Protecting Water, Conserving Wildlife in Texas’ Sabine River

2 men waist-deep in a narrow river
Sabine River Authority Natural Resources Management Director Bill Kirby and Field Biologist Luke Sanders collect freshwater mussels during a sampling trip to Lake Fork Creek, a tributary of the Sabine River, on September 17, 2020. Photo by Aubry Buzek/USFWS.

A Resilient River

rows of dark mussels on wet dirt
rows of dark mussels on wet dirt
An assortment of freshwater mussels collected by the Sabine River Authority during the sampling trip. Photo by Aubry Buzek/USFWS.
man in blue jacket, ballcap in waist-deep water holds mussel in gloved hands
man in blue jacket, ballcap in waist-deep water holds mussel in gloved hands
Sabine River Authority Natural Resources Management Director Bill Kirby displays several freshwater mussels. Photo by Aubry Buzek/USFWS.
Three photos, from left: alligator snapping turtle with mouth open, three Louisiana pigtoe mussels and a Texas heelsplitter mussel. USFWS photo.

A Mission to Protect

aerial photo of river winding through forest
Aerial photo of the Sabine River by the Sabine River Authority.

Digging into Data

2 men kneel on muddy riverbank surrounded by bottles, cand, etc.; one holds muttel
2 men kneel on muddy riverbank surrounded by bottles, cand, etc.; one holds muttel
SRA’s Sanders and Kirby gently take genetic information from a freshwater mussel. Once field data and samples have been collected from the mussels, they are returned to the river unharmed. Photo by Aubry Buzek/USFWS.
man on riverbank prying open a mussel
man on riverbank prying open a mussel
SRA’s Kirby gently opens a Trinity pigtoe mussel in order to collect genetic information during a sampling trip to Lake Fork Creek on Sept. 17, 2020. Once field data and samples have been collected from the mussels, they are returned to the river unharmed. Photo by Aubry Buzek/USFWS

Snapping into Conservation

3 alligator snapping turtles on sand, one in net; pair of bare feet nearby
3 alligator snapping turtles on sand, one in net; pair of bare feet nearby
William Morgan submitted this photo to the Sabine River Authority after several alligator snapping turtles went after the angler’s cut bait during a friendly fishing contest on the Sabine River. SRA is leading a citizen-science initiative to collect sightings of alligator snapping turtles for at-risk species research in Texas. Photo Courtesy William Morgan.
sign with photo of alligator snapping turtle below text Have You Seen This Turtle? Below pic is more text and maps
sign with photo of alligator snapping turtle below text Have You Seen This Turtle? Below pic is more text and maps
The Sabine River Authority posted signs with the question “Have you seen this turtle?” as part of a citizen-science initiative to raise awareness of at risk species and to collect sightings of alligator snapping turtles to aid researchers in Texas. Photo by Aubry Buzek/USFWS
small alligator snapping turtle next to orange ruler on metal sheet
small alligator snapping turtle next to orange ruler on metal sheet
During routine mussel sampling, the Sabine River Authority Natural Resources team found a small alligator snapping turtle. Photo by Bill Kirby/Sabine River Authority

Looking Toward the Future

dark turtle on ground
dark turtle on ground
Western chicken turtle. Photo by USFWS

We’re dedicated to the conservation, protection and enhancement of fish, wildlife and plants, and their habitats.