Fishing & Boating News

Paddling Strokes Opportunity to Visit the Neches River National Wildlife Refuge

by: Michael Banks, DDS,

(Feb 16, 2017 - Jacksonville, TX) Folks, 

Here's an opportunity to visit the Neches River National Wildlife Refuge!  The event is a Field Day on Saturday, February 25.  This is one of the first times the Public has been invited on to the Refuge since the US Fish and Wildlife Service established the Neches Refuge in 2006.

Information on events are below.  I plan to be there so come out to the Neches Refuge and let's visit.  The long range weather forecast looks good with a high temperature predicted to be 68 degrees with partly cloudy skies.  If this holds, it should be a great day to be outdoors in the East Texas forest - a place I love to be.

You will have the opportunity at this event to join the Friends of the Neches River National Wildlife Refuge.  Most of the Board Members of the Friends group will be there for you to meet.  I think the dues are $25 for individuals and other levels for couples and families and life time members.  Plan to join and be a part of the development of the Neches Refuge.

See you out there; Until we put in again,
Neches River Wildlife Refuge Field Day Information:
The Friends of the Refuge and other organizations will join the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) in hosting a Field Day at the Neches River National Wildlife Refuge Saturday, February 25, 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm.
The Neches River National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) was established to protect the Neches River, the exceptional hardwood forests along the river, and the abundant wildlife that lives in or visits the Neches River bottomlands.  A special focus of the refuge is protecting birds such as ducks, geese, and songbirds which migrate up and down the North American Central Flyway, the “interstate highway” for millions of migratory birds.
The US Fish and Wildlife Service recently named Leo Gustafson as the new manager of the Neches River National Wildlife Refuge. 
“We’re delighted to have Leo on board at the refuge,” said Dr. John A. Von Dawson, president of the Friends of the Refuge.  “Having a manager on site is exactly what the refuge needs to turn it into a wonderful outdoor resource for area families and long-distance visitors.”
Gustafson comes to the Neches River NWR from serving as Supervisor of the Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge in south Texas.  Gustafson’s degree in wildlife management, and his experience at Laguna Atascosa, qualifies him in the wildlife habitat management, visitor services, and administrative leadership needed to run the refuge.
Field Day activities will begin with a short program introducing Gustafson and describing the scientific work at the refuge and the progress in getting the refuge open full time. There will be opportunity for guided short walks along the Neches River.  As a special treat graduate biology students from University of Texas at Tyler will conduct a crayfish net dip, to acquaint visitors with this unique refuge resident.
The entrance to the Refuge and the Field Day is at on the east side of the Neches River bridge on US Hwy 79, halfway between Palestine and Jacksonville.  There’ll be signs on the highway and people to direct parking. 
The public is welcome at no charge.  In the event of bad weather call 903-391-2444 or 903-714-0901 for information.  Drinking water will be provided on site.  Attendees are asked to bring a lawn chair or camp stool. 
Friends of the Neches River, Texas Conservation Alliance, The Conservation Fund, and other organizations will join USFWS and the Friends of the Refuge in hosting the event.