research study will focus on some recently transplanted birds outfitted with GPS transmitters to find out what turkeys think is a good home. Hunters: report your harvest with this free app: http://tpwd.texas.gov/huntwild/hunt/hunt-harvest-app/
For those outdoorsmen and women who anticipate the opening of dove season September 1st, the wait is almost over and this year the season is 20 days longer. That gives hunters more time to take their shot at the more than 30-million mourning doves in Texas. For more information on Hunting 101 courses go to https://tpwd.texas.gov/education/hunter-education/101schedule Also an app is available that allows hunters to carry the Outdoor Annual with them on their mobile devices. You can download at http://www.txoutdoorannual.com/app And, Texas Parks and Wildlife reminds hunters they need to complete a hunter education course if they were born after September 2, 1971 and carry proof of certification with them while they hunt. Game bird conservation stamps are also needed to hunt dove, waterfowl, turkey and quail and to check the local regulations where they will be hunting.
A giant helping hand in the form of millions of dollars has reached out to state parks thanks to a significant increase in dedicated funding passed by the 84th Texas Legislature. 94 percent of the state sales tax revenue from sporting goods will now go to fund park facilities and operations. That has park staff and park visitors looking forward to a brighter future. To find out more about state park improvements go to TexasStateParks.org/BrighterFuture
Hunting season is right around the corner. But most hunting blinds are not designed for people with disabilities. Inks Lake State Park northwest of Austin has tackled that problem by building special hunting blinds that are accessible for people with physical limitations. Find public hunting opportunities at http://tpwd.texas.gov/huntwild/hunt/public/
For more than 100 years they’ve protected our natural resources, the fish and wildlife that we enjoy. They even help in disasters with water rescues and save human lives. But we don’t always see them in action …. until now. Texas Parks and Wildlife Game Wardens have their own television series called Lone Star Law that begins airing June 2 on Animal Planet. State Game Wardens featured in the first season walked the red carpet in Austin at a sneak preview earlier this year. The show premieres June 2 on Animal Planet. Anyone can follow Lone Star Law at https://www.facebook.com/LoneStarLaw/
The battle to stop the spread of destructive zebra mussels has some new soldiers – canine ones. And they come armed with noses that can sniff out the culprits, tiny invasive mussels and their microscopic larvae that travel from lake to lake by hitching a ride on boats. Working Dogs for Conservation is a non-profit organization that is taking it's show on the road to inform people about the threat of zebra mussels. The demonstration aims to recruit boaters' help in stopping the spread by keeping their boats clean, drained, and dry. It is illegal to transport zebra mussels or to leave a public water body without draining all water. These statewide laws apply to all types or boats including sailboats, kayaks, canoes or any other vessel used on public waters. For more information on Zebra Mussels, including a video on how to clean, drain and dry your boat, go to www.texasinvasives.org/zebramussels
What’s been called America’s longest and wildest birding competition turns 20 this spring, and it’s not just for avian experts anymore. The Great Texas Birding Classic has moved from a week on the coast to a month statewide, and it’s added new categories so more people can take part. All this is generating record participation, and more entry fees to benefit bird habitat. Texas Parks and Wildlife has this report.The 20th annual Great Texas Birding Classic begins April 15 and continues through May 15 with chances to compete in numerous categories. Last year raised $25,000 in grant money through team registration and event sponsorship. That money was donated back to the bird habitat conservation and nature tourism projects in Texas with winning teams input. For more information go to www.BirdingClassic.org
Hunting season is wrapping up but many hunters will relive their hunts at the annual Texas Big Game Awards. For 25 years, the program, sponsored by the Texas Wildlife Association and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, has recognized hunters and landowners for conserving wildlife and wildlife habitat on private lands. The program is especially memorable for first-time hunters. For more information, visit https://www.TexasBigGameAwards.org
With the New Year comes new trends and one that is growing is a national movement to get folks out hiking on the first day of the year. Last year more than 15-hundred dedicated souls gave their soles a workout during First Day Hike events in more than 70 state parks across Texas. Texas Parks and Wildlife has this report. For information on guided walks and hiking in state parks near you, visit http://TexasStateParks.org/FirstDayHikes
This winter, Texas Parks and Wildlife will stock more than 300-thousand rainbow trout at more than 140 sites across the state. The program hopes to hook new anglers into the sport by making fishing more accessible at urban lakes, state parks and reservoir tailraces. Now there is a new lake in the program at East Metropolitan Park in Travis County. Kingfisher Lake will launch its first Neighborhood Fishin’ event December 12. For more information about upcoming rainbow trout stockings or the Texas Parks and Wildlife Neighborhood Fishin’ program, check the Internet at www.neighborhoodfishin.org
Es una de las vistas más espectaculares de la naturaleza. Millones de mariposas monarca migran a través de Texas en su ruta a México para pasar el invierno. Pero la población monarca se ha desplomado, junto con las abejas y algunos otros polinizadores. Es una mala noticia para los agricultores, porque los insectos polinizan muchos de los alimentos que comemos. Lo bueno es que Texas está tomando medidas para salvar el insecto oficial del estado. El Departamento de Parques y Vida Silvestre de Texas tiene este informe. Ustedes pueden ayudar a las monarcas, y también a otros polinizadores, mediante la plantación de las especies nativas. Para aprender cómo crear hábitats para mariposas, visite el sitio web de Parques y Vida Silvestre de Texas.
It’s a season of plenty for upland bird hunters this year thanks to a lot of rain and a mild summer. Hunting in Texas is big business bringing more than three-billion dollars to the state’s economy. And Texas Parks and Wildlife biologists say this year should be one of the best for bird hunters. Check out Texas Parks and Wildlife Digital Hunting Forecast for all species at http://www.tpwmagazine.com/digital/2015/hunting/ A new app is now available that allows hunters to carry the Outdoor Annual with them on their mobile devices. You can download at http://www.txoutdoorannual.com/app Texas Parks and Wildlife reminds hunters they need game bird conservation stamps to hunt dove, waterfowl, turkey and quail and to check the local regulations where they will be hunting.
Throughout December, state parks all over Texas are celebrating Christmas in special ways. Many historical parks allow visitors to step back in time and take part in holiday traditions of days gone by. Texas Parks and Wildlife takes us to a Christmas on the Brazos and a candlelight ceremony at Barrington Living History Farm at Washington on the Brazos State Historic Site. Christmas on the Brazos featuring Barrington’s Candlelight Christmas takes places Saturday, December 12 from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. For more information go to www.TexasStateParks.org/holidays
Less than a month after wildfire engulfed Bastrop County and Buescher State Park, both state parks are open for business. The Hidden Pines Fire of 2015 was just an ember compared to the historic Bastrop County Complex Fire of 2011 but it did burn nearly 700 acres of park land. Texas Parks and Wildlife has this report.For more information on state parks, go to www.texasstateparks.org