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Texas Hunting and Fishing Licenses on sale today

Texas Hunting and Fishing Licenses on sale today

The start of a new hunting season is right around the corner and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) is reminding hunters and anglers that current year Texas hunting and fishing licenses (except the Year-from-Purchase All-Water Fishing Package) will expire at the end of August. New licenses for the 2021-22 season go on sale Aug. 15

Annually, Texans purchase more than 2.7 million hunting and fishing licenses and directly fund a multitude of conservation efforts and recreational opportunities, helping make Texas one of the best places in the country to hunt and fish. Some of the many projects made possible by license sales include fish stocking, wildlife management, habitat restoration, public hunting leases, river fishing access and Texas Game Wardens.

Outdoorsmen and women can purchase a variety of licenses online through the official TPWD website, by phone at 1-800-895-4248 during regular business hours or in person at more than 1,800 retailers across the state.  Anyone planning to buy their license from TPWD’s Austin Headquarters is reminded to make an advance appointment. Appointments may be scheduled up to one week in advance. Call 1-800-262-8755 or 512-389-4828 to schedule.

TPWD encourages repeat license buyers to use the expedited checkout process, which speeds up re-purchasing the same license bought in recent years.

Customers can access their past and current licenses in several ways: (1) an electronic photo of one’s license, (2) an emailed receipt of your purchase; (3) one’s account in the online license sales system; (4) via License Lookup in the Outdoor Annual app or in the My Texas Hunt Harvest app. Hunters and anglers must still have a physical license for any activities requiring tags.

Hunting and fishing regulations for the 2021-22 season are available online at outdoorannual.com, on the Outdoor Annual mobile app or in the printed Outdoor Annual booklet. The mobile app is free, and once downloaded, it works without internet connectivity which makes it easy for hunters and anglers to view regulations in even the most remote locations. Other features include license lookup, location-based functionality such as “Hunting Seasons and Regulations by Location,” “Where to Fish,” and more.

Printed copies of the Outdoor Annual can be picked up at license retailers when customers purchase their license or at TPWD offices Additionally, the Outdoor Annual website offers the option to download and print all or select sections of the Outdoor Annual.

The My Texas Hunt Harvest app, which can be accessed through the Outdoor Annual app, enables electronic submission of mandatory harvest reports, including alligator gar harvest reporting. The app also allows hunters to complete their on-site registration for many TPWD public hunting lands. Hunters can hunt on more than one million acres of public land with the purchase of an Annual Public Hunting Permit.

When buying their license, resident hunters and anglers may wish to purchase an entry in the Lifetime License Drawing. Three lucky winners will each win a Lifetime Super Combo License and never need to buy a Texas hunting or fishing license again.  Entries are $5 each and can be purchased online, by phone or at any license retailer. The first entry deadline is Sept. 30.

When making their purchase, license buyers can also add a donation of $1, $5, $10 or $20 to help support the Hunters for the Hungry program or the Fund for Veterans Assistance. Donations to the Hunters for the Hungry program provide hunters with a way to donate legally harvested deer to participating processors. The processed meat goes to local food banks to feed Texas families in need. Donations to the Fund for Veterans Assistance program provide grants to veteran service organizations and nonprofit charitable institutions, assisting veterans and their families at the community level throughout Texas.

For frequently asked questions about Texas hunting and fishing licenses, visit the TPWD website.

World’s Largest Steam Locomotive to stop in Pottsboro on 2021 Big Boy Tour

World’s Largest Steam Locomotive to stop in Pottsboro on 2021 Big Boy Tour

On August 13, 2021, Union Pacific’s Big Boy No 4014 to stop in Pottsboro

The world’s largest steam locomotive returns with “The Big Boy 2021 Tour” leaving Cheyenne, Wyoming, August 5, and making stops in communities along the origianl route.  It will stop in Pottsboro at Grayson Street from 1:45 pm – 2:15pm on August 13, 2021.

Union Pacific 4014“Weighing in at 1.2 million pounds, the Big Boy makes a big impression in communities it visits, reminding us of bygone days and the important role the railroad continues to play in our global economy,” said Scott Moore, senior vice president – Corporate Relations and chief administrative officer. “This summer, we are proud to announce that the Big Boy will be back to tour through 10 of the states and hundreds of the communities which Union Pacific serves.”

Twenty-five Big Boys were built exclusively for Union Pacific, the first of which was delivered in 1941 to handle the steep terrain between Cheyenne and Ogden. Of the eight still in existence, No. 4014 is the world’s only operating Big Boy. The other seven can be found on display in Cheyenne, Wyoming; Denver, Colorado; Frisco, Texas; Green Bay, Wisconsin; Omaha, Nebraska; Scranton, Pennsylvania; and St. Louis, Missouri.

Union Pacific strongly encourages visitors to keep safety top of mind while viewing and photographing No. 4014 on its journey. For everyone’s safety:

  • Remember, trains can’t stop quickly to avoid people or vehicles on the tracks.
  • A train’s distance and speed can be deceiving.
  • The average train overhangs the track by at least three feet – take extra precaution and stand back at least 25 feet.
  • Railroad tracks, trestles, yards and right of way are private property.
  • Never assume tracks are abandoned or inactive – always expect a train.

The Experience the Union Pacific Rail Car, a multi-media walk-through exhibition providing a glimpse at the past while telling the story of modern-day railroading, will accompany the Big Boy on its tour. A steam tracking map showing No. 4014’s location and route will be available at upsteam.com

 

Invasive Silver Carp found in Choctaw Creek Downstream from Lake Texoma

Invasive Silver Carp found in Choctaw Creek Downstream from Lake Texoma

Anglers Urged to Prevent Bait Bucket Transfers

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) received a report in late June that an invasive silver carp had been spotted in Choctaw Creek, a Texas tributary of the Red River approximately 15 miles downstream from Lake Texoma. A bow angler, Stephen Banaszak, first reported the finding and two specimens were provided to TPWD and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) who confirmed they were silver carp.

“These are the first reports of silver carp from Texas waters, although they have previously been found in other areas of the Red River including just downstream from Lake Texoma in Oklahoma waters in 2019,” said Dan Bennett, TPWD fisheries management biologist. “Invasive carp pose a significant risk to Lake Texoma’s ecosystem and boaters and there is adequate flow and upstream river area for them to become established and reproduce in the lake if introduced.”

Silver CarpTo prevent the spread of these invasive species, which look much like shad when small, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission passed regulations making it illegal to transport any live nongame fish from these water bodies. Anglers are urged to follow these rules to prevent introducing these species to other water bodies when using them as bait.

“These invasive carp are not native to the U.S. but have been introduced and become established and problematic in numerous states, primarily in the Mississippi River Basin. Both of these invasive carp species are filter feeders and have the potential to cause significant changes in native fish populations by competing with other filter feeding fish species such as shad and buffalo, and even larval sportfish that also rely on plankton as a food source in their first couple of months,” said Monica McGarrity, TPWD Senior Scientist for Aquatic Invasive Species.

“Silver carp can also pose a risk to humans, as they can jump up to 10 feet out of the water when startled by the sounds of watercraft, often jumping into boats, sometimes injuring boaters. When present in large numbers, jumping silver carp can be a significant hazard.”Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

Young silver and bighead carp are similar in appearance to shad but can be identified by their low-set eyes—shad’s eyes are located near the top of their heads—and the lack of a long, whip-like segment on the dorsal fin. Silver and bighead carp are also similar in appearance to each other, but silver carp have silver, rather than gray, bodies and a ‘keel’ or ridge that runs the length of the belly from the anal fin all the way to the throat, whereas the keel on bighead carp stops at the pelvic fin. Both species can grow quite large, with silver carp reaching approximately 3 feet in length and nearly 60 pounds and bighead carp reaching up to 4 and a half feet in length and nearly 90 pounds. Both species are easily confused with shad or even minnows when small.

TPWD, in collaboration with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, and USFWS, is currently working with researchers at Texas Tech University and Auburn University to conduct research on invasive carp. The project will assess the population status and distribution of bighead carp and silver carp across the Red River Basin, including the Red River downstream of Lake Texoma and the Sulphur River, a major Red River tributary, downstream of Lake Wright Patman. The project will also collect baseline data on native fish populations that may be negatively impacted by the invasive carp.

Anyone who catches either silver or bighead carp in Texas waters is asked to report the sighting with location information and photos to AquaticInvasives@tpwd.texas.gov. Silver and bighead carp are prohibited exotic species in Texas and must be killed upon possession by beheading, gutting, gill-cutting or other means or placed on ice. Neither species can be possessed live.

For more information on silver and bighead carp, visit the USGS Nonindigenous Aquatic Species database webpages below:

Silver carp: https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/factsheet.aspx?SpeciesID=549
Bighead carp: https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/factsheet.aspx?SpeciesID=551

Regulations for the possession and transport of exotic aquatic species can be viewed in the Outdoor Annual.

Source:  https://tpwd.texas.gov/newsmedia/releases/