AUSTIN – The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is extending the time frame allowing hunters to use maintained permanent duck blind structures through the 2015-16 waterfowl season on the Caddo Lake Wildlife Management Area.
In issuing an Executive Order granting an additional year of permanent duck blind use on the Caddo Lake WMA, TPWD Executive Director Carter Smith made it clear the decision does not change the department’s intent to prohibit permanent duck blinds.
“We recognize and respect the uniqueness of this situation,” said Smith. “We understand folks have had these structures in place for a long time. But, this extension in no way deters our obligation to provide fair and equitable use of this public resource for all hunters.”
The Executive Order permits duck hunters to continue to use existing permanent duck blinds on the Caddo Lake WMA through the 2015-16 waterfowl hunting season. Individuals claiming those duck blinds will have a reasonable time period to remove blinds or blind materials. After that, TPWD will take steps to remove the blinds.
TPWD staff will begin removing what it deems dilapidated structures on the WMA as time and resources allow and will continue to remove dilapidated or abandoned duck blinds through next summer. The process for removal of all duck blinds could take several years to complete.
Because the state owns the 8,128-acre Caddo Lake WMA, including the lake bottom, none of the duck blinds within its boundary can legally be claimed as private property. Individuals who are unsure if their duck blind is within the Caddo Lake WMA boundary, should contact the Region 3 office for assistance (903) 566-1626 ext. 221. GPS coordinates of those structures are preferred for exact location purposes, but not necessary.
“This change will make the area more available to all public hunters and will provide waterfowl hunting opportunities consistent with all other WMAs,” TPWD Wildlife Division Director Clayton Wolf said. “Hunters can boat or walk in, but no one hunter or group of hunters will have preferential rights over others.”