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Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge FAQ

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    How do I get to the Refuge?

    From East Dallas: Go North on Highway 75 to US 82 west in Sherman. From US 82, exit onto Highway 289 north. Follow 289 for 4.5 miles and look for the Hagerman Refuge directional sign at Refuge Road. Turn left and the Refuge will be 4 miles ahead.

    From Central Dallas: Take Hwy 289 north, cross over US 82 and travel for 4.5 miles. Look for the Hagerman NWR directional sign near Refuge Road. Turn Left and the Refuge will be 4 miles ahead.

    From Oklahoma: Take Hwy 75 south to Exit# 69, Highway 120 in Denison, go west on 120 to FM1417, travel south to Refuge Road and turn right. The refuge will be 6 miles ahead. Coming from I-35 to the west, head east on US 82 then north on 289.

    When is the refuge open?

    • The entire Refuge is open from Sunrise to Sunset (Unless closed due to flooding or special occasion).
    • Travel through the refuge to get to the other side is permitted during nighttime, however, stopping is not.
    • The Visitor center is open from 7:30am – 4:00pm Monday through Saturday. Sunday from 1:00pm – 5:00pm.
    • Gift shop: 9:00am - 4:00pm Monday through Friday. Sunday 1:00pm - 5:00pm.
    • Information desk is open and staffed by volunteers every day except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day.
    • During hunts: Units open to hunting will be closed off to the general public and signs will be posted at each gated area showing “HUNT IN PROGRESS-DO NOT ENTER”.


    Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge General Rules and Regulations

    • Refuge lands are open from sunrise to sunset daily. Occasionally, some roads may be closed due to flooding if Lake Texoma is above the normal elevation.
    • Please do not litter. It is unsightly for visitors and unsafe for birds and wildlife.
    • Visitors are here to enjoy the quietness of nature. Please do not play your radio or other electronic device loudly.
    • Your dog is welcome at the refuge but must remain on a leash and under control of a person at all times outside a vehicle. Dogs are not allowed in refuge waters.
    • Always take discarded monofilament (fishing line) with you. It is deadly for birds who become entangled in the line, then the line becomes entrapped in trees.
    • Public camping or overnight parking is not allowed. The RV sites you may notice by the Visitor Center are only for official Workampers who work at the refuge in exchange for on-site camping.
    • It is illegal to remove anything from the refuge including plants, flowers, feathers, downed wood, driftwood, rocks, etc. without a Special Use Permit which may be available for some purposes. For more information call the refuge office at 903-786-2826.
    • Foraging: the collection of fruits, nuts, berries or mushrooms for personal consumption is allowed for up to one gallon per person per day.
    • Unless hunting a legal game species with a permit from the refuge, it is illegal to kill anything including snakes.
    • Campfires, fireworks, and swimming are not allowed.
    • Driving is only allowed on open, gravel roads. Please do not drive off-road. ATV’s, UTV’s, and horses are not allowed on the refuge.
    • The use of drones for any purpose is prohibited on all national wildlife refuges.
    • Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge is here for everyone to enjoy. Please be safe and do your part to help ensure others will have an enjoyable and safe visit as well!

    Fishing on the Refuge

    • Fishing from bank and creeks is year round.
    • Fishing from stock ponds is allowed from March 15 to end of September.
    • If fishing in Lake Texoma or creek, you will either need a Lake Texoma license or a Texas fishing license (TPWD website / Academy / Walmart / etc.).
    • Common Fish species: Black bass, sand bass, small mouth bass, crappie, bluegill, catfish, and stiped bass. For more information look here: fishingmap.pdf (friendsofhagerman.com)
    • Please follow TPWD bagging limits for Lake Texoma. Limit information: Fishing and Boating Information

    Boating on the Refuge

    • Non-motorized boats are allowed on the refuge from March 15 until October 1 annually.
    • Year-round non-motorized boats are allowed in Big Mineral Creek from the point it connects with Lake Texoma Upstream as far as possible. Also year-round this area is a NO WAKE ZONE. See Boating Regulations.

    Hunting on the Refuge

    We have seasonal hunting of deer, turkey, feral hog, rabbit, squirrel, and dove. Check out our webpage for more info at Friends of Hagerman NWR Foundation - Hunt, Boat, Fish or visit the US Fish and Wildlife Hunt Areas and Applications

    Camping on the refuge? Are RV pads on the refuge for camping?

    • No. RV pads are for work campers only. Try Eisenhower State Park for camping.
    • Organized Boy and Girl Scout camping is allowed in certain areas with a Special Use Permit from the refuge.  Contact Paul Balkenbush at paul_balkenbush@fws.gov for more information.

    What is there to do on the refuge?

    • We have a visitor center with educational displays, a 4-mile wildlife drive that passes beside Lake Texoma, with 6 different habitats on the refuge (Agricultural fields, forest, grassland, wetlands, riparian, open water). We also have 5 different hiking trails.
    • Bicycle or walk any road/trail gated/ungated unless otherwise posted.
    • Drive vehicle on any ungated road.
    • Seasonal boating and pond fishing from March 15 – end of September.
    • Bank fishing on lakes and creeks year-round.
    • Seasonal hunts for deer (archery only), wild turkey, feral hog, and small game.

    Do you sell America the Beautiful Passes / Senior / Access passes?

    Yes. Refuge staff must be available to sell passes. You may get a pass from Monday through Friday 7:30am – 4:00pm passes are not available on the weekends or Federal Holidays.

    • For Senior pass: Must be 62+ years old and pay a one-time fee of $80 for a lifetime pass OR $20 for an annual pass.
    • Access passes are free and either proof of disability or your signature on an affidavit is required.
    • Recipient must be present with Identification to receive pass.

      Best time of the year to see birds?

      It depends on the types of birds you want to see. For more information look here: Friends of Hagerman NWR Foundation - Birds

      • November through February: best for ducks and geese. Ross’s and Snow Geese depart depending on winter wheat availability.
      • Spring and Fall: Best for shorebirds and wading birds. Meadowlarks and Dickcissels nest.
      • Summer: Eagles, painted & indigo buntings, scarlet & summer tanagers nest.
      • Year-round: Great blue herons, mallards, and wood ducks.


      Where is the audio tour?

      Down the entrance from the visitor center gate is the first stop. You can grab a pamphlet with more information on how to start the tour. For more information look here: Audio Auto Tour

      Tram Tour?

      Tram tours are now being done on both Saturday and Sunday. Sign up at the Friends of Hagerman website and input your information, there is no charge for the tour. Tour takes about 1.5 hours. Led by a refuge volunteer. Reservations: Friends of Hagerman NWR Foundation - Tram Tours

      Bird counts on Tuesday mornings?

      The bird count is lead by expert birder Jack Chiles every Tuesday, and his bird census results are reported to Cornell University.  Occasionally, there is room in the van for an avid birder to join the group, contact us for more information.  

          Are dogs allowed on the refuge?

          Dogs are welcome if they are on a leash at all times and under control of their owners. Picking up after pet is expected.

          Do you allow airboats or jet skis on the Refuge?

          No. They disturb the wildlife on the refuge.

          Are Horses/ATV’s/Off Road Vehicles allowed on the Refuge?

          Not on the Refuge. The Corps of Engineers does allow them on some of their Lake Texoma lands. Call them for information at (903) 465-4990.

            Why is the refuge flooded and when will the roads be open again?

            The refuge is located on part of Lake Texoma. One of the primary purposes of the lake is for flood control and refuge lands are within the area where the USACE can store water as needed to prevent severe flooding downstream. When areas below Denison Dam are saturated, water cannot be released fast enough to keep up with inflow from the water shed. This causes the lake water level to rise. Refuge personnel have no control over the water level and must take action to protect our roads and facilities as much as possible. The roads will be repaired and opened as soon as the water recedes, and they have time to dry out (1-2 days).

            How the Lake Texoma level affects the Refuge:

            Friends of Hagerman NWR Foundation - Flood Graphic

            Injured/orphaned/caught wild animal or bird. Will you pick it up or can I bring it to you?

            • No. We do not have facilities or training to care for injured/orphaned animals here at the refuge. You can call the Texas Wildlife Hotline at 972-234-9453 and find out where the closest licensed rehabilitation center is for you.
            • It is a felony to release any animal, wild or domestic, on any national wildlife refuge.

            A baby bird fell out of its nest. What do I do?

            Attempt to place bird back into its nest is the best solution. It is normal for birds to fall when trying to fly for the first time. If you can not reach the nest, make a substitute nest (out of a basket), place nesting material in it, and hoist it up near the original nest. Leave it alone. The parents will return to care for the young.

            I think Avian Flu killed many birds near me. Am I in danger of transmission?

            Transmission is low but not impossible. If a bird has contracted Avian Flu it would have diarrhea, mucus, difficulty breathing, purple and swollen body parts. Avoid location of ill birds.

            Contacts

            Local wildlife biologist: tpwd.texas.gov/landwater/land/habitats/county (Find your local Biologist)

            Texas Animal Health Commission: 1-800-550-8242

            Tram Reservation: Online at the Friends of Hagerman website

            Injured Wildlife (Game/Deer/Bird): Call TPWD information line at 1-800-792-1112

            Injured Wildlife: DFW Wildlife hotline at 972-234-9453

            Injured Birds Rehab: Rogers Wildlife Rehabilitation 972-225-4000

            Injured Raptors ONLY (Hawks, Falcons, Owls, Osprey, Kites, etc.): Blackland Prairie Raptor Center 469-964-9696

            Diseased bird: Texas Animal Health Commission 1-800-550-8242


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            Friends of Hagerman NWR

            The refuge is open from sunrise to sunset every day of the year, drive on any road unless gated.

            Admission to the refuge, parking and most events/activities are funded by donations and powered by volunteers. 

            6465 Refuge Road

            Sherman, TX 75092

            Contact Us

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            Please add friendsofhagerman@gmail.com to your contacts to ensure delivery of registration confirmations, account information and the Featherless Flyer

            Special thanks to Nancy Miller for the amazing photo of the Visitor Center 

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