Texas Parks and Wildlife issues precautions for hunters, handlers as bird flu detected again
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is asking hunters, wildlife rehabilitators and the public, in general, to be cautious when handling birds to help reduce the spread of the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza, or HPIA.
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.