Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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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

July 6, 2020

2020-21 TPWD Drawn Hunt Permit Applications Now Being Accepted

AUSTIN — Hunters looking for a new opportunity or a change of scenery this fall are encouraged to check out the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s (TPWD) drawn hunt permits program. Applications are being accepted now for a shot at more than 9,500 permits in 56 hunt categories.

July 2, 2020

TPWD Prompts Boaters to ‘Clean, Drain and Dry’

AUSTIN – The July 4th Holiday arrives this weekend and Texans may be getting out on the water. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s (TPWD) inland fisheries and law enforcement staff are urging boaters to do their part to fight back against aquatic invasive species, such as zebra mussels and giant salvinia, threatening Texas lakes.

July 1, 2020

Texans Urged to Be Safe on the Water Over July 4th Weekend

AUSTIN – With the July 4th holiday weekend on the horizon, Texans around the state are making plans to take advantage of the sunshine on the state’s waterways. Compared to this time last year, drownings are up more than 30 percent, so the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) is reminding everyone to be safe this holiday weekend by following basic boating safety precautions and public health guidelines while on the water.

June 30, 2020

Bear Conservation Efforts Prove Successful as Sightings Increase in Northeast Texas

AUSTIN— Since April, there has been an uptick in black bear sightings in Bowie, Grayson and Titus counties in northeast Texas. The bears are thought to originate from the neighboring states of Oklahoma and Arkansas, or possibly Louisiana, where resident bear populations are well established and expanding. As the numbers of this iconic species grows, dispersing black bears find their way across state lines into Texas, signaling the possibility of its eventual permanent return to our landscape.

June 29, 2020

Big Time Texas Hunts Offers First Ever Guided Hunting and Fishing Trip at Powderhorn WMA

AUSTIN — For the first time in its 20-year history, a lucky winner has a chance to claim not one, but two one-of-a-kind experiences through the same package as part of the Big Time Texas Hunts drawing. One fortunate outdoorsman or woman and a guest can claim a guided saltwater fishing trip in tandem with a new big game hunting package at Powderhorn Wildlife Management Area, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s newest WMA on Matagorda Bay.

June 26, 2020

Game Warden Field Notes, June 26, 2020

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

June 25, 2020

Chinati Mountains State Natural Area Joins Big Bend Ranch State Parks’ Dark Sky Park Designation

TERLINGUA— Chinati Mountains State Natural Area, located 25 miles north of Presidio, is now included into Big Bend Ranch State Parks’ 2017 International Dark Sky Park designation with the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA). The inclusion of Chinati Mountains SNA, which is not currently open to the public, adds about 40,000 acres to what is already one of the largest areas of protected night sky in the United States.

Stay Safe This Summer at a Texas State Park by Using These Six Heat Hacks

AUSTIN— Last year, as temperatures soared into the triple digits in Texas, 48 Texas State Parks handled 129 heat-related illnesses in humans and pets. Now that the summer has officially begun and temperatures are steadily climbing, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is sharing their top six heat hacks for staying safe in the outdoors.

Abilene State Park Pool to Open July 1 Until Aug. 16

ABILENE— The Abilene State Park pool will be reopening to the public Tuesday through Sunday starting July 1 until Aug. 16. New guidelines will be in place this summer to encourage social distancing and give park staff time to disinfect the pool area.

June 24, 2020

Increased Black Bear Activity Observed in Trans-Pecos Region

AUSTIN— Once considered to be extinct in Texas, black bears have steadily recolonized the Big Bend region and other areas of west and southwest Texas since the last decade of the twentieth century. The natural restoration of populations in west Texas has recently resulted in bears being spotted in more populated areas. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department biologists say the dry spring weather conditions have left bears on the move in search in food leading to an increase in sightings in the area.