Page 1

JUNE 2017

Central Texas Summer life on the lake See page 2

Riverfest returns to Brownwood’s Riverside Park July 4 See page 3


Glen Rose Reporter

2 Central Texas Outdoors 

Friday, June 30, 2017

A variety of boating activities are just a few of the ways to enjoy time at Lake Brownwood this summer.


Summer life on the lake Plethora of activities to enjoy at Lake Brownwood

By Derrick Stuckly

The summer months provide more opportunities to enjoy the outdoors than any other time of the year, and Lake Brownwood and Lake Brownwood State Park have a plethora of activities for those interested. Lake Brownwood is a 7,300-surface-acre reservoir created by damming the Pecan Bayou, which was a tributary of the Colorado River. And again this summer, the lake’s water level is at full capacity, which allows visitors to experience all available amenities. “With the exception of a brief period in 2011, we’ve managed to always have at least one boat ramp open,” said Lake Brownwood State Park Superintendent John Holland. “The opportunities are much better now where they don’t have to hike a quarter of a mile to get to the water in the swimming area, and you don’t have to worry about the fish falling off.” Drought is a distant memory in regard to Lake Brownwood, and attendance is near an all-time high. “All three boat ramps are open this summer and we’re seeing more boats out on the lake than we have in years past,” Holland said. “The big activities here in the summer time are fishing, water recreation, swimming and boating.” Fishing can take place from boats or on the shore, and activity has recently picked up, according to Holland. “The fishing has been good here lately,” Holland said. “Two things have been caught most often. Catfish has been good for the last several weeks. Blue cats and flat heads both, they’re catching quite a few of BULLETIN FILE PHOTO SEE LAKE, 12

With Lake Brownwood near full capacity, plenty of wakeboarders are hitting the water this summer.

Friday, June 30, 2017 

Central Texas Outdoors

Riverfest returns to Brownwood’s Riverside Park July 4 By Graham Dudley


Hundreds attend Riverfest at Riverside Park in Brownwood, which includes a raft race (pictured above), vendors, a car show, games for kids and more.


The third annual Riverfest celebration returns this Fourth of July at Brownwood’s Riverside Park with food, fun and games for the entire family. Scheduled activities include raft races, Knockerball, laser tag, bounce houses, live music, a cook-off and a car show, plus more than 30 vendors with food and merchandise. The event will run from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and is presented by the Brownwood Jaycees. Kyle Oxford is the Jaycees’ management vice-president. He said the group revived Riverfest three years ago after a 20-year hiatus. “We want to invest in the community,” Oxford said, “to give them things where they can spend time with their family and just enrich their lives in general.” He said the event will give families something to do with their Fourth before the sun

goes down and the fireworks begin. “We’ve got 13 bounce houses and water slides,” Oxford said. “And we’ve got the Heartland Cruisers to come out and put on a show.” The Heartland Cruisers are a local nonprofit that maintains and shows classic cars. For the raft races, teams of two and four rafters will compete for cash prizes on the Pecan Bayou. First, second and third place teams will receive $350, $150 and $50, respectively. The cook-off will have brisket, chicken, ribs and beans categories and will be sanctioned by the Lone Star Barbecue Society. The Jaycees are still accepting applications for vendors, cook-off participants and raft racers. All three can be accessed at Riverfest entry will be $2 for children and $3 for adults.

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Friday, June 30, 2017


As temperatures rise summer safety becomes important, which includes making sure your pets have fresh water and shade when being left outdoors during the day.

Staying safe through the heat of summer By Autumn Owens

Texans know that with summer comes high heat, and along with it comes safety risks for yourself, your pets, children and even your vehicle. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind as temperatures rise. Pets Some pets love the outdoors, but there are some things pet owners must take into consideration before leaving them all day in the heat while at work. Diane McCoy, director of the Erath County Humane Society, gives some tips for summer pet safety. “They need shade and fresh water, and that doesn’t mean you glance outside and leave a little bit in there. Dump it out and put fresh water,” McCoy said. “Shade where there’s a breeze is perfect and swimming pools are good if they can get in them a little bit.”

If you don’t have a pool, McCoy said one of those small plastic baby pools would work or just anything they can stand in. “Anything they can put their feet in is good because they cool through the pads of their paws,” she said. “And just monitor how long they’re outside. If you don’t have to leave them out for long periods of time that would be good. If you see them become listless you can put them in a cool bath to bring down their body temperature.” Outdoors When spending time outdoors, whether it’s for grilling in the backyard or playing a game, our bodies can react negatively in high temps. “Stay hydrated and drink plenty of fluids, and try to stay out of the sun during the late afternoon when it is the hottest,” said Lt. Gregg Schrumpf with the Stephenville Fire Department. “Wear loose, light-weight clothing and sunscreen.”

Child safety This is the time of year when kids want to take a trip to Splashville or ride their bikes. Here are some safety tips offered by the Dell Children’s website to keep in mind for pool and bike season. Never leave your child unattended in or around water. “We know it sounds strict, but there is no room for compromise on this one. Babies can drown in as little as one inch of water,” the website states. “Put the cell phone, magazine or book away, forget about all the other things you have to do and give young children 100 percent of your attention when they are near or around water.” Learning CPR is also a good skill to have. With bike safety, parents should make sure their SEE SAFETY, 9

Friday, June 30, 2017 

Central Texas Outdoors


Tent Camping C

amping in a tent is a good way to get in touch with nature and leave the comforts of home behind. It may not be for everyone, but those who prefer to “rough it” should know how to keep themselves safe.

CHOOSING A TENT The first step in preparing for this type of camping trip is choosing the right tent. Decide how much space you will require inside. Keep in mind future camping trips that may include more people. It won’t hurt to go a little bigger on this initial purchase. Determining how you plan to use your tent will impact your next decision. There are a few different tent ratings based on their durability. Here are three common options you will find: • Three-season: These lightweight tents are the most popular for the average camper. They are designed to repel rain or light snow and keep bugs away. They are not proper shelter for heavy rain, winds or heavy snow. • Three-plus-season: A step above the standard three-season tent, this style provides more durability and warmth retention, making it great for camping in colder climates that are exposed to heavy snows. • Four-season: The best option for extreme-camping conditions. It can withstand sheer winds and substantial snowfall. If you are planning a camping trip in the mountains, this one is the best choice to keep you safe.


CHOOSING A CAMPSITE If you’re camping in an established campground, the sites will likely be chosen for you. When you’re truly roughing it, you can set up camp wherever you choose, but there are important things you should look for before you

make it your temporary home. You will want to find a flat piece of land away from overhanging trees. Sleeping on an incline may result in you waking up against the side of the tent. Avoid overhanging trees and for extra comfort, try and find level land on grass or sand.

Try to avoid camping too close to water. This exposes you to a flooding risk and can invite dangerous animals looking for a drink.

MINDING THE TEMPERATURE Be sure you pack proper

clothing and accessories when sleeping outdoors. For colder temperatures, prepare to dress in layers and sleep inside a sleeping bag with a suitable temperature rating. Warmer weather requires fewer layers but accessible water to keep yourself hydrated.


6 Central Texas Outdoors 

Friday, June 30, 2017

Respecting wildlife When spending time in the wilderness, you are entering the local wildlife’s home. It is important to be courteous to their habitats and learn to hunt responsibly. Hunting etiquette Harvesting our own meat has been in practice since the beginning of time. Americans can gain a great sense of pride and accomplishment from hunting. However, it is imperative to respect the animals who are providing you with food. Taking the life of an animal comes with the responsibility of using the entire body for food or other products. You may be surprised at some of the useful items an animal contains that commonly go to waste. • Bones: Bones are one of the most common waste items yielded by hunted animals. You can use an animal’s bones to make soup stock and can even grind them down to be used for a rich fertilizer. • Offal: This category includes an animal’s organ meat and entrails. Animal

organs are typically packed with nutrients. The intestines make great casings for homemade sausages. • Feathers: When hunting feathered animals, save the feathers to create homemade-down pillows. Respecting their home When traveling in the wilderness, people are visitors to animals’ homes. It is important to treat nature like you would a guest’s house. Never leave behind a mess. Dispose of any trash you produce responsibly, and never leave food on the ground. Try not to startle animals for picture opportunities or other reasons. They are likely expending their energy looking for food. Spending extra time avoiding humans takes away from the amount of food they can secure for themselves and their young. Wild animal safety Spending time outdoors can create SEE WILDLIFE, 8


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Central Texas Outdoors

Insect Protection I

t may come as a surprise that insects smaller than pennies can cause serious disease to adults and children.

When spending time outdoors, it is important to take proper precautions to ensure your protection from these dangerous bugs. Ticks and mosquitoes can compromise a person’s immune system and blood quality. Diseases such as West Nile, Lyme Disease and even Yellow Fever have all been linked to these tiny insects. Learn how to keep you and your loved ones safe while enjoying the outdoors.

RISKS OF INSECTS Blood diseases are a common problem caused by insect and are spread by an infected insect bite. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists a few of the most common problems people face from these bites: • Zika: Zika is known to be caused by the Aedes mosquito. This type of insect is typically found coast to coast in more southern states in the United States. The disease can cause serious birth defects when passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus. It also has been linked to Guillain-Barre Syndrome, which attacks the nervous system. • West Nile: Another disease directly linked to mosquitoes,

the West Nile virus causes high fevers, seizures and neurological problems. About 10 percent of people who experience neurological infection die. • Lyme Disease: This disease is caused by tick bites. Prevention is crucial because ticks’ are small and hard to find until the pain begins. Lyme disease can cause severe headaches, irregular heartbeat and nerve damage and affect short-term memory.

PROTECTION According to the Environmental Protection Agency, DEET is used by onethird of the United States population for protection against mosquitoes and ticks. You can find this powerful weapon in sprays, lotions and even rollon bottles. It works by disguising the scent we produce, making it harder for insects to identify us as hosts for feeding. It was developed in 1946 by the U.S. Army and made its way to the public by 1957. The EPA reports that DEET is an effective repellent for up to 12 hours against mosquitoes. It is safe for human skin, so be sure to reapply if you notice insects making their way to you.



8 Central Texas Outdoors 

Friday, June 30, 2017



unexpected confrontations with dangerous predators. Learn how to keep you and your family safe with these tips from the United States National Park Service: Snakes When walking through an area with snakes, wear thick gloves and 10-inch tall boots. Never reach into brush piles or rock crevices into which you cannot see. Bears


Rattlesnakes remain a local threat during the summer months.

Bears should be treated with extreme caution. Your first instinct might be to run if you meet one, but the bears can consider this a sign of aggression. Experts recommend carrying a commercial grade bear repellent, which is


May and June are the most common months in which fawns are born in Texas.

a strong pepper spray, in case of emergencies. Young animals Never attempt to rescue a young animal

who appears to have been abandoned. They may have parents watching over them from a distance, and those parents could see you as a threat and become aggressive.

Friday, June 30, 2017 

Central Texas Outdoors




kids always wear a helmet and check to see that everything on the bike is working properly. Vehicle safety Hot weather can also affect your car, especially your tires. “Hot weather can wreak havoc on your tires since the hot air expands inside of them,” reads an article by Texas Monthly. “If your tires are well worn, it poses an even more imminent threat. Check your tires for wear on a regular basis and always make sure you check them when temperatures spike.” Having an emergency kit inside your vehicle is also important and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends drivers have

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Texas expanding special white-winged dove area Courtesy of Texas Parks and Wildlife

AUSTIN – South Texas dove hunters will see increased opportunity this year thanks to a season framework adjustment expanding the early September four-day special white-winged dove area hunting season to the entire South Zone boundary. The change is part of the 2017-18 migratory game bird seasons adopted by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. “For the second straight year, Texas will be taking advantage of a 90-day dove season and the expansion of early white-winged dove hunting during the first two weekends in September, in effect, create early September hunting opportunities statewide for the first time ever,” said Dave Morrison, TPWD Wildlife Division deputy director. Other notable changes for the 201718 migratory bird hunting seasons include a reduction to the daily bag limit on pintail to just one, a shift in season opening date for sandhill cranes in Zone B, and a modification increasing the youth age restriction for waterfowl hunting to 16 years of age. Federal duck stamp requirements are unchanged.

Following is the season calendar and framework for 2017-18: Dove • North Zone: Sept. 1 – Nov. 12 and Dec. 15-31. • Central Zone: Sept. 1 – Nov. 5 and Dec. 15 – Jan. 7, 2018. • Special White-winged Dove Days (entire South Zone): Sept. 2-3, 9-10. • South Zone: Sept. 22 – Nov. 8 and Dec. 15 – Jan. 21, 2018. The daily bag limit for doves statewide is 15 and the possession limit 45. During the early two weekends in the Special White-winged Dove Days, hunting is allowed only from noon to sunset and the daily bag limit is 15 birds, to include not more than two mourning doves and two white-tipped doves. During the general season in the special area, the aggregate bag limit is 15 with no more than two white-tipped doves. • Statewide Teal — Sept. 9-24 with a daily bag limit of six birds. • East Zone Canada Geese – Sept. 9-24 with a daily bag limit of five birds.

Ducks/Geese Early Season


General Duck • High Plains Mallard Management Unit: Youth: Oct. 21-22; Regular: Oct. 28-29 — Nov. 3— Jan. 28, 2018. • North Zone: Youth: Nov. 4-5; Regular: Nov. 11-26 and Dec. 2—Jan. 28, 2018. • South Zone: Youth: Oct. 28-29; Regular: Nov. 4-26 and Dec. 9 — Jan. 28, 2018. Bag Limit: 6/day in the aggregate to include no more than 5 mallards, of which only 2 may be hens, 3 wood ducks, 3 scaup, 2 redheads, 2 canvasback, 1 pintail, 1 “dusky duck” (mottled, black or Mexican-like) may only be taken after the first 5 days of the season in the respective zones. Mergansers: 5/day with no more than 2 hooded merganser. Coots: 15/day. Possession limit is 3 times the daily bag limit for all migratory game birds except snow geese which have no possession limit.



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Geese • East Zone: Nov. 4 – Jan. 28, 2018; conservation order Jan. 29 — Mar. 18, 2018.

Bag Limit after the Early Canada Goose: 5 dark geese, to include no more than 2 white-fronted geese, 20 light geese (no possession limit on light geese). • West Zone: Nov. 4 – Feb. 4, 2018; conservation order Feb. 5 — Mar. 18, 2018. Bag Limit: 5 dark geese, to include no more than 2 white-fronted geese, 20 light geese (no possession limit on light geese). Sandhill Crane • Zone A: Oct. 28 – Jan. 28, 2018. Bag Limit: 3, possession limit 9. • Zone B: Nov. 24 — Jan. 28, 2018. Bag Limit: 3, possession limit 9. • Zone C: Dec. 16 — Jan. 21, 2018. Bag Limit: 2-possession limit 6. Snipe • Oct. 28 — Feb. 11, 2018 with a daily bag of 8 and possession limit of 24 Woodcock • Dec. 18 – Jan. 31, 2018 with a daily bag limit of 3 and possession limit of 9. Falconry • Statewide: dove Nov. 18-Dec. 4; ducks Jan. 29-Feb. 12, 2018.

Friday, June 30, 2017 

Central Texas Outdoors

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Lake Brownwood State Park Trails Map


200 Park Rd. 15 Brownwood, TX 76801 (325) 784-5223 1450'

Lake Brownwood

Scissor-tailed flycatcher




(GPS coordinates shown in degrees, minutes, seconds)






4 5

CCC AND 36th DIVISION MEMORIAL MONUMENTS 310 51' 33.300" N 990 1' 4.920" W Take a moment to honor the Civilian Conservation Corps that built the park, and the valiant 36th Army Infantry Division that gave its name to the park from 1946 – 1956.

No Biking Beyond This Point

CCC PICNIC SITE 310 51' 22.500" N 990 0' 56.340" W Enjoy the view from the natural stone benches and tables along the lakeshore.


TEXAS OAK TRAIL OVERLOOK 310 51' 33.780" N 990 2' 12.720" W View the lake from a rugged outcrop of limestone boulders.


LIMESTONE BOULDERS 310 51' 32.940" N 990 1' 56.460" W Look for small lichens and ferns growing in the limestone cracks.


4 Office Trail .15 mi.


nce Entra

Pump House Trail .02 mi (Hiking Only)


3 Lakeside Trail .72 mi (Hiking Only)

Scenic Overlook Full Hookups Tent Camping Water/Electric Sites Cabins Screened Shelter Group Dining Hall Lodge Recreation Hall Bridge

0.02 0.43 0.99


Nopales Ridge Trail 2.89 mi. 1.86


Trail segment distances are measured between trail intersections. All trails hiking and biking unless otherwise indicated. Contour intervals 10 feet. Map compiled by Texas State Parks staff.


0' 145

WILDLIFE VIEWING BLIND 310 51' 28.440" N 990 2' 8.820" W Discover birds and other wildlife that live in the park.



Opossum Loop .29 mi.

Restrooms Parking Headquarters Picnic Area Wildlife Viewing Area Fishing Boat Ramp CCC Feature Baseball Field Basketball Court

COUNCIL BLUFF PAVILION AND OVERLOOK 310 51' 32.580" N 990 1' 46.740" W Enjoy a scenic view of the lake from a charming rock pavilion.



Council Bluff Camping Loop



CCC WATER PUMPHOUSE 310 51' 26.700" N 990 0' 57.780" W See the original water works for the park!



15 Park






CCC GRAND STAIRWAY 310 51' 32.940" N 990 1' 2.100" W After enjoying the view from the pavilion, take the terraced stone stairway down to the lake.

Council Bluff Trail .31 mi. (Hiking Only)

Texas Oak Trail 1.35 mi. (Hiking Only)

15 00 '

0' 145

14 50 '

Willow Point Camping Loop

2 0.0

them. And then the crappie fishing has really picked up here the last two weeks.� The most recent fishing report for Lake Brownwood from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is as follows: Water stained; 75–79 degrees; 0.01’ low. Black bass are good on crankbaits, flukes, spinnerbaits, and jigs around docks in 8–10 feet. Hybrid striper are slow. White bass are good on silver jigs off lighted docks at night in 5–15 feet. Crappie are good on minnows and white tube jigs over baited brush piles. Channel and blue catfish are slow. Yellow catfish are slow. Last year, Lake Brownwood was stocked with 465,971 fish — 324,616 blue catfish and 141,355 Florida largemouth bass two-inch fingerlings. But Holland says the results from that won’t be felt for a few years. “The stocking they did last year, we won’t be seeing results from that for probably another four or five years. This is what was already here, so we have even better things to look forward

No claims are made as to the accuracy of the data or its suitability to a particular use.

Comanche Trail Camping Loop


0.2 Miles


In accordance with Texas State Depository Law, this publication is available at the Texas State Publications Clearinghouse and/or Texas Depository Libraries.

Š 2013 Texas Parks and Wildlife Department PWD MP P4506-0009J (7/13)


TPWD receives federal assistance from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other federal agencies and is subject to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and state anti-discrimination laws which prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, sex or disability. If you believe that you have been discriminated against in any TPWD program, activity or facility, or need more information, please contact Office of Diversity and Inclusive Workforce Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church VA 22041.


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to and things should actually continue to improve for us as time goes on.� The reason for the high number of fish, according to Holland, is that despite the drought in 2011, the lake didn’t loss many fish. “One of the things we were real fortunate about when the lake went down was we didn’t have a loss of fish,� Holland said. “What we had was a lack of production of fish. The fish we had survived, it’s not that we lost so much water that they disappeared. In some ways, when it was low, it was easier to find the fish. What we’ve seen the last couple of years is a little hit and miss on the fishing because there’s so much lake to fish in it’s hard to find a good place to fish at. That’s slowly changing as the population comes back with increased cover and forage for the fish.� For those who prefer to stay on land, Lake Brownwood State Park, located on Park Road 15, has more than three miles of trials for hikers and bikers to enjoy — 2.5 miles of hiking/biking trails and a half-mile nature trail. “The trails are getting constant use,� Holland said. “The biggest problem with our trails the last couple of years has been trying to keep them trimmed and mowed. It’s been an ongoing battle to keep them open, but there are people out here every week, sometimes several times a week in

some cases to get on the trails.� The state park is also home to dozens of camp sites in the Willow Point, Comanche Trails and Council Bluff areas. Some camps are open to RVs, while others are for tents only. Water and electricity are available at most campsites, while other amenities include picnic tables, outdoor grills, fire rings, lantern posts and restrooms are nearby. “Right now with the lake being up, camp sites are a lot closer to water and the opportunities to get there are just a whole lot easier than they were before,� Holland said. “It’s not that suddenly there’s opportunities that weren’t there before, it’s just improved and much easier to use than it was a few years ago, and there’s a lot more of it.� The state park is also home to numerous family gatherings throughout the summer. Cabins and lodges that can hold anywhere from 2 to 26 people are available for rental, including the Beach Lodge, Fisherman’s Lodge, Loma Vista Lodge and Oak Lodge, along with traditional one- and twobedroom cabins. The larger the cabin or lodge, the more amenities included. “One of the big things the park has always been popular for is a place for families to meet,� Holland said. “On Saturday, June 10, four different family reunions, large family reunions, were going on at the same time, not to mention several families that were camping out together and had two or three camp sites together. We have groups of 50 or 60 that have family reunions every weekPHOTO COURTESY OF LAKE BROWNWOOD STATE PARK Fishing is among the most popular summer activities at Lake Brownwood. end.�

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Central Texas Outdoors

The Perfect Campfire R

elaxing around a comfortable campfire has been a staple of American camping trips for years. The fire provides campers with light, warmth and the ability to prepare delicious outdoor meals. Building a safe and useful campfire can be obtained with a few easy steps.

Safety is key when building your campsite fire. Before you even begin to prepare your campfire plot, be sure to check on fire conditions. It is important to ask local officials about burn bans due to unfavorable conditions. If camping in a park, check with officials for their rules on campfires as some may not allow them.

PREPARING THE BURNING AREA Search for a level spot free from low-hanging tree branches and dry grass. The United States Department of Agriculture recommends building a fire from the base of a hill. Fire can quickly travel uphill, which this can prove disastrous if a flame escapes the burning area. Dig your own fire pit that is at least 6 inches deep and two feet across in the middle of a cleared circle. The excavated dirt should be piled around the fresh hole to keep the fire contained. It is a good idea to reuse fire pits dug by previous campers to lessen the disturbance to the land. According to the National Fire Protection Association, you should have some emergency items at the site before you begin burning. • Buckets of water; • Accessible sand or dirt; • Shovel; and


• First-aid kit with burn treat- ferent materials. • Tinder: The first layer ment. should contain items such as dry leaves, pine needles or STARTING THE FIRE Once you have safely wood shavings. prepped a burning area, you • Kindling: On top of tinder, will need to find a source to place dry or dead twigs. begin a fire. An effective fire • Wood: Large sticks or logs will feature three layers of difthicker than 3 inches make

great material. Spread tinder along the floor of your fire pit. On top of the tinder, stack kindle upright in the shape of a teepee. Light the tinder and let the kindling begin burning sufficiently before adding the wood to continue to feed the fire.

EXTINGUISHING THE FIRE Never leave a site without fully extinguishing a campfire. At least 30 minutes before you will leave the site or fall asleep, drown the fire with water and sand. Mix the ashes with a shovel until the fire is completely extinguished.


16 Central Texas Outdoors 

Friday, June 30, 2017


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CTO June 2017  
CTO June 2017