Oak Island Texas History:
In 1880 early settler Joshua Harmon moved a cotton gin across the bay to the current site of Job Beason Park. The town was established in 1951 by real estate developers Charles Troy and R. L. Hall on the site of fishing camp. The economy is based on offshore oil rig work, fishing, oystering, and boat manufacturing. Hurricane Ike destroyed approximately 90% of the homes, the Frascone Winery, and Channel Marker 17 Bar and Grill (it was rebuilt and is up and running). Oak Island is located between the east and wet forks of the Double Bayou off FM 563 on South Bayshore Road and Eagle Road, 8 miles south of Anahuac, and approximately 10 miles north of Smith Point in central Chambers County.
Oak Island Hurricane Restaurant and Club:
Visitors may arrive by boat or car. Amenities include the restaurant, lodge accommodations, a 12 room motel, boat slips, two lighted fishing piers, and a ships store and gas dock. The restaurant serves delicious seafood. The marina is called Channel Marker 17. (409) 252-4122. Oak Island is located on Trinity Bay at 142-A Jackson Drive, Oak Island, approximately 12 miles south of Anahuac, and 13 miles northeast of Smith Point, Texas. Email Oak Island Area Map
Birding - Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail, Upper Texas Gulf Coastal Region:
East side of Trinity Bay, north side of Galveston Bay, East Bay, Monroe City, Lake Anahuac, Anahuac, Hankamer, Anahuac NWR, west side of Winnie
Gilchrist, Bolivar Peninsula, Crystal Beach, High Island, Point Bolivar
San Jacinto Loop:
Baytown, Deer, Morgan’s Point, La Porte, west side of Trinity Bay
Texas Birds Checklist
Southeast Texas Bird Checklist
Coastal area north Galveston, Anahuac
Baytown, Chamber County Area Bird Checklist
Baytown Nature Center Bird Checklist
Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge Bird Checklist
Due to budget constraints, TX-DOT no longer maintains a website offering spring wildflower sightings. Information is available at the Texas Highways Magazine
Joe Beason Park on the Double Bayou, Oak Island:
Park amenities include a boat ramp, RV campsites, tent camping, picnic pavilions, a playground and restrooms. (409) 267-2690. (409) 267-2409. 130 West Bay Shore Road. The small town of Oak Island is located approximately 8 miles south of Anahuac, and 18 miles northeast of Smith Point, Texas. Oak Island Area Map
Double Bayou Park & Boat Ramp at Oak Island:
Amenities at this Chambers County Park include campsites, restrooms, a playground, picnic pavilions with electricity and water, picnic tables, and a canoe launch area with unpaved parking. Camping permits are required.Kayaks can launch from the ramp and make a short paddle to the nearby spoil islands. These islands are located on the western shoreline of Trinity Bay and offer good fishing. The eastern shoreline offers good wade fishing. Double Bayou Channel has deeper water; fish this location during the hottest days and during the winter; fish early in the day for redfish, flounder, and speckled trout. Oak Island is located on the east and west forks of the Double Bayou, a water outlet between Anahuac and Smith Point, Texas on the east shoreline of Trinity Bay. From Anahuac, take FM 563 or FM 564 south. (409) 267-2409. 2814 Eagle Ferry Road. From IH-10, go south on SH 61 for 4 miles. Cross SH 65; the road becomes FM 562. Drive 7 miles south of FM 562 and then go right (west) on Eagle Ferry Road; drive 0.5 miles to the park.
Oyster Bayou Hunting Club:
They offer guided duck hunts, occasional geese hunts, alligator hunting and salt water fishing. Hunting is accessible by boat or 4-wheelers. The blinds are all weather pits with large decoy spreads. The lodge offers conference facilities, sporting clays and meals. The lodge is located on the Barrow Ranch, in the center of the Anahuac Wildlife Refuge System. Glen Campbell. (281) 428-2549. Mail: 530 Hillhurst, Baytown, TX 77521.
Oak Island, Marina, Hunting Lodge & Hurricane Restaurant and Club:
Visitors may arrive by boat or car. Amenities include the restaurant, lodge accommodations, a 12 room motel, boat slips, two lighted fishing piers, and a ships store and gas dock. Meals are included for overnight guests. The restaurant serves delicious seafood. They offer guided fishing and hunting trips (alligator and ducks). The marina is called Channel Marker 17. (409) 252-4122. Oak Island is located on Trinity Bay at 142-A Jackson Drive, Oak Island, approximately 12 miles south of Anahuac, and 13 miles northeast of Smith Point, Texas. Email Oak Island Area Map Restaurant Review
Wallisville Lake Information, Wallisville:
The 23,000-acre Wallisville Lake Trinity River Project is located on both sides of the Trinity River from just below the lock and dam on the north end, to the community of Moss Bluff on the south end. It is not really a lake, but the project does include several lakes. This project permits the Trinity River to be navigable by pleasure boats from its mouth at Trinity Bay just west of Anahuac, to as far north as Liberty, Texas. The Galveston Bay area shrimp fleet utilizes the Trinity as a safe harbor during major hurricane events. The lock and dam for this project is not the typical high concrete structures with the long sets of gates found in most Army Corps of Engineers projects. This system consists of a four-gate concrete saltwater control structure. The gates are usually standing fully opened above the waterline because there is no reservoir above the dam. A wooden structure lifts boats upstream and lowers them downstream. The dam prevents saltwater from intruding into the fresh upstream water. The project consists of seven lakes and several burrows that are large enough to be called lakes. Without creating a reservoir, these lakes and streams have been allowed to remain natural, and are available for fishing, wildlife viewing and other uses. The lock and dam gates are open for traffic from 7am-6pm daily. Pull chains on either end of the lock's guide walls ring the phones in the office to notify the office when traffic wants through; just pull the chains and someone comes right out to open the gates. Facilities at the site include Structure A in the Cut-Off near Pickett's Bayou, Structure B at the head of Lost River, and the parks and recreation areas. Most of the project is accessible by boat only. The alligators in the project area are generally non-aggressive, however during the nesting season in late spring and early summer, the females are protective of their nests and after hatching, they are protective of their young. (409) 389-2285.
Moss Bluff, Texas Area Map
Wallisville Lake Project Map & Duck Blinds Hunting Map
Wallisville Lake Project Hunting:
Hunting is limited to waterfowl season for ducks and geese, and the feral hog removal program. During hunting season airboats are not permitted on the project after 12 noon each day. Email Wallisville Lake Project Map & Duck Blinds Hunting Map
Lake Charlotte, Lake Miller & Mud Lake, Wallisville Lake Project:
Lake Charlotte, Lake Miller, and Mud Lake are in the area east of the Trinity River. There are also several other area lakes. Lake Charlotte is the largest of the three lakes and is the largest westernmost cypress swamp located along the Texas coast. Cedar Hill Park is located on this lake. Mud Lake is the smallest of the three lakes. These lakes are popular for kayaking and birding. Outboard motors are prohibited on Lake Charlotte. A canoe launching area is available. Camping permits are required. From Anahuac, go north on FM 563 to Lake Charlotte Road; go left (west) on Lake Charlotte Road. Lake Charlotte Map Anahuac Map; Click to Enlarge
Lake Anahuac (Turtle Bay) #44 on the Upper Texas Gulf Coastal Region Birding Trail, Anahuac:
This large protected freshwater lake is located near the eastern side of Trinity Bay. North Ross Sterling Avenue runs along the lake’s eastern shoreline; most of the shoreline is private property. The western side of the lake is bordered by the Trinity River and the Trinity River Channel and is located on the northern edge of Anahuac. The 5,000 surface acre lake is owned by the Chambers-Liberty Counties Navigation District
which provides water for rice irrigation, for the City of Anahuac, and the Trinity Bay Conservation District. The lake is protected from salt water intrusion by levees on the south, north, and west sides of the lake. The south levee is bordered by woodlands, fresh and brackish marshes and the open waters of Lake Anahuac and Trinity Bay. The south levee is No. 44 on the Upper Texas Gulf Coastal Region of the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail. Map
Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge Information, Anahuac:
This 34,000-acre refuge is part of the Texas Chenier Plains National Wildlife Refuge Complex which also includes McFaddin, Texas Point, and Moody National Wildlife Refuges. The refuge borders Galveston Bay. Habitat consists of expanses of coastal marsh and coastal prairie with bayous meandering through the unit. This is a high humidity area with annual rainfall surpassing 51 inches. The refuge is a haven for wildlife, especially birds. The NWR is located on the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail. Refuge areas include Shoveler Pond, The Willows, the Oyster Bayou and its boat ramp, and the Skillern, Pace and Middleton Tracts. The Frozen Point Road is a major refuge road. The Pace Tract, the East Unit and the Middleton Tract are used for waterfowl hunting. The refuge is located approximately 1.5 hours east of Houston. The refuge office is located approximately 20 minutes from the refuge. Maps
HuntingAnahuac National Wildlife Refuge:
Bird hunting species include green and blue-winged teal, mottled duck, gadwall, pintail, shoveler and others. Normally 40% of the refuge is open to waterfowl hunting. The Middleton Tract, the Pace Tract, and the East Unit, are available for hunting by foot or boat. An ADA compliant hunting blind
is available on a first come, first serve basis.
Moody National Wildlife Refuge Information, Smith Point:
The 3,517-acre Moody National Wildlife Refuge is part of the Texas Chenier Plains NWR Complex which also includes the Texas Point, Anahuac, and McFaddin National Wildlife Refuges.The habitat of these refuges consists of coastal wetlands, coastal prairie, croplands, bayous, wood riparian zones, and small coastal wood lots. These small wood lots are important for migratory songbirds and neo-tropical birds that rest and refuel in the woodlots and on the mudflats. The habitat of these refuges is also important for all migratory birds, including waterfowl that winter on the refuges, raptors, shorebirds, and colonial water birds. Several threatened or endangered species use these refuges, including the Brown Pelican, Peregrine Falcon, Piping Plover, and the American Bald Eagle. The Moody refuge was established in 1961. It is a conservation easement refuge. The Fish and Wildlife Service owns only the development rights to the property, not the property itself. Moody NWR is not open to the public and the FWS does not have a management role. However, the FWS does monitor the area for easement violations and advises the property owners with regard to oil and gas development. The refuge is managed by the Anahuac NWR office in Anahuac, Texas. Moody NWR is the most southwestern of the NWR’s and is located on the East Bay off SH 562, between Smith Point and the Anahuac NWR. For more information, contact the Texas Chenier Plain Refuge Complex at (409) 267-3337. Chenier Plains Refuges Map
Candy Cain Abshier Wildlife Management Area Information, Smith Point:
Located along Galveston and Trinity Bays near Smith Point, this 207-acre WMA is one of the few public access points on the Texas Coast. The land was purchased in 1990 as a nongame area. Habitat is mostly coastal plains with a 60 acre stand of live oak and several fresh water ponds. The WMA is located on the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail and is one of the best sites in the nation for hawk viewing. An annual hawk watch begins each August 15th
and continues to November 15th
. October is the peak viewing month. Two hawk towers include the 20-foot-tall Smith Point HawkWatch Tower, and the 30-foot-tall WMA tower. The Smith Point HawkWatch tower is manned during the hawk watch season. During spring migration, many species of migrating birds literally fall out of the sky. Watch for Red-tails, Coopers, Sharp-shinned, Swainson’s, Kestrels, Merlins, Peregrine Falcons, and Swallow-tailed Kites. Also look for Wood Storks and Anhinga. April and October are hot, humid months. Bring your own water and mosquito repellant. In addition to the hawk towers, amenities include an ADA compliant viewing platform and restrooms
located at the nearby James Robbins Memorial Park boat ramp. Mowed paths through the live oak stand and across the prairie provide access to the WMA interior. A visitors parking area is located near the HawkWatch Tower. Daily access is available to the peninsula where Smith Point and the WMA are located. A parking area is located by the Hawk Tower. WMA: (409) 736-2551. From Hankamer, go south on SH 61 for four miles to FM 562. Turn onto FM 562 and continue south then west for 22 miles to Smith Point; follow the signs to the WMA which is less than a mile once you reach town.
Hunt Texas Online Connection:
More than 95% of Texas land is privately owned, making it hard for hunters to find affordable hunting opportunities. The Texas Parks and Wildlife has a huge public hunting program and has developed a new service to help hunters find hunting places. This new service is provided free by the TPWD. It allows landowners to list available hunting leases or spots that have opened and allows hunters to find private hunting leases according to their preferences.
Hunting, Texas Parks and Wildlife, General Hunting Information
Hunting, Public Hunting on State Lands, TPWD
Hunting Season by Animal
Texas Parks & Wildlife Department Donations
Learn to Camp at Texas Parks & Wildlife State Parks' Outdoor Family Camping Workshops:
Theseworkshops are family camping sessions designed to teach camping skills to those who do not know how to camp; everything is provided from tent to broom. Gear includes a coffee pot, dishes, cooking pots, a camp stove, a battery-operated fan and lantern, air mattresses, and a tent. Basic skills taught include pitching a tent, making a campfire, cooking on a propane camp stove, geocaching and using a GPS. Wildlife viewing, fishing and kayaking are available depending on the park and its facilities. After making reservations, families will be sent a packet of information which includes a grocery list. Those interested in this program may sign up for E-Mail Updates
on Currently Scheduled Workshops. (512) 389-8903. Calendar
Mosquito Informationfor Texas:
The months of April through October are the worst months for mosquitoes. Mosquitoes love standing water and love you when you eat bananas. Mosquitoes are also attracted to some perfumes, including perfumed shampoos. Rub yourself with Bounce Fabric Softener sheets, or with Vicks Vapor Rub or pure Mexican Vanilla. Some swear taking a daily vitamin B-1 pill works to repel mosquitoes. Planting Marigolds in your yard repels mosquitoes. On a picnic table try covering the bottom of a white plate with “lemon fresh” dish wash soap or use citronella candles. Home Depot sometimes sells the candles in small metal buckets. The ThermaCell Mosquito Repellant is also quite effective in ridding small outdoor areas of mosquitos. Dynatrap Company makes a large standing electric mosquito machine that works like electric bug zappers. It is very successful at making large areas mosquito free. When purchasing mosquito repellent buy those with the ingredient N, N-diethyl-M-toluamide. Some that work include Off! Deep Woods, Off! Family Care Unscented with Aloe Vera, Cutter Unscented, Maggie’s Farm Natural, EcoSmart, All terrain Herbal Armor, Off Clip On, and Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Oil with Aloe Vera and Vitamin E (expensive). The fine net clothing available from Cabela’s and other sporting goods stores is highly effective in preventing mosquito bites.For more information, contact Chambers County Mosquito Control
, 336 Airport Road, Anahuac, Texas 77514. (409) 267-2720.