Tim Birdsong, SE graduate, has been named director of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Inland Fisheries Division
Austin, Texas – South East Oklahoma State University alumni Tim Birdsong He has been selected as the next director of the Inland Fisheries Division of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD). Birdsong has served as interim division director since July, following the promotion of Craig Bonds to chief operating officer.
Birdsong is a 2002 Southeastern graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Biology – Biological Health Sciences. He then earned a master’s degree in fisheries science from Louisiana State University. He is also a graduate of the National Conservation Leadership Institute (2022), the Governor’s Center for Management Development – Senior Management Program (2020) and TPWD’s Natural Leaders Program (2010). Birdsong was born in Denison and graduated from Rock Creek High School in Buccito.
He grew up fishing, boating, swimming and camping on Lake Texoma and other rivers and reservoirs in the area. Birdsong resides with his wife and two high school-age sons in Wimberly, Texas, and calls the Blanco River, Canyon Lake and Guadalupe River his home waters.
Birdsong is a 17-year veteran of TPWD, having served the Inland Fisheries Division as Deputy Division Director and Habitat Conservation Branch Chief. Before joining TPWD, Birdsong was a fisheries biologist and data program leader for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
“TPWD is an inspiring and impactful organization, and every day I am overwhelmed with feelings of purpose and gratitude for the opportunity to contribute to this great mission,” Birdsong said. “It is an honor and a privilege to be selected as the next Director of the Inland Fisheries Division. The Division is nationally recognized as a progressive leader among state fisheries programs, routinely taking risks to develop new and innovative solutions to challenges facing freshwater fisheries resources that are science-based and effective.” Cost effective, scalable and transferable.
The Department of Inland Fisheries provides quality fishing opportunities to 3.1 million freshwater anglers in Texas’ 1,100 public lakes and 191,228 miles of streams, creeks and rivers.
“Whether it is preserving Texas’ native species and freshwater biodiversity, promoting sport fishing, or providing a healthy, wild-caught source of protein to feed Texas families, the Department of Inland Fisheries plays essential roles in managing and conserving public waters’ fisheries resources “We exist to maintain thriving populations of fish and other aquatic species, and to maintain fisheries that are recreationally, commercially and economically important,” Birdsong said. “Texans.” Simply put, people need fish and fish need the Department of Inland Fisheries.
In 2022, anglers spent an estimated $11.1 billion on food, lodging, transportation, and equipment while fishing freshwater and coastal waters in Texas, and fishing supported an estimated 51,380 jobs in the state.
Birdsong’s contributions to the management and conservation of the state’s public freshwater fisheries resources have been recognized statewide, nationally, and internationally. He has received numerous honors, including the Fly Fishers International Conservation Award (2021), National Fish Habitat Award (2014), Texas Parks and Wildlife Conservation Award (2015), James A. Henshall Warmwater Fisheries Award (2016), and Sport Fish Restoration. Outstanding Project Award (2016, 2020) and Texas Parks and Wildlife Outstanding Team Award (2020). Birdsong has also been named Texas Fisheries Worker of the Year by the Texas Chapter of the American Fisheries Society two different times during his TPWD career (2013, 2020).
“Tim has a passion for fishing, aquatic resource management, and building collaborative partnerships for and for TPWD,” said David Yoskowitz, Ph.D., Executive Director of TPWD. “He has a talent for bringing teams together, identifying creative solutions and leveraging funding and other resources to put a vision into action. Tim consistently demonstrates integrity and demonstrates the talent, experience and competence to lead the Department of Inland Fisheries into a brighter future.”
Photos and release information provided by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department