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List of Texas Wildlife Management Areas facts for kids

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Texas Wildlife Management Areas are divided into seven regions of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department with the goal of managing and conserving the natural and cultural resources of Texas. There are 714,094 acres (288,984 ha) under management of the Division of Wildlife often referred to as a WMA.

WMA areas

  • Area 1: Panhandle/High Plains Wildlife District includes five WMAs
  • Area 2: Prairies and Lakes
  • Area 3: Pineywoods
  • Area 4: Gulf Coast
  • Area 5: South Texas Plains
  • Area 6: Hill Country
  • Area 7: Big Bend Country

There is some confusion as there are also listed eight Wildlife Management Areas that roughly coincide with the 10 ecoregions.

  • Trans Pecos
  • High Plains/Panhandle
  • Cross Timbers
  • Hill Country
  • Post Oak Savannah
  • Pineywoods
  • Oak Prairie
  • South Texas Plains

WMA list

The following are all designated Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) in Texas:

Name County Size Description Region
Alabama Creek WMA Trinity County 14,561 acres Part of the Davy Crockett National Forest Area 3
Alazan Bayou WMA Nacogdoches County 2,063 acres Purchased in 1991 for bottomland hardwood forest preservation around the Angelina River that includes Loco Bayou and Moral Creek. Area 3
Angelina-Neches/Dam B WMA Jasper County and Tyler County 12,636 acres Located at the fork of the Angelina River, Neches River and the B.A. Steinhagen Reservoir. 7,000 acres are part of the reservoir. Area 3
Atkinson Island WMA Harris and Chambers County 150 acres Located on the southern end of Atkinson Island and acceptable by boat only. The WMA was donated by Conoco, Inc. as a non-game wildlife preserve. Area 4
Bannister WMA San Augustine County 25,695 acres Part of the Angelina National Forest under a memorandum of understanding with the US Forest Service. The WMA is situated on a peninsula extending into Sam Rayburn Reservoir and is designated an eastern wild turkey restoration site. Area 3
Big Lake Bottom WMA Anderson County Purchased 1990 Area 2
Black Gap WMA Brewster County Approximately 103,000 acres/additional 16,000 acres being added Located 55 miles south of Marathon Big Bend National Park

The Texas Game and Oyster Commission purchased 54,000 acres from the Combs Cattle Company in 1948. Location is 55 miles south of Marathon. Shares 25 miles of the Rio Grande with the Mexican State of Coahuila to the south and where the Serranias del Burro and Sierra del Carmen mountain ranges. Native bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis mexicana) was almost extirpated but re-introduction efforts have proven successful. Twenty-five square miles (16,000 acres) are being added to the WMA with a 2018 approved purchase plan.

Area 7
Caddo Lake WMA Marion County and Harrison County 8,005 acres A state park managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and operated as a WMA. Large portion purchased in 1992. Chosen as a wetland of international importance, specifically as a waterfowl habitat and protected under the Ramsar Convention. Contains a permanently flooded and largest bald cypress swamp in the world as well as a seasonally flooded bottomland hardwoods. Area 3
Caddo National Grasslands WMA Fannin County 17,873 acres Designated a National Grassland. Operated under two units: Ladonia Unit and the Bois D'Arc Unit. Area 2
Candy Cain Abshier WMA Chambers County 207 acres Purchased in 1990 and located near Smith Point along Galveston and Trinity Bay. A birding center with an observatory, a hawk watch tower. Area 4
Cedar Creek Islands WMA Henderson County 160 acres Three islands in Cedar Creek Reservoir. Area 2
Chaparral WMA La Salle County and Dimmit County 15,200 Purchased from the Light family in 1969, as a research and demonstration facility, with funds provided by the Pittman–Robertson Act. In 2008 a destructive fire burned over 60,000 acres including ninety-five percent of the WMA. Area 5
Cooper WMA Delta County, Hopkins County 19,280 acres Adjacent to Jim Chapman Lake/Cooper Dam Area 2
D.R. Wintermann WMA Wharton County 246 acres A wetlands area was created with water from the Colorado River that attracts migratory birds including bald eagles Area 4
East Texas Conservation Center A TPWD Jasper Fish Hatchery that started in 1932. Area 3
Elephant Mountain WMA Brewster County 23,147 acres Located 26 miles south of Alpine the land was donated in 1985. Wildlife includes the desert bighorn-sheep, pronghorn antelope, scaled quail, as well as the whiptail lizards, and spadefoot toads. Area 7
Gene Howe WMA Hemphill County 5,886 acres Using Pittman-Robertson funds the WMA was purchased in 1950 and 1951. Area 1
Gene Howe WMA - W.A. "Pat" Murphy Unit Lipscomb County 432 acres A unit of the Gene Howe WMA that includes 89 acres of creek bottom. The unit is used for instructional, educational, and research purposes. Area 1
Guadalupe Delta WMA Calhoun County, Victoria County and Refugio County 7411.34 acres The WMA has four units: Mission Lake Unit (4,447.62 acres), Hynes Bay Unit (1007.72 acres), Guadalupe River Unit (1138 acres), and the San Antonio Unit (818 acres). State and federally threatened species observed: brown pelican, reddish egret, white-faced ibis, wood stork, bald eagle, white-tailed hawk, peregrine falcon, and whooping crane. Rare/endangered species: diamondback terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin littoralis). Area 4
Gus Engeling WMA Anderson County 11,000-acres 21 miles northwest of Palestine. The unit was named for the first biologist assigned to the area who was killed by a poacher just before Christmas in 1951. Area 2
J.D. Murphree WMA McMullen county 24,498 acres The Big Hill Unit (8,312 acres) was acquired in 1958, the Lost Lake Unit was purchased in 1983, expanded in 1997, and renamed Salt Bayou Unit (15,595 acres). The Hillebrandt Unit (591 acres) was added in 1987. The American alligator is abundant and harvested annually by special drawn permit. Rare/endangered species: piping plover (Charadrius melodus), green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas), hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricate), ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys kempii), loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta), and the Louisiana black bear (Ursus americanus luteolus). Area 4
James E. Daughtrey Live Oak County and McMullen county 34,000 acres The WMA is named after state game warden James E. Daughtrey, who was fatally injured in a vehicle accident while pursuing suspects in McMullen County. Area 5
Justin Hurst Brazoria County 11,938 10,311 acres was purchased from 1985 to 1988. Another 1,627 was added in 1998. The land was originally part of the Peach Point Plantation was owned by James F. Perry and his wife Emily, who purchased it in 1832 from her brother Stephen F. Austin, and it was a slave plantation until 1863. Emily gave her son Bryan and his wife Lavinia 200 acres they called the Durazno Plantation and a part of this became the WMA. Area 4
Keechi Creek WMA Leon County 1,500 acres Purchased in 1986 from a wildlife habitat mitigation obligation of the Brazos River Authority because of the land lost from the construction of the Sterling C. Robertson Dam (Robertson County) on Lake Limestone, Navasota River. Area 2
Kerr WMA 6,493 acres The WMA was purchased from the Presbyterian MO Ranch Assembly in 1950 under the Pittman-Robertson Act using Federal Aid for Wildlife Restoration Program funds. Area 6
Las Palomas WMA, Anacua Unit Cameron County 222 acres Used as a dove breeding habitat. Area 5
Las Palomas WMA, Lower Rio Grande Valley Units Cameron County, Hidalgo County and Presidio County 3,311 acres Location is in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. Area 5
Lower Neches WMA Orange County near Orange 7,998 acres The WMA is eight miles southwest of Orange with the Sabine Lake on the east side. The Old River Unit borders the Neches River on the north side and has a wildlife viewing platform. Area 4
M.O. Neasloney Gonzales County 100 acres Used as a wildlife ecology field. Area 2
Mad Island Matagorda County 7,200 acres Purchased in 1987 and located just west of Matagorda Area 4
Mason Mountain WMA 5,301 A former exotic game ranch acquired through personal donation by the TPWD in 1997. There are species of the scimitar-horned oryx, Gemsbok, common Waterbuck, Greater Kudu, Thomson's Gazelle and the axis deer. Area 6
Matador WMA Cottle County 28,183 acres Purchased in 1959 for the purposes of wildlife research, wildlife management, and public use. Area 1
Matagorda Island Calhoun County 56,688 acres A 38 mile long island that is from one mile to four and one half miles wide. Jointly owned by the Texas General Land Office and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, cooperatively managed as the Matagorda Island National Wildlife Refuge and State Natural Area, by the Texas Parks and Wildlife. The Matagorda Island Light (1852) is still found on the island. Area 4
Moore Plantation WMA Sabine County and Jasper County 26,772 acres The WMA is part of the Sabine National Forest under a cooperative agreement with the US Forest Service (majority land owner), Texas Parks and Wildlife, and the adjacent land owners. The endangered red cockaded woodpecker is present. Area 3
Muse WMA (McGillivray and Leona McKie Muse WMA) Brown County 1,972.5 acres 15 miles northeast of Brownwood
Nannie M. Stringfellow Brazoria County 3,664 acres The WMA is located around 5 miles south of Brazoria, 7 miles southeast of Sweeny and northwest of San Bernard National Wildlife Refuge and Justin Hurst Wildlife Management Area.
Nature Center Smith County in Tyler 82 acres Previously a bird hatchery and has a pond stocked with rainbow trout. Area 3
North Toledo Bend Shelby adjacent to Toledo Bend Reservoir. 3,650 acres Managed under a license agreement with the Sabine River Authority of Texas. Area 3
Old Sabine Bottom Smith County 5,158 acres Located five miles northeast of Lindale between the Old Sabine River Channel and the Sabine River. Area 3
Pat Mayse Lamar County 8,925 acres Approximately 11 miles northwest of Paris, just southwest of Chicota wraps around the western side of Pat Mayse Lake. Sanders Creek, Craddock Creek and Sand Branch run through the WMA.


Area 2
Playa Lakes, Armstrong Unit Castro County 160 acres Roadside viewing only of migratory waterfowl and shorebirds. Area 1
Playa Lakes, Dimmitt Unit Cottle County 422 acres Purchased in 1990 there are 345 acres of farmland planted with a native grass mixture and a 77-acre playa basin. Area 1
Playa Lakes, Taylor Lakes Unit Donley County 530 acres Purchased in 1993. Located about 60 miles southeast of Amarillo and 50 miles northwest of Childress near the community of Lelia Lake. Note: A playa is a form of geographic sink often referred to as a dry lake in the U.S. The three related WMA playas seasonally have water and then dry by evaporation. Area 1
Powderhorn Ranch WMA Calhoun County 15,000 acres Added in 2018 the ranch was funded largely by the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund administered by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. Around 4,000 acres will be returned to grassland prairie and the remaining land is under a five-year plan to be returned to the State Parks division for a future state park.
Redhead Pond Nueces County 20 acres Located in Flour Bluff. Approximately 10 acres of marsh with a 10-acre pond and observation platform. Also known as Redhead Pond #066. Area 4
Richland Creek Wildlife Management Area Anderson County Cyauga is about halfway between the WMA and Gus Engeling WMA. The WMA is divided into the north unit and south unit. Severe flooding in December 2015 caused major damage to levees and to all six pumps supplying water from the Trinity River for three months. Area 2
Sam Houston National Forest WMA Montgomery County, San Jacinto County, and Walker County. 161,508 acres 47,609 are located in Montgomery County, 59,746 acres in San Jacinto County, and 54,153 acres in Walker County. Operated under a memorandum of agreement with the US Forest Service. Area 3
Sierra Diablo WMA Hudspeth County and Culberson County 11,625 acres Acquired in 1945 as a sanctuary for the last remaining desert bighorn sheep in Texas. Area 7
Tawakoni WMA Hunt County and Van Zandt County 2335 acres 1,561 acres are owned by Sabine River Authority of Texas, the WMA Pawnee Inlet Unit (north of the lake) has 1,381 acres, the Caddo Creek Unit (east of the lake) has 162 acres (Hunt County), the Duck Cove Unit (south of the lake) has 792 acres, with a small portion in Hunt County and the remaining land in Van Zandt County Area 2
Tony Houseman WMA Orange County Located at the Texas travel center from I-10, on the west side of the Sabine River. There is a 600 ft boardwalk leading from the travel center building into the swamp for wildlife viewing. Area 4
Welder Flats WMA Calhoun County 1480 acres Owned by the General Land Office. Viewing of the endangered whooping crane. Area 4
White Oak Creek WMA Bowie County, Cass County, Morris County and Titus County. 25,777 acres Mostly centered around the confluence of the Sulphur River and White Oak Creek. Managed under license agreement with the US Army Corps of Engineers. Area 3
Yoakum Dunes WMA Cochran County, Terry County and Yoakum County. 14,037 acres Located near Lubbock. A primary goal for the WMA is the recovery and preservation of the threatened lesser prairie chicken. Area 1
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