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Stay up-to-date on operations adjustments and temporary closure of TPWD offices, state parks, recreation facilities and water access points due to COVID-19. Please follow guidance from local authorities, Governor Greg Abbott and the Texas Department of State Health Services.

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TPWD News Releases

Aug. 9, 2020

Three Texas Parks and Wildlife Employees Perish in Helicopter Crash During Bighorn Sheep Survey

AUSTIN— While conducting aerial surveys for desert bighorn sheep in West Texas on Saturday, Aug. 8, three Texas Parks and Wildlife Department employees died in a helicopter crash on TPWD’s Black Gap Wildlife Management Area in Brewster County.

Aug. 7, 2020

Game Warden Field Notes, Aug. 7, 2020

The following items are compiled from recent Texas Parks and Wildlife law enforcement reports.

Aug. 5, 2020

Texas Anglers, Boaters Urged to Help Conserve Threatened Saltwater Flats

AUSTIN – Conservation groups are asking the tens of thousands of people who boat in Texas coastal waters every year to become part of the solution to conserve diminishing habitats. Habitat loss and degradation has been documented for years as a problem in coastal bays. The call for conservation comes as people look for a safe outdoor activity during the ongoing pandemic, when choosing to fish or boat in the bays is a popular option.

July 31, 2020

Park Rangers Statewide Recognized for World Ranger Day

AUSTIN— Every year on July 31, World Ranger Day is an opportunity to take a moment to recognize the unwavering commitment towards park stewardship by the many park rangers at the 89 Texas State Parks that make up our state park system. Initially created by the International Ranger Federation, World Ranger Day celebrates the work park rangers do daily to protect the planet’s natural treasures and cultural heritage.

O.H. Ivie and Grapevine Lake Status Changed to “Infested” with Invasive Zebra Mussels

AUSTIN – The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) has upgraded O.H. Ivie Lake near San Angelo and Grapevine Lake located in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, to fully “infested” with invasive zebra mussels.  The status change is a result of recent sampling efforts that revealed new evidence of reproducing and growing populations of zebra mussels in these lakes. Previously, individual zebra mussels had been found on separate occasions and the lakes were designated as “positive” for zebra mussels.

July 30, 2020

Red Snapper Season in Federal Waters to Close Aug. 3

AUSTIN- The private recreational angler red snapper season in federal waters will close at 12:01 a.m. Monday, Aug. 3. Anglers may continue to harvest up to 4 red snapper per day with a 15-inch minimum length limit from Texas state waters.

July 28, 2020

Chad Jones Named New Texas Game Warden Colonel

AUSTIN — Chad Jones has been selected as the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s new Law Enforcement Director. Col. Jones became a game warden in 2004 and has held duty stations in Brazos and Trinity Counties, has served as a Team Lead for the Forensic Accident and Reconstruction Team, a Lieutenant at the Game Warden Training Center in Hamilton County, Texas, a Captain in Uvalde and a Major in both Corpus Christi and in the Pineywoods region of East Texas.

July 24, 2020

Toyota ShareLunker Program Generates Thousands of Big Bass Offspring in 2020

ATHENS – The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Toyota ShareLunker Program is having another outstanding year in its goal to create, bigger, better bass in Texas. After obtaining two successful spawns from one of the four 13 pound or larger Legacy Class bass loaned to the selective-breeding program in 2020, the department’s hatchery staff produced more than 28,000 fingerlings to benefit Texas public waters.

July 23, 2020

Partial Closure of Big Bend Ranch State Park Runs Aug. 9-16 for Wildlife Surveys

TERLINGUA— The interior of the Big Bend Ranch State Park Complex will be closed for the safety of park visitors during wildlife surveys Aug. 9 – 16. During the surveys, staff will be counting desert bighorn sheep by helicopter and performing the lethal removal of non-native aoudad (barbary sheep) when encountered.

July 22, 2020

Online Education Expanded as Anglers Take to the Water Across Texas

AUSTIN – With more Texans heading to the water during quarantine to recreate and physical distance naturally, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has seen an uptick in fishing license purchases compared to this time last year. Recognizing this, TPWD has expanded its outdoor education curriculum to include online classes open to new anglers wanting to learn about fishing before heading to Texas waterways.