Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

  • Blogs

    October 1, 2014

    Red Tide Season is Upon Us: Oysters and Fish Beware

    Beware the red tide. That may sound like a pseudo-biblical warning, but the nasty algae that goes by that name is already popping up in Texas waters this season. And you know what this means: Oyster season, that magical time of the year when we can eat raw oysters fished out of Texas waters, is in d ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 10, 2014

    Our Bats May Be Cleared of Killer Fungus

    We like bats here in Houston. So, it's good news to us that researchers in Texas have given the ugly little guys the all-clear as far as the fatal white-nose syndrome goes. The disease was first found in New York about 7 years ago and has been making a move westward, killing millions of bats along ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 25, 2014

    Galveston Bay Spill is Killing Spring Migration

    Crews are working to clean up the mess created by more than 150,000 gallons of sticky black crude oil dumped in Galveston Bay on Saturday, but with no end in sight the environmental implications will likely only get worse. So far, Texas Parks and Wildlife officials report they've found three oil-c ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 16, 2014

    Should Rattlesnakes be Gassed? Texas Parks and Wildlife Says No

    There's not much in Sweetwater to recommend it to the outside world. People in the dusty little West Texas town seem to enjoy it all right, but for most of the year it's just a wide spot in the road. But on the second weekend in March the town comes to life, the site of the largest rattlesnake round ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 28, 2013

    What Does Your Texas Drought Look Like? Now You Can See Documentary Photos From Across the State

    Amid all the harsh reality, there is a strange, eerie beauty to a new photo exhibit going up in Austin at the state capitol this week. Part of the "What does your Texas look like?" campaign, the photography exhibit shows the heavy toll the extended drought has taken across our state. Lake beds are ... More >>

  • News

    July 11, 2013

    The New Hornographers: The Fight Over the Future of Texas Deer

    A herd of headless deer, the looming threat of disease and Big Government in Texas's thriving trophy buck industry.

  • Blogs

    July 10, 2013

    Breeding Deer in Texas: A Business Opportunity or Betrayal of a Public Trust?

    Sharon and James Anderton are Texas deer breeders. Their activities and those like them are overseen by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department as they breed deer for bigger antler spreads and give people a chance to shoot "trophies" at a much lower price than, if say, they paid to shoot a deer on t ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 12, 2013

    Battleship Texas, Seriously Injured, To Get (Some) Repairs

    The good news: On the 99th anniversary of its commissioning, the Battleship Texas will be getting "the first significant structural more than 20 years,: Texas Parks & Wildlife announced. The bad news: Those repairs are about half of what is needed just to make a solid first step toward ... More >>

  • News

    August 23, 2012
  • Blogs

    August 9, 2012

    Butt-Dialing "Hide The Gun In Them Woods" Makes An Investigator's Job Easier

    A wild and wooly rural chase over some road hunting ended with one of the simpler investigations the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department has likely had to conduct. According to info released by TPWD today, wardens received a call about possible road-hunting going on near Red River and Bowie counties ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 10, 2012

    Prairie Dogs Become Prairie Gods; Have Humans Working for Them

    A colony of black-tailed Prairie Dogs has been moved into a Texas Panhandle park and just to make sure the move would take -- local humans clawed through the earth, initiating the deep drilling that would follow. "Park staff pre-drilled several holes to encourage the animals to being making their ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 23, 2012

    Unleash the Swamp People: Texas Nuisance-Gator Hunters Can Now Peddle Their Services

    A new samurai walks the Texas earth, or will soon: the hardened, stoic hunter of nuisance gators. In years past, the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department contracted with a limited number of hunters, who put in bids to be selected. Winners would be assigned a specific region and TPWD had to approve hun ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 3, 2012

    Upcoming Events: Foraging Food and Cooking Game

    Next weekend: Prepare for all the chicken soup you can nosh.​Attention, DIY-ers and wild food fans: Two upcoming events are right up your paths. Follow chef Randy Rucker down one path for a Tapas on the Trails evening Saturday, February 11, at the Houston Arboretum. The food-filled evening wi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 30, 2011

    TPWD Raises $335,000 In Three Weeks, But...

    It's been about three weeks since the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department put out a frantic call for donations to make up for a $4.6 million budget shortfall caused by the drought. How are they doing? At first glance, it seems okay -- $335,000 has been raised, TPWD says. But that includes a single d ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 6, 2011

    Drought-Ravaged Texas Parks Need Money & Visitors, State Says

    Texas parks: Visit or send cash or both, please.​The crippling drought of 2011 left Texas parks under-visited and in need of cash to make up a budget shortfall, officials are saying. The Texas Parks & Wildlife Department is putting out a call for people to come to the parks (and therefore gen ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 6, 2011

    Scary Wildfire Video Of Bastrop State Park

    All but about 100 acres of the 6,000-acre Bastrop State Park have been blackened by fire, the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department says, and they've posted this video to show why. With surprising alacrity, a fire creeps across the land, with nothing to stop it and wind to push it along. And that is w ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 6, 2011

    Helicopters Save Bastrop Park's Historic Building, For Now

    ​The Refractory in Bastrop State park, built by FDR's Civilian Conservation Corps back in the Depression, had a close call today with the wildfires that have hit the park hard. At 2 p.m., the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department says, fires got within 200 yards of the structure.

  • Blogs

    June 21, 2011

    Comment of the Day: How to Get Rid of the Grass Carp

    ​We have some great commenters here on Hair Balls, and it's time we paid some damn attention to them. So we'll be highlighting a Comment of the Day each morning, from the previous day's work. Maybe two comments, even. This will all be determined by a highly rigorous scientific formula involv ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 20, 2011

    Grass Carp: You've Done Your Job Saving Lake Conroe, Now They're Coming to Kill You

    Grass carp: You're fired!!​When Lake Conroe began to be overrun with the harmful plant hydrilla, Texas officials had the answer -- they brought in a bunch of grass carp to eat that stuff up. The carp performed admirably: The lake is now essentially free of hydrilla, Texas Parks and Wildlife s ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 8, 2011

    Texas River Lovers: Your Scary Drought Map of the Day

    USGS​The Texas Observer's Forrest Wilder just tweeted some truth: If you love to have fun on Texas rivers, this is a scary map. It's from the U.S. Geological Survey, and it shows the streamflows of Texas rivers. (There's an interactive version of it here, where you can see what individual sta ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 16, 2011

    Gulf Shrimp Season Officially Closed

    Photo by motg​This past Sunday, May 15, marked the end of the Gulf shrimp season until at least mid-July. "The closure is designed to allow these small shrimp to grow to a larger, more valuable size before they are vulnerable to harvest," said Robin Riechers, coastal fisheries division direct ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 21, 2011

    Play Frisbee, Have a Picnic, Catch Some Catfish

    Catching catfish as a kid with our ranch hand, Billy Garrett.​The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) is about to give Houstonians another activity at their local parks: fishing. Now, plenty of folks already fish at parks around Houston. My personal favorite spot is at River Terrace Pa ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 20, 2011

    Possum Kingdom On Fire: The Official Video

    Possum Kingdom, the beloved state park west of Fort Worth -- celebrated in song by The Toadies -- has been very unlucky when it comes to the wildfires hitting west and north Texas. The Texas Parks & Wildlife Department has released some official video of the event, including interviews with firefig ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 11, 2011

    West Texas is Burning: Maybe the Worst Wildfires in State's History

    Tough times in the vast stretches of West Texas​Massive drought conditions have turned West Texas and the Panhandle into a tinderbox, and the spark has been lit. This weekend saw what might develop into the worst wildfire days in the state's history, the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department and ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 5, 2011

    Cold Turtles: Rescued & Headed Back to the Gulf

    TPWDIt shrinks like a cold, frightened turtle​More than 800 sea turtles who had been stunned by the state's cold snap are getting their release back into the wild starting today, the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department says. In the past the animals were kept for weeks, but TPWD says a new philo ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 12, 2010

    Chinese Tallow Trees Continue East Texas Takeover

    An example of a Chinese tallow tree​The Texas Parks & Wildlife Department says the invasive Chinese Tallow tree is getting more and more of a grip in East Texas. The tree, which can hinder plant diversity, has seen its numbers grow 174 percent in a 15-year period ending in 2007, TPWD says. T ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 1, 2010

    DPS Tells Falcon Lake Jet-Skiers To Stay On The U.S. Side If They Value Their Lives

    There be pirates on the border​The Texas Department of Public Safety has issued a warning telling people who jet-ski on Falcon Lake, which is divided by the U.S.-Mexico border, to stay the hell on the American side.David Michael Hartley, 30, was shot yesterday afternoon and is believed to be dead. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 22, 2010

    Genius: To Prove He Doesn't Have An Alligator Skull, Dude Shows Lawmen His Dope Crop

    "Officer, check my dope crop to make sure I don't have an alligator skull!!!"​An Angleton dude was selling alligator meat illegally online, which triggered a sting by Texas Parks & Wildlife Department authorities.As they negotiated the sale, the guy mentioned he also had an alligator skull he ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 9, 2010

    Galveston Island State Park's Makeover: Your Chance For Input

    Photo courtesy TPWDGalveston Island State Park in the wake of Ike​Galveston Island State Park was ravaged by Hurricane Ike, but plans are now underway to make it, according to the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, "a premiere destination within the Texas state park system."Parts of the park h ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 1, 2010

    Deep In The Piney Woods, A Big-Ass Pot Farm Grew

    Don't give these two any ideas​Police say they typically find a couple of hundred pot plants when they raid an outdoor growing operation. This is Texas. Everything's bigger here, including the pot farms.Hunters sprucing up their deer blinds in darkest East Texas made a startling discovery Sunday - ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 31, 2010

    Twitter That There Dove Hunt, With TPWD's Help

    Take cover, little Twitter bird!!!​You bag yourself a nice impressive set of doves in a kill-or-be-killed situation, what's the first thing you want to do? Tweet the ever-living shit out of it, of course.The Texas Parks & Wildlife Department understands this. That's why they're premiering new ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 27, 2010

    Downtown's Sam Houston Park Getting $2 Million Facelift

    Photo courtesy GHCVBSam Houston Park -- often forgotten, but it's there, dammit​Sam Houston Park -- come on, it's that picturesque if undervisited piece of grass and historic homes just outside of downtown -- is about to get a makeover.The Texas Parks & Wildlife Department and the city's Capit ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 6, 2010

    TPWD Cutting Back Access To Bat-Viewing, Cave-Visiting

    Batpoles temporarily out of order​The Texas Parks & Wildlife Department is closing some of the state's caves and prime bat-viewing sites to fight a contagious disease that's fatal to bats.White Nose Syndrome has spread from the East Coast, and the sites are being closed "our of an abundance of ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 15, 2010

    Battleship Texas Almost Sinks Again; Saved By Stuffing Rags In Holes

    Photo by diveofficerSaved by rags​The Battleship Texas made it through World Wars I and II, but she almost lost it over the weekend.The Texas Parks & Wildlife Department said today that the ship sprung a leak, and only the stuffing of rags into holes -- and furious pumping -- kept the ship afl ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 22, 2010

    Texas Parks Are Like A Tea Party: White, Old & Cranky

    ​People visiting Texas parks are like a Tea Party convention -- they're white, old and cranky.That's not quite the spin the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department puts on the results from their latest customer survey, but it seems pretty clear to us.TPWD surveyed 27,000 customers over five years an ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 22, 2010

    Hispanics And Texas State Parks, Part Two (The Weird Part)

    ​We asked Texas Parks & Wildlife for more details on the customer survey we wrote about today, and they have come through. And it's crazy enough to deserve its own post.TPWD provided a power point presentation of the study; scrolling through it we noticed a summary of focus-group research done ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 14, 2009

    Sam Rayburn Reservoir Gets Hit With A Killer Weed

    ​A little over 10 years ago, we wrote about a "Killer Weed" that had been mistakenly introduced to some Texas lakes and was quickly covering them with a thick blanket of vegetation.Salvinia molesta, also known as Giant Salvinia, reproduces itself faster than the Octomom and is a dire threat to fre ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 29, 2009

    TPWD Says "Great Outdoors Day" Is Coming: How To Celebrate It With Your Teen-Ager

    Photo by marxchivistYou knew this, of course, but June 13 is National "Get Outdoors" Day. We knew this because the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department just sent out the news."As a part of the second annual GO Day, more than two dozen Texas state parks are joining federal agencies, nonprofit organi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 14, 2009

    Gulf Shrimp Season Ending This Week

    Gulf shrimp season is over as of this Friday, May 15. It is scheduled to resume in mid-July. "The closure is designed to allow these small shrimp to grow to a larger, more valuable size before they are vulnerable to harvest," said Robin Riechers, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Coastal Fisherie ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 14, 2009

    Recession Claims Texas Parks & Wildlife Expo

    The annual Texas Parks & Wildlife Expo, a giant exhibition held in Austin, will be suspended for at least the next two years, officials said.TPWD says they just can't line up enough corporate sponsors to defray the $400,000 cost of the October event, which features a 35-acre area filled with poo ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 18, 2009

    The Battleship Texas Gets A Boost...If It Can Raise $4 Million

    The limping Battleship Texas, which has fallen into disrepair but has really been one of the underrated attractions in Houston, got some good news today: The state released $25 million in bonds for drydocking and repairs for the aging World War II ship.The not-so-good news: Supporters need to raise ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 23, 2008

    The Effects of Hurricane Ike on the Oyster Industry

    Misho Ivic Misho Ivic, the owner of Misho’s Oyster Company in San Leon, says that thanks to Ike, there aren’t going to be any oysters harvested in Galveston Bay for a while. The Louisiana oyster grounds were also closed for several weeks as a result of Gustav. But the closings will have limited ... More >>

  • News

    May 25, 2006

    Gator Aid

    Thanks to the Endangered Species Act, alligators are everywhere in southeast Texas. So now the state is going to make it easier for you to shoot you one.

  • News

    September 30, 2004
  • Dining

    November 6, 2003

    Shooting Bambi's Mom

    A gourmet environmentalist shares his favorite venison recipes

  • Calendar

    September 18, 2003

    Wet World

    Texas Master Naturalists give kids a peek at life in the gulf

  • News

    June 14, 2001

    Raw Roots

    Excavations for plantation artifacts - and the real truth - are unraveling the genteel gloss covering Texans' old notions about the slave era here

  • News

    April 6, 2000


    Bass kills and lesions on fish worry Sam Rayburn anglers. So does the state's plan to lower the lake's pollution standards.

  • News

    June 3, 1999
  • News

    May 23, 1996

    Down the Drain

    Encroaching development and bureaucratic inertia are jeopardizing Sheldon Reservoir, one of east Harris County's last natural outposts

  • More >>