Texas homeowner admits to hiding away stingrays, turtle and alligator in home, officials say
A Southeast Texas homeowner admitted to law enforcement that he captured an alligator and took it home to show his kids. But that’s not the only illegal creature he was found to have in his possession, according to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Game Wardens.
Invasive fish that can jump 10 feet out of the water have been found in Texas waters, TPWD says
Silver carp, an invasive species that have the potential to devastate local ecosystems and “cause significant changes in native fish populations” through competition for food, according to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
Wildlife officials issue emergency order following positive CWD tests at deer breeding sites
Editor’s note: We have been told by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department that CWD is not commonly referred to as ‘Zombie Deer Disease’ despite multiple reports from other outlets. We have reached out to the CDC for further information as well and will update this story with further details.
Grab your fishing poles, some ponds in San Antonio will be stocked with catfish soon
SAN ANTONIO – Texas Parks and Wildlife’s Inland Fisheries San Antonio District reported on Monday that some San Antonio fishing spots would start to get stocked with catfish in the coming weeks. According to a social media post, Miller’s Pond and Southside Lions Park will be stocked with channel catfish starting the week of April 23rd. We will be stocking Miller’s Pond and Southside Lions... Posted by Inland Fisheries San Antonio District - Texas Parks and Wildlife on Monday, March 22, 2021After the initial stocking, both locations will be stocked every two weeks with catfish. According to TPWD, every year the Inland and Coastal Fisheries divisions of TPWD stock approximately 40 million fish in public lakes, ponds and saltwater bays. Since Dec. 2, 2020, TPWD has released 10,336 Rainbow Trout in the San Antonio area as part of the Neighborhood Fishing program.
At least 3.8 million fish on Texas coast killed by winter storm, TPWD says
SAN ANTONIO – The winter freeze killed nearly 4 million fish along the Texas coast in what officials are calling the largest fish kill event since the 1980s. The Upper and Lower Laguna Madre bays which are off the South Texas Coast were hit particularly hard, according to TPWD. The estimated 3.8 million fish killed in Texas consisted of 61 species, with 91% of those include non-recreational fish like hardhead catfish and pinfish. Just before the freeze, TPWD closed fishing on the Texas coast that could have further impacted wildlife. Other wildlife species impacted by the storm include axis deer, blackbuck, nilgai antelope and multiple bird species, according to TPWD.
Mountain Lion hit, killed by car in Rio Grande Valley over the weekend, Texas wildlife officials say
Mountain lions, like this one pictured on the US Forest Service website, are not known for consuming human flesh. HARLINGEN, Texas – A mountain lion was hit and killed by a car traveling near Highway 77 in Cameron County in the Rio Grande Valley over the weekend, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department officials said. According to a statement from TPWD provided to KSAT, the mountain lion was killed north of Harlingen. He said when a young mountain lion does that it can go as far as 300 miles from where it was born. And that’s really important to remember.”To date, officials have reported two mountain lion sightings in Cameron County within the last year and 36 across the state.
Texas Parks and Wildlife officials warn aquarium moss balls could contain invasive zebra mussels
SAN ANTONIO – The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is warning pet stores and pet owners about a moss ball aquarium plant that could be contaminated with invasive zebra mussels. The moss balls are sold as an aquarium plant under names including “Beta Buddy Marimo Balls,” “Mini Marimo Moss Balls,” and “Marimo Moss Ball Plant.”They are sold separately but also included in the sale of betta fish. “Zebra mussels can be recognized as small shellfish with triangular, brownish shells, often with their namesake zebra stripes, that may be attached to or growing inside the moss balls. Aquarium water should be replaced and filters and cartridges should be replaced or disinfected, TPWD said. Ad“Invasive species such as these zebra mussels and snails can hitchhike in aquatic plants sold for aquarium use,” said Monica McGarrity, Senior Scientist for Aquatic Invasive Species.
Texas Parks and Wildlife is now hiring paid interns for summer 2021
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is now taking applications for summer interns. Applications for summer 2021 are due March 26, according to a news release. You could intern with one of the following divisions: law enforcement, wildlife, state parks, infrastructure, communications, coastal fisheries and inland fisheries. The internship runs May 27 through Aug. 1, and requires students to assist for 20 hours a week, on weekends. To apply for internships with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, you can also visit the job listing page on the TPWD website.
Fish found dead along San Antonio River, Texas coast after freezing weather event
The Environmental Sciences Department is continuing to monitor the sightings, and officials said the dead fish are not caused by poor water quality. Anyone who spots dead fish along the river is asked to contact the River Authority’s Environmental Investigations team online or by calling 866-345-7272. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department said fish on the Texas coast first started dying off on Feb. 14. Among the fish species impacted were spotted seatrout, red drum, sheepshead, grey snapper, snook, black drum and tarpon. Other wildlife species impacted by the storm include axis deer, blackbuck, nilgai antelope and multiple bird species, according to TPWD.
Hundreds of bats found dead under San Antonio bridges following winter storm
SAN ANTONIO – As the state was crippled by subfreezing temperatures, millions of people were left with out power, water and food for days. Hundreds of Mexican Free-tailed Bats were discovered dead under San Antonio bridges and underpasses. Camara said the Loop 410 and San Pedro underpass is home to one of the city’s largest colony of bats. Some bats froze to death and others died from impact injuries sustained after falling from 40 to 50-foot high bridges. Head injuries, back injuries, internal injuries.
These fishing spots on the South Texas coast will be temporarily closed due to freezing weather
Bob Hall Pier is closed until further notice due to construction. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will temporarily close some saltwater fishing spots along the coast — including some on Padre Island and near Rockport, Fulton and Aransas Pass — due to freezing weather. The 21 fishing sites will close at midnight on Monday and stay closed until 11:59 p.m., TPWD said in a news release on Saturday. During that time, fishing will be off-limits in these areas in an effort to protect the wildlife and resources. You can get the very latest forecast anytime by bookmarking our weather page and downloading the KSAT Weather Authority App - available for both Apple and Android devices.
Watch rainbow trout make the journey from hatchery to waterways thanks to Texas Parks and Wildlife
SAN ANTONIO – The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is giving an inside look at the process of transporting rainbow trout from hatcheries to Texas waterways. Watch as rainbow trout make their journey from our hatchery to a waterway. The rainbow trout stocked at the lakes will be big enough to catch and eat for anyone wanting to keep their haul. For anglers interested in tailrace fishing, TPWD stocks rainbow trout below several dams and spillways, which often have very cool water and provide excellent conditions for trout fishing. A total of 322,568 rainbow trout will be stocked at locations across Texas from Nov. 30 through the beginning of March.
Autopsy: Texas man died of neck injuries in animal attack
LIPAN, Texas – A final autopsy for a Texas man whose body was found last month in the woods determined that he died from neck injuries due to an animal attack, but wildlife experts and sheriff’s officials disagree on whether that animal was a mountain lion. The Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled that 28-year-old Christopher Allen Whiteley’s cause of death last month was from neck injuries due to an animal attack, the Hood County sheriff’s office said Tuesday. Lt. Johnny Rose of the Hood County sheriff's office said they believe Whiteley was killed by a mountain lion. He said the autopsy does not specify what kind of animal killed Whitely. Texas wildlife officials have said that fatal mountain attacks on people are extremely rare, as are any confirmed sightings of the animals in North Texas.
35th season of Toyota Sharelunker program underway
This month starts the 35th season of the Toyota Sharelunker Program, which is a coordination effort with Texas Parks and Wildlife to increase the production of trophy-sized fish in Texas reservoirs. The year-long program offers four levels of participation for catching bass over 8 pounds or 24 inches in Texas. During the first three months of the year, anglers who reel in a 13 pound bass or larger can loan it to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department for the Sharelunker selective breeding and stocking program. Once a lunker is reeled in, anglers need to enter the catch data on the Toyota Sharelunker mobile app. For more information on this program or to report a fish, anglers can call the Sharelunker hotline at (903) 681-0550 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Invasive zebra mussels infest Central Texas lake, likely to infest another soon
Lake Buchanan has officially been designated as “infested” with the invasive species known as zebra mussels. Scientists with the Lower Colorado River Authority discovered zebra mussel larvae at three different sites around Lake Buchanan in October. Crews working on a floodgate project at the lake discovered settled zebra mussels shortly after, at the beginning of December. If you have stored your boat in the water at a lake with zebra mussels, it is likely infested with zebra mussels and poses an extremely high risk for moving this invasive species to a new lake, TPWD officials said. A map showing all lakes where zebra mussels have been found in Texas can be found here.
Mountain lion spotted outside Dallas likely killed by hunter
DALLAS – Texas wildlife officials say they suspect that a mountain lion killed over the weekend was the same one spotted outside of Dallas in recent weeks. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department said Tuesday that the mountain lion — an adult male that weighed about 160 pounds — was legally killed Saturday by a deer hunter. Wildlife officials said there was no evidence that any wild animal killed Whiteley. Wildlife officials have said mountain lions are very uncommon in North Texas but are common in parts of West and South Texas. They also say that fatal mountain lion attacks on people are very rare, with fewer than 30 people killed by mountain lions across the U.S. in the last 100 years.
Texas Game Wardens seize 350 crappie fish fillets from fishermen at Lake O’ the Pines
UPSHUR COUNTY, Texas – Texas Game Wardens seized 350 crappie fish fillets that were confiscated from fishermen at Lake O’ the Pines in Upshur County. According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, game wardens received an anonymous tip about a substantial amount of fish that had been cleaned and dumped at the lake. TPW officials found two fishermen who were in the possession of 350 crappie fish fillets. Officials say the fishermen were well over the state legal possession limit of crappie fish, which is 25 per person. The department said the fish fillets were seized and donated to multiple families around the area.
Christmas tree harvested from Texas state park taken to state Capitol for holidays
AUSTIN, Texas – Rangers with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department drove a giant Virginia Pine tree to Austin this morning for display at the state Capitol. Mamie II (pronounced: MAY-me) is the name of the tree which was harvested from Eisenhower State Park along the northern border of Texas. Texas State Parks have provided Christmas trees harvested from tree farms to the Texas State Capitol for more than 40 years, according to officials with the TPWD. Rangers from Eisenhower State Park - Texas Parks and Wildlife will be driving this Texas gal... Posted by Texas Parks and Wildlife on Sunday, November 29, 2020Mamie II took over the Eisenhower State Park - Texas Parks and Wildlife Facebook page Monday to document her journey from North Texas to Austin where she arrived around noon after stopping at Buc-cee’s in Temple for a rest. Posted by Eisenhower State Park - Texas Parks and Wildlife on Monday, November 30, 2020Related:
Meet Mamie II, the tree that will help bring some holiday cheer to the Texas Capitol
AUSTIN – Shopping for Christmas trees is an event, but you know how the saying goes: “Everything is bigger in Texas.”Meet Mamie II, a Virginia Pine tree grown in Denison, Texas. Mamie II will make a trip to the Texas capitol on Monday to help spread some holiday cheer. Hey, Texas! Meet Mamie II. Born and raised in North Texas, Mamie II knows she has big shoes to fill after her predecessor, Mamie, but this Texas girl has the perfect boots for the job!
20,000+ rainbow trout to be stocked in New Braunfels
NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas – The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will stock 20,921 rainbow trout in the Canyon Tailrace over the course of eight weeks starting Dec. 4. The tentative dates for rainbow trout stocking along the tailrace are Dec. 4, 11, 18, 23 and 31, as well as Jan. 8, 15, 22, and 29. Rainbow trout are stocked as part of the Neighborhood Fishin’ program which encourages families to spend time together outdoors. “Rainbow trout stockings begin around Thanksgiving in Bexar County and will continue through February,” a TPWD spokesperson previously told KSAT. A total of 334,088 rainbow trout will be stocked in lakes and ponds across Texas for the 2020-2021 trout stocking season, TPWD reported.
How to protect your pet rabbits from a deadly virus
SAN ANTONIO – As most people look to socially distance or take other precautions during the COVID-19 pandemic, another population is being threatened by a separate virus. According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Rabbit Hemorrhagic Virus is nearly always fatal and primarily affects adult rabbits. Tina Gilson, the president of The Alamo City House Rabbits, a group that works with domestic rabbits in San Antonio and South Texas, says they are taking this threat seriously. the disease was confirmed in several species of wild rabbits in Texas. RHDV2 IN TEXAS: This is a game changer for rabbits, both domestic and wild, in the State of Texas.
10,000+ rainbow trout to be stocked in 4 San Antonio-area lakes
SAN ANTONIO – The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department are expected to stock roughly 10,336 rainbow trout in four San Antonio-area lakes as part of the Neighborhood Fishin’ program. Earl Scott Pond, Live Oak City Park, Miller’s Pond and Southside Lions Park (Hi Lions) will be stocked on select days from November through February. An estimated 3,792 rainbow trout will be stocked in Miller’s Pond and 4,744 will be stocked at Southside Lions Park, according to TWPD officials. However, licenses and endorsements are not required when fishing in a Texas state park. The rainbow trout stocked at the lakes will be big enough to catch and eat for anyone who wants to keep their catch.
Here’s how to get into Texas State Parks for free Sunday
SAN ANTONIO – Texans needing a day of rest and relaxation after the chaotic election season can get into any state park for free on Sunday. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is waiving fees at all of the state parks in honor of Veterans Day. “The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and Texas State Parks are proud to honor the men and women that serve our country in the military,” Rodney Franklin, director of Texas State Parks, said in a news release. “What better way to celebrate their service and dedication than by spending the day at a beautiful Texas State Park.”Veterans Day lands on Wednesday, Nov. 11. TPWD is reminding happy campers that parks have capacity limits, and it is recommended that they reserve a day pass online or by calling 512-389-8900.
‘Above average’ deer hunting season expected in Texas, TPWD officials say
Biologists from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department are predicting an above-average season for white-tailed deer hunters. A special youth-only gun deer season is set for Oct. 31- Nov. 1 and Jan. 4-17, 2021. TPWD White-Tailed Deer Program Leader Alan Cain said hunters in the Edwards Plateau, Cross Timbers and South Texas eco-regions should expect some of the best conditions. For additional late season deer hunting opportunities, county-specific regulations, and information on how to properly tag and report a harvest, consult the 2020-21 all-digital Outdoor Annual. Hunters taking advantage of Texas Public Hunting Lands must also have the Annual Public Hunting Permit, TPWD officials said.
12 crappie fishing ‘hot spots’ according to Texas Parks and Wildlife officials
Any weather is fishing weather in Texas but now that it’s starting to cool off a little bit there’s more reason to head outside. The Lone Star State is “renowned for world-class bass fishing," according to Texas Parks and Wildlife officials but there are also “excellent opportunities to reel in a sometimes-overlooked species: crappie.”Texas Parks and Wildlife Department staff recently compiled a list of 12 places that it considers some of the best hot spots for crappie fishing in the state. The 12 spots are:“We are excited to feature these 12 destination lakes for our anglers to check out on their next fishing excursion,” said TPWD Inland Fisheries Regional Director Brian Van Zee. “These lakes, which are located across the state, stood out as providing consistently strong crappie fishing right now. We hope anglers take advantage of all the excellent fisheries that the state has to offer," Zee said.
Texas police called to remove rattlesnake, 16 babies from electric company’s work area
MANOR, Texas – A Texas police department received an unusual call this week to remove a 3.5-foot western diamondback rattlesnake and its 16 babies from an electric company’s work area. The incident happened Wednesday at the Sunstate Equipment Company in Manor, Texas. This 3.5 foot Western Diamond Back rattle snake was found with her 16 babies (photos in comment) in a work area at the Sunstate Equipment Company on 290 here in Manor. Posted by Manor Police Department on Wednesday, August 26, 2020The post reads, “This 3.5 foot Western Diamond Back rattlesnake was found with her 16 babies (photos in comment) in a work area at the Sunstate Equipment Company on 290 here in Manor. RELATED: Snake sightings expected to ‘drastically increase’ in Texas, experts say
These Texas and Louisiana state parks are closed due to Hurricane Laura
Several Texas and Louisiana state parks remain closed in the wake of Hurricane Laura which made landfall Thursday morning. According to officials with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, state parks along the Texas coast and Louisiana border were closed Tuesday ahead of Hurricane Lauras arrival. Several state parks in Louisiana were also closed this week due to Hurricane Laura. pic.twitter.com/pOXHLZNhzt Texas Game Warden (@TexasGameWarden) August 27, 2020The Texas parks that are currently closed due to Hurricane Laura are:Atlanta State ParkBattleship Texas State Historic SiteBrazos Bend State ParkCaddo Lake State ParkGalveston Island State ParkLake Livingston State ParkMartin Creek Lake State ParkMartin Dies, Jr. State ParkSea Rim State ParkSheldon Lake State ParkVillage Creek State ParkFor a full list of state park closures and updates on openings, click here. The Louisiana state parks Instagram page earlier this week announced the closure of:Bistineau State ParkCypremort Point State ParkFairview-Riverside State ParkGrand Isle State ParkNorth Toledo Bend State ParkPalmetto Island State ParkSt. Bernard State ParkSam Houston Jones State ParkSouth Toledo Bend State ParkHurricane Laura made landfall at close to 1 a.m. Thursday morning near Cameron, Louisiana as an extremely dangerous Category 4 Hurricane with sustained winds of 150 mph and gusts up to 185 mph.
PSA: Texas fishing and hunting licenses expire in August
SAN ANTONIO Heads up - its time to renew licenses for Texas anglers and hunters. Licenses for the 2019-2020 season expire at the end of August, according to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. One hundred percent of the annual sale of around 2.4 million hunting and fishing licenses directly funds conservation efforts in Texas, including fish stocking, wildlife management, habitat restoration, public hunting leases, river fishing access as well as helping fund the Texas Game Wardens. Licenses can be purchased online at the TPWD website, by phone or in-person at more than 1,700 retailers across Texas. For frequently asked questions about Texas hunting and fishing licenses, visit the TPWD website.
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department shares photos of employees killed in helicopter crash
BREWSTER COUNTY, Texas – Officials with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department shared photos of the three employees killed in a helicopter crash in West Texas on Saturday. The three men killed in the crash are Wildlife Biologist Dewey Stockbridge, Fish and Wildlife Technician Brandon White, and State Wildlife Veterinarian Robert Dittmar. The helicopter was in the Black Gap Wildlife Management Area in Brewster County conducting aerial surveys for desert bighorn sheep when the crash occurred. Stockbridge was the lead wildlife biologist at Elephant Mountain Wildlife Management Area just south of Alpine. Original Report: 3 Texas Parks and Wildlife Department employees killed in helicopter crash during bighorn sheep survey
3 Texas Parks and Wildlife Department employees killed in helicopter crash during bighorn sheep survey
AUSTIN, Texas – Three Texas Parks and Wildlife Department employees were killed in a helicopter crash while conducting aerial surveys for desert bighorn sheep in West Texas, according to TPWD officials. The victims of the crash were identified as Wildlife Biologist Dewey Stockbridge, Fish and Wildlife Technician Brandon White, and State Wildlife Veterinarian Dr. Bob Dittmar, of Kerrville, according to the TPWD. “No words can begin to express the depth of sadness we feel for the loss of our colleagues in this tragic accident,” said Carter Smith, TPWD executive director, in a statement. Wildlife conservation in Texas lost three of its finest as they so honorably and dutifully carried out their calling to help survey, monitor and protect the bighorns of their beloved west Texas mountains. Dan Patrick also offered condolences to the families of the crash victims.
Colony of giant swamp rats invade Texas park
FORT WORTH, Texas – What has a large, flat tail, hind webbed feet and orange teeth? According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, a swarm of these swamp rats, or otherwise known as nutria, were spotted at Krauss Baker Park in Fort Worth this week. Edit: the link in the comments says it’s Krauss Baker Park - is that the one behind Ihop off Altamesa?! Swamp rats live along the San Antonio River Walk“The reason for the thriving population of nutria in Krauss Baker Park is that people are feeding them at this location. Although they’re active year-round, it’s uncommon for the rodents to gather in a group this large in Texas, according to Richter.
5-foot-long alligator found outside San Antonio home, ACS says
Al, a 5-foot-long alligator, somehow made his way to a home on the far East Side Tuesday morning, according to the Animal Care Services. Lisa Norwood, an ACS spokesperson, said the alligator was spotted outside the house near Foster Road and U.S Hwy 87 around 8 a.m.A resident who was taking his trash out spotted the gator and called San Antonio police and ACS, Norwood said. A 5-foot-long alligator was spotted outside a house near Foster Road and U.S Hwy 87 on Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. Photo: ACS (KSAT)A 5-foot-long alligator was spotted outside a house near Foster Road and U.S Hwy 87 on Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. Photo: ACS (KSAT)A 5-foot-long alligator was spotted outside a house near Foster Road and U.S Hwy 87 on Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020.
Catfish are regularly stocked for fishing in these Texas lakes, ponds
SAN ANTONIO – Thousands of catfish are expected to be stocked in neighborhood lakes across Texas through Nov. 1 as part of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Neighborhood Fishin’ program. TPWD has been stocking catfish regularly at San Antonio’s Southside Lions Park and Miller’s Pond since early May. During the 2019 catfish season, Southside Lions Park was stocked with more catfish than any other lake in the program. Anglers no longer need to carry their paper fishing license. A legible digital photo, emailed receipt, online purchase record or digital copy of your fishing license is also acceptable.
Cast your lines with free fishing Saturday in Texas
SAN ANTONIO – This Saturday, Texas celebrates free fishing day. Typically you need a fishing license to fish anywhere in the Lone Star State. You can cast your lines in any body of water, fresh or salt, in Texas for free just this Saturday. One hundred percent of fishing license fees goes toward the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department for on the ground conservation efforts like fish stocking. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will have all kinds of fishing 101 videos and tips online for first timers.
20 state parks for camping within driving distance of San Antonio
SAN ANTONIO – It’ll be a summer like no other in Texas. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of Texas state parks around the San Antonio area that are perfect for a quick outdoor getaway. Overnight camping is now allowed at these parks as Texas Parks and Wildlife has lifted restrictions on new reservations amid the coronavirus pandemic. Overnight camping reopens at Texas State Parks, reservations can be made starting this weekPreviously, parks reopened for day use on April 20 and overnight camping resumed May 18, but only for those with pre-existing reservations. Schlitterbahn sets reopening date after Texas governor gives go-aheadHere are 20 Texas State Parks worth a quick drive for overnight stays or day use.
Thousands of catfish to be stocked in two San Antonio neighborhood lakes
Thousands of catfish are expected to be stocked in neighborhood lakes across Texas through Nov. 1 as part of TPWD’s Neighborhood Fishin’ program. During the 2019 catfish season, Southside Lions Park was stocked with more catfish than any other lake in the program. A fishing license is required for adult anglers and can be purchased starting at $11 for a one-day, all-water access license. A legible digital photo, emailed receipt, online purchase record or digital copy of your fishing license is also acceptable. COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new virus, stands for coronavirus disease 2019.
Texas state parks to allow limited overnight camping
SAN ANTONIO – Attention happy campers: Texas state parks will start allowing overnight stays as the state begins to reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department announced Wednesday that it will resume limited overnight camping on May 18 — the same day that gyms can reopen. Limitations will depend on individual park occupancy to ensure social distancing, according to a news release. All visitors are required to pre-purchase and print day-use and overnight camping permits trough the reservation system before arriving. Gatherings of groups larger than five that are not part of the same family or household are prohibited.
Texas State Parks to reopen Monday for day-use only
AUSTIN, Texas – The state parks of Texas will reopen on Monday for day-use only, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department said in a press release. The opening of the parks is a part of a broader effort to begin reopening the state of Texas. We have been diligently working with our partners in local communities across the state to help safeguard our state park visitors, volunteers and staff when they return to Texas State Parks,” said Carter Smith, Executive Director of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD). TPWD said visitors must pre-purchase and print day-use permits through the Texas State Parks Reservation System before traveling to a park. Anyone traveling to a Texas State Park should continue to follow Centers for Disease Control (CDC) public health recommendations and adhere to strict social distancing and cleanliness standards while in public spaces.