On Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt announced an increase in hunting and fishing opportunities on more than 2.3 million acres of land at 147 National Wildlife Refuges and National Fish Hatcheries across the country.

That includes one right here in our own backyard with the Tishomingo NWR seeing an expansion in method of take rules for sport fishing. Those regulations will now include the opportunity for bowfishing at the refuge on the northern shores of Lake Texoma.

Several other refuges in Texas and Oklahoma are a part of this expansion, which includes new and varied hunting opportunities for species like migratory game birds, upland game birds, big game, and even exotic game.

Refuges on that list in Texas and Oklahoma include the Washita NWR near Elk City, Okla.; the Wichita Mountains NWR near Lawton, Okla.; the Balcones Canyonland NWR near Marble Falls, Texas; the Buffalo Lake NWR near Canyon, Texas; and the Laguna Atascosa NWR and Lower Rio Grande Valley NWR in South Texas.

According to the USFWS, the final rule will publish in the Federal Register and be available at www.regulations.gov, Docket Number: FWS-HQ-NWRS-2020-0013. To see a list of refuge lands on the expansion list, visit www.fws.gov/home/feature/2020/2020-2021-Station-Specific-Hunting-and-Fishing-Final-Rule-Narratives.pdf.