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Counties
Jefferson, Orange
Region
Gulf Coast
Nearby
Lakes
Sabine Lake
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Sabine Lake Information:
The 90,000 surface acre Sabine Lake is located on the Texas/Louisiana Border on the northern end of the Texas Gulf Coast’s 367 mile coastline. The salty lake lies adjacent to the Intracoastal Waterway. It is 14 miles long and 7 miles wide. It is formed by the Neches River which empties into the lake from the northwest side, and the Sabine River which empties into the lake from the northeast side. The land around the lake has been inhabited for over 1,500 years. In 1777, Englishman Capt. George Gauld mapped the lake. A Spanish expedition mapped the lake in 1785. The lake became an important trade route in the 1800s. Channels were dug to form the Sabine-Neches Waterway, and the Sabine Pass Ship Channel which connects the lake to the Gulf of Mexico. The lake borders Jefferson and Orange Counties in Texas, and Cameron Parish in Louisiana. The cities of Port Arthur and Groves, Texas are located lakeside. The Intracoastal Waterway runs along Port Arthur. The waterway is separated from Sabine Lake by Pleasure Island, a manmade island created by dredged material in late 1899 to 1908. The MLK Bridge (formerly the Gulfgate Bridge) was built in the 1960s to span the ship canal and link Port Arthur with Pleasure Island and Louisiana. The towns of Port Arthur, Beaumont, and Orange, Texas form the “Golden Triangle,” a large petrochemical and industrial complex. The town of Sabine Pass is located southeast of Port Arthur between the lake and the Gulf of Mexico on the Sabine Pass Waterway. The lake’s Sydney Island is home to a roseate spoonbill rookery. In the 1940s, Humble Oil (later Exxon), Shell, and Gulf Oil leased the Louisiana half of Sabine Lake
 
Sabine River:
The 555 mile long Sabine River rises in three branches, the Cowleech Fork, the Caddo Fork, and the South Fork. A fourth branch known as the Lake Fork of the Sabine or Lake Fork Creek, joins the main stream forty miles downstream from the junction of the other three branches. The Cowleech Branch rises in northeast Hunt County and flows southeast for 35 miles to its confluence with the Caddo and South Forks to form the Sabine River Proper. The Caddo Fork rises in two forks, the East and West Caddo Forks; these forks unite in the southern part of Hunt County. The South Fork rises in the southwestern part of Hunt County and flows east for 18 miles to join the Caddo and Cowleech Forks. From this point the Sabine River flows southeast, forming the boundaries between Rains and Van Zandt, Van Zandt and Wood, Wood and Smith, and Smith and Upshur Counties. After crossing most of Gregg County, the river forms portions of the county lines between Gregg and Harrison, Harrison and Rusk, and Harrison and Panola counties before it bends more sharply across Panola County. At the thirty-second parallel in the southeastern corner of Panola County the Sabine becomes the state boundary between Texas and Louisiana, and thus the eastern boundary of Shelby, Sabine, Newton, Orange, and Jefferson Counties. The Toledo Bend Reservoir is located on the river between the boundaries of Louisiana and Texas. The Sabine River empties into Sabine Lake which is formed by the confluence of the Neches and the Sabine Rivers; the lake is drained by Sabine Pass into the Gulf of Mexico. Management of the river and watershed is overseen by the Sabine River Authority of Texas. Fish Stocking History 
 
Neches River: 
The Neches River rises just east of Colfax in eastern Van Zandt County; it flows southeast for 416 miles to its mouth in Sabine Lake on the northern edge of Port Arthur, Texas. Except for a few miles near its head, the Neches serves as a boundary system for its entire length, forming the county lines between a several Texas counties. Reservoirs on the river include Lake Palestine, Lake B.A. Steinhagen near Town Bluff, and the small Rhine Lake located north of Palestine. Major tributaries include the Angelina River, which drains one-third of the basin area, Bayou La Nana, Ayish Bayou, Pine Island Bayou, Village Creek, Kickapoo Creek, and Flat Creek. Towns located along the river include Tyler, Beaumont, Lufkin, Nacogdoches, Groves, Port Neches and Nederland. Fish Stocking History
 
Pleasure Island Texas Information, 3,500 Acres:
Port Arthur’s Pleasure Island is an 18.5 mile long man-made body of land. It extends from the mouth of the Neches River on the northwest to the Sabine Causeway on the southeast. It is surrounded by Sabine Lake and the Sabine-Neches Intracoastal Waterway. It was once the secret anchorage of pirate Jean Laffitte. Boat access to the marina is only possible from Sabine Lake. Access to Sabine Lake from the north is via the Sabine-Neches Waterway, a thousand foot cut-off. Access from the south and Louisiana is via the SH 82 Louisiana Causeway Bridge (monitoring channel 13; is open from 5am-9pm). Vehicular access from Port Arthur is via the MLK Bridge on SH 82 South. On the island, SH 82 is named Martin Luther King Jr. Drive/TB Ellison Parkway. The island is 35 miles from the nearest casino in Louisiana. Two residential areas, Mariner’s Cove and the Pleasure Island Condos, are located on the south end of the island. Lafitte’s Landing is also located on the south end of the island; it consists of 78 waterfront lots ranging from two to three acres in size; some of these private lots are for sale; some are already sold. Many shrimp boats are located on the south end of the island.  
 
Bridges:
Port Arthur, a deep water port, became a port of entry in 1906. Two years later the Sabine-Neches (River) Ship Canal was extended up the Neches River to Beaumont and Orange, Texas. The MLK Bridge (formerly the Gulfgate Bridge) was built in the 1960s to span the ship canal and link Port Arthur with Pleasure Island and Louisiana. The 1938 cantilever style Rainbow Bridge spans the Neches River on SH 87 connecting Port Arthur to Bridge City, Texas. This National Register Property was formerly called the Port Arthur-Orange (County) Bridge. The 1990 cable-stayed Veterans Memorial Bridge runs parallel to the Rainbow Bridge.