“The goal of the Tribal Fish and Wildlife Department is to conserve and improve fish and wildlife resources and their habitats for the benefit of current and future generations.”
Created in 2004 through Tribal Wildlife Grant funding, the Alabama-Coushatta Fish and Wildlife Department manages natural resources for the benefit of the Tribal Members. Tribal lands cover approximately 10,000 acres of diverse forests, streams, and a 26- acre lake. These areas provide exceptional habitat for an abundance of plant and wildlife species. Proper management of these natural resources is vital.
The basis for conservation and preservation efforts begins with baseline surveys. Data is collected for important fish and wildlife species, goals are set, and sound management practices are put in place. Through field surveys and GIS capabilities, the Fish and Wildlife Department is able to track trends and long-term data for species such as white-tailed deer, largemouth bass, and the endangered Red-cockaded woodpecker.
Red-cockaded Woodpecker (RCW)
The historic range of the Red-cockaded woodpecker includes some of the old-growth pine stands on the Reservation. There were at one time as many as seven active cluster areas on Tribal lands, but none are currently active. RCWs are small, black and white woodpeckers that require large, old pine stands for nesting. Maintaining an open grassland habitat around the pine trees is also important for these endangered birds. With the help of the Tribal Forestry Department, RCW cluster areas on the Reservation are maintained to encourage the re-introduction of the woodpecker to its historic range.
Lake Tombigbee is a 26-acre lake that provides recreational fishing, swimming, and boating to Tribal members and the public. The lake is aggressively managed for channel catfish and largemouth bass through stocking, feeding, and maintaining excellent water quality. The lake boasts an aeration system to provide added oxygen and ensure healthy fish populations. A large forage base including bluegill and threadfin shad have been stocked, and the lake receives annual stockings of channel catfish. Harvest regulations are also set in place through the Fish and Wildlife Department to help keep the fishery in balance.
Hunting and Fishing Regulations
The Tribal Fish and Wildlife Department is responsible for creating hunting and fishing policy for Tribal lands. All policy, including the Tribal Hunting Policy, is approved through the Tribal Council. A copy of the hunting policy may be seen below.
Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas
Hunting Policy 2012
It is recommended (but not required) that all Tribal members registered on the Alabama-Coushatta Tribal Rolls who hunt on Reservation land acquire a hunting license from the State of Texas.
All Tribal Members that are registered on the Alabama-Coushatta Tribal Roll who hunt on fee simple Tribal land or land leased by the Tribe must have a valid hunting license from the State of Texas. Tribal members will be responsible for fine/court costs if detained and cited by game warden while hunting on fee simple Tribal land or land leased by the Tribe.
All non-Tribal members, Indian or non-Indian, must secure hunting permits prior to entering Tribal and leased land.
All non-Tribal members, Indian or non-Indian, shall not hunt on Tribal land or land leased by the Tribe except as a guest of an enrolled adult Tribal Member (at least 18 years of age) who will serve as their guide while on Tribal land.
All adult Tribal Members 18 years of age and older registered on the Alabama-Coushatta Tribal Rolls shall sign up at the Administration Office and secure a hunting permit for any guests, Indian or non-Indian, whom they plan to guide on a hunt on Tribal land or land leased by the Tribe. Hunting permits may also be secured at the AC One Stop Convenience Store during regular business hours and on weekends. The cost of a hunting permit will be $20.00 a day.
Guests shall be permitted one day per month to hunt on land leased by the Tribe.
No guest may hunt outside the sight of the adult Tribal Member.
All hunting near residences, near the Tourist Complex area, the campground, and the tour roads is strictly prohibited.
No hunter, member or non-member, shall have more than two (2) deer stands.
Tribal Security shall confiscate any deer stand which does not display the name of a Tribal Member. The name shall be clearly displayed on the front of the stand. There will be a $50.00 recovery cost for confiscated deer stands.
No nails shall be driven into trees in the construction of deer stands. Stands may be secured by rope. Clearing of land will not be allowed to set up a deer stand. Grasses and small bushes may be mowed around stands, feeders, and existing wood trails. However, no trees should be cut. Tribal members will be responsible for cost or damages if this policy is not followed.
All trespassers are subject to having their weapons and/or game confiscated and escorted off the Reservation. No deer may be removed from Tribal land or land leased by the Tribe except by registered Tribal Members or their registered guests.
The Alabama-Coushatta Tribe adopts, for the 2011-2012 season, the bag limit of four (4) deer – no more than two (2) bucks, and no more than two (2) antlerless for Reservation land and land leased by the Tribe. General open season is November 2011 – February 1, 2012.
No firearms are allowed in any Tribal camping area.
No hunting with spotlight(s) at night.
Hunters will display proper identification on vehicles by placing a card with the name of the Tribal Member and guest on the dashboard of the parked vehicle.
All devices designed to trap game are strictly prohibited on all Tribal or leased land subject to this policy.
The Hunting Policy for 2011-2012 shall be enforced by the Tribal Security.
Approved by Tribal Council on October 2011