Game Warden Sam Padgett

Texas Game Warden on Kayak

Howdy, and if we haven’t met yet, I am one of the new Game Wardens stationed in Comal County. I transferred in January of 2021, and this is the fourth county I have served as a Game Warden. I graduated from the Academy in June of 2009 and was first stationed down on the U.S. Mexican border in Zapata County. As stations go, Zapata was a great learning experience for a rookie. Hunting, fishing, boating and of course all the law enforcement activities associated with a border station. The instructors at the academy told us when we applied, that they liked to send former law enforcement and military to the border, and I am a U.S. Marine. OOH-RAH! Incidentally, I enlisted here, Comal County, when I was in my junior year at New Braunfels High School. So, I’m a local, returned home after being gone close to twenty years.

My second station was Llano County in the hill country. They call it the deer capitol of Texas. Man, they weren’t kidding, I had a ton of deer camps to check in the six years I was stationed there and three lakes and a river to patrol. Many of you have probably visited the county if you have been to Enchanted Rock, Lake LBJ, Inks Lake, or Lake Buchanan. It was a lovely station and I sometimes miss it. I try to visit often.

My third and previous station, was Nueces County. Most Texans are familiar with Corpus Christi’s famous beaches on Mustang and North Padre Islands. Port Aransas is a favorite as well, with its mile long jetty. The fishing and boating in the Laguna Madre are some of the best and I had a blast with all the recreational fisherman searching for that trophy Red or Speck. The commercial fishing there never stops, and it was hard work, but very rewarding. I only left when your senior Game Warden, Michael McCall promoted to Sergeant and left a vacancy back home. (McCall Recently Retired, Congrats!)

I hit the ground boating here in Comal early last year. I quickly learned my way around on Canyon and then headed to the Guadalupe. I employed those kayaking skills I honed on the technical waters of the Llano River. I really enjoy patrolling the Guadalupe and Comal, and quickly came to love the people and waterways. If you’ve been out fly fishing, you may have run into me and my boonie hat. I am trying to get out there as much as possible through the winter trout season and before tourist season resumes. A cold rear doesn’t scare me!

I have seen a lot of activity out there and for the most part, most are law abiding, ethical and courteous. The violations I see most are licensing and kayak safety violations (personal floatation devices). Yes, you must have a life jacket on your kayak and a fishing license when fishing and paddling on the rivers and lakes of Texas. Many of the undersized and over limit violations are from ignorance, not malice. Look closely, because I have gotten calls of overlimit on stringers when they are just carp or bass. Good teamwork has paid off and taking the time to help your fellow anglers is also a great goal. Help those amateur anglers who may not know a special trout zone even exists, pointing them in the right directions makes for great conservation tactics and possibly converts an amateur to a conscientious supporter.

Now, I am a fisherman myself, but who doesn’t enjoy living vicariously, when y’all catch those big beauties. I have seen some terrific fights while making my way down river and I get the same thrill as y’all when someone catches one of those palominos. Keep up the good work on the river. I’ll do the same!
I have appreciated the welcome extended and I’m here if you need me. I look forward to meeting you all and don’t hesitate to wave or say hello when you see me out there.

  • Sam

CONSERVATION

Protecting, reconnecting, restoring and sustaining our cold water fisheries. It’s what we are here to do.

LEASE ACCESS PROGRAM

Our lease access program allows members access to fish the Guadalupe River at 14 private locations.

YOUTH TROUT CAMP

Engaging our young people in river ecology, conservation and fly fishing with an expert hosted parent/child weekend on the river.

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