FAIRFIELD — To honor the memory of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) biologist Carl Frentress, the northern unit of Richland Creek Wildlife Management Area (WMA) has been renamed the Carl Frentress Unit. Frentress served as a biologist with TPWD for 32 years and was instrumental in the establishment of the Richland Creek WMA.
Frentress, a fifth-generation East Texan, graduated from Texas A&M University in 1968 with a degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences. Following his graduation, he served as a summer student for TPWD at both the Kerr and J.D. Murphree WMAs before going into the U.S. Army for three years, working as a medic and dental assistant in South Korea and Fort Benning, Georgia. Later, he attended graduate school at Oregon State University and was then offered a job with TPWD in Corpus Christi as a Wildlife Biologist.
Frentress embraced a common-sense approach to wildlife management and had a passion for waterfowl and bottomland hardwood ecosystems. He promoted the notion that the protection of our natural resources was the responsibility of all people and that human well-being is one-in-the-same as the well-being of our resources.
Frentress played a vital role in the Wetland Water Reuse Project, in partnership with the Tarrant Regional Water District, as well as the restoration of many native grasslands, savannahs, and other wetland areas. He became an expert in many areas of wildlife and habitat management and worked alongside landowners and policymakers to establish the Texas wildlife tax valuation to help improve wildlife and habitat management on private lands. Frentress was a mentor to countless young biologists and sportsmen and women, all while working tirelessly to promote conservation among landowners and anyone who appreciated the outdoors.
After retiring from TPWD, Frentress continued his conservation work in the private sector as an environmental wetland consultant for another 14 years. Frentress passed away in 2019 with his wife of 48 years and his three children by his side.
Hunters hoping to visit the Richard Creek WMA this season will notice the name change in the Annual Public Hunting Lands booklet. Legal game in the Carl Frentress Unit for the 2021-22 hunting season include dove, feral hog, snipe, squirrel, rabbits and hares, bullfrogs, and fishing is also allowed. An Annual Public Hunting Permit, along with a valid Texas Hunting License and Hunter Education certification, is required for all hunters at the WMA.
For more information on the Carl Frentress and Trinity Units of Richland Creek WMA, call 903-389-7080 or visit the Richland Creek WMA page of the TPWD website.