Gulf Coast
2010 Census - 995
2000 Census - 977
Louise, Texas
Louise Texas History:
Prior to 1881, the Louise area was settled by two ranchers who used the land as free range for their cattle. In 1882, the New York, Texas and Mexican Railroad laid a track through the area and established six stations including the Louise train station. This rail line was built using many Italian workers supplied by Count Joseph Telfener; the line became known as the “Macaroni Line.” The Louise post office was established in 1888. In 1901, land agents G.M. Sadler and A.F. Brown purchased the land, platted the town of Louise, and built a water pumping plant, a hotel, a store and established a private bank. The bank, store and hotel were purchased by H.P. Stockton in 1903. The same year Sadler planted 426 acres of rice and sold it for an $18,000 profit. Soon after, William Thomas and K.H. Payne established a well drilling firm and drilled some of the first deep water wells for rice irrigation on the Gulf Coast. Sadler and Brown then began promoting the town to potential settlers as being an area with plenty of water to grow profitable rice crops. Soon corn and milo joined rice as major area crops. By 1925 Louise had 300 residents and approximately 30 businesses. Oil and gas exploration began in the 1930s and still have a presence in the area. In 1938, R.H.B. Hancock moved his Port Lavaca rice dryer and mill to Louise. In 1990, this rice mill produced Fiesta brand rice, Louise’s major industry. The population peaked at 900 in 1960; by 1980 the population dropped to 310, and many businesses had closed. By 2000 the population had risen to 977. Louise is located at the intersections of U.S. 59, FM 1160 and FM 647, 43 miles northeast of Victoria, 17.5 miles northeast of Edna, 8.5 miles northeast of Ganado, 48 miles south of Eagle Lake, 41 miles southwest of East Bernard, 51 miles southwest of Needville, 31 miles southwest of Hungerford, 25 miles southwest of Wharton, 11 miles southwest of El Campo, 46miles northwest of Palacios, 29 miles northwest of Midfield, and 35 miles northwest of Blessing, Texas.
Wharton County Library Louise Branch Library:
The library provides traditional library programs, children, youth and adult programs, summer programs, public access computers with internet connections, and free Wi-Fi. Open Tue, 9am-11:30 and 12:30-4pm; Wed, 1pm-5pm; Thu, 1pm-3pm; closed Fri-Mon. (979) 648-2018. 803 Third Street, Louise, 77455. Email

Annual Houston Rodeo Los Vaqueros Rio Grande Trail Ride, Hidalgo to Houston, 386 Miles, Feb:
This 386 mile trail ride was established in 1973. In 2015, the ride began on Saturday, February 7 in Reynosa Mexico, at the Texas/Mexico border crossing into Hidalgo, Texas. There were 45 riders and 5 wagons. Saturday night was spent at the Edna, Texas Fairgrounds. Sunday night was spent in Louise (exit Business U.S. 59 North Co-Op). Monday night was spent in Pierce, in the lot adjacent to the DPS/U.S. 59. On Tuesday, the wagon train took U.S. 59 to Kendleton. They turned west and went towards the rodeo grounds to the Kendleton Park picnic area. On Wednesday, the wagon train took U.S.  59, 4 to 5 miles to the FM 529 caution light where they went left over the freeway, took the Spur to U.S. 90A, went through Rosenberg and Richmond, and then spent the night at Richmond. Total Wednesday distance was 19 miles. On Thursday the train took U.S. 59 through Sugarland and Stafford to Chimney Rock. Thursday night was spent at Westbury Little League Park (5300 Dryad Street, Houston).  (832) 426-0580. (936) 200-0106. (281) 212-7092. Facebook
Annual Wharton County Youth Fair & Rodeo, April:
Activities include a fair, youth rodeo, a livestock show and auction, golf tournament, family fun night, a pageant, fun run, talent contest, the Wee Folks Pet Show, a BBQ cook-off and vendors. (979) 532-3310.  (979) 677-3371. (979) 677-3350. This event is held at the Wharton County Fairgrounds at 6036 FM 961, Wharton, Texas 77488. The fairgrounds are located at 6036 FM 961 RD. Email
Annual Under the Wire fly-In, September, Louise, TX:
This event is held at the Flying V Ranch Airport’s grass landing strip. The airport is privately owned, but is open to the public. The power line has been buried in the ground so flyers no longer need to fly under it. In 2009 a1958 Cessna Skylark was raffled. (979) 648-2163. Email  Airport Information  Flickr Photos
Prasek's Hillje Smokehouse, El Campo, TX:
This popular place produces smoked meats, pan breads, pies, cakes and other bakery items. Order online or stop by and pick up a meal. (800) 207-6653. (979) 543-8312. The restaurant is located on SH 59 in Hillje, approximately one mile southwest of El Campo. Hillje Area Map  Reviews
Mustang Creek Bar-B-Que:
They serve very good barbeque. (979) 648-2600. The restaurant is located at 33574 U.S. 59, between Ganado and Louise, Texas.Reviews 
Laura’s Café, El Campo, TX:
They serve very good food. (979) 578-9030. 1616 South Mechanic Street. Reviews
Father & Son's Grill, El Campo, TX: 
They serve very good hamburgers. (979) 541-5658. 1226 North Mechanic Street. Reviews
Emil's Place Café, El Campo, TX: 
This long time restaurant is known for its very good chili burgers, Philly cheese steak, and beer. (979) 541-5525. 105 West Church Street. Reviews 
Birding - Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail, Central Gulf Coast Region:
Rio Colorado Loop:   Eagle Lake, Bay City, Wadsworth, Matagorda, Attwater Prairie Chicken NWR, El Campo, Pierce, Glen Flora, Egypt, Buckeye, Markham, Wharton
Texas Bird Checklist with Photos
Wharton County Bird Checklist with Photos
Attwater Prairie Chicken NWR Bird Checklist, Eagle Lake
Attwater Prairie Chicken NWR Seasonal Bird Checklist, Eagle Lake
Brazos Bend State Park Bird Checklist, Needville
Brazos Bend State Park Butterfly Checklist

Mosquito Information:
The months of April through October are the worst months for mosquitoes. 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. Mosquitoes love you when you eat bananas. Mosquitoes are also attracted to some perfumes, including perfumed shampoos. 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. The fine net clothing available from Cabela’s and other sporting goods stores is highly effective in preventing mosquito bites.
Brazos Bend State Park Information:
This 5,000 acre park is located on a portion of the original land grant given to Stephen F. Austin’s original colony (the Old 300) by the Mexican government in 1827. The land was purchased in 1975-1976 and opened as a state park in 1984. The park is located on 3.2 miles of Brazos River frontage. Big Creek winds through the park. The creek is shaded by sycamore, cottonwood, and black willow trees. There are eight lakes, including Elm, Hale, 40 Acre Lake, Creekfield Lake, Old Horseshoe, and New Horseshoe Lakes. The park is No. 017 on the Brazoria Birding Loop of the Great Texas Central Coastal Birding Trail. More than 300 species of birds have been sighted. The Houston Museum of Natural Sciences’ George Observatory is located on the park grounds. The park offers gun hunting of white-tailed deer and feral hogs from assigned blinds. Other park activities include camping, picnicking, swimming, mountain and surfaced biking, hiking, horseback riding (bring your own horses), fishing and wildlife viewing. Park entrance and camping fees apply.For more complete park information, read the Park Brochure, watch the Park Video, and go to the Brazos Bend State Park Home Page. From SH 288 go west on FM 1462 and then turn north on FM 762. The route is marked with brown State Park signs. The park is located just east of Needville, Texas. The park is located at 21901 FM 762, Needville, Texas 77461.
Attwater Prairie Chicken National Wildlife Refuge Information: 
This 10,528 acre National Wildlife Refuge was established to protect the habitat of a remnant population of Atwater’s Prairie Chickens (grouse). Habitat consists of native prairies, croplands, marshes, ponds, woodlots and riparian areas. The Attwater’s Prairie Chicken prefers a habitat of undisturbed tall prairie grass. They can tolerate some agricultural land mixed with prairie, but for every increase in the percentage of agricultural lands in the mix, there is a decrease in the population of the prairie chickens. They do not migrate. They eat a diet of seeds and fruit, but during the summer they will also eat insects and green plants. These birds were once widespread across the oak savanna and tall grass prairies, but due to over hunting and increased farming, they became almost extinct in the 1930s. They now live on small parcels of managed prairie land. The population is estimated to be 459,000. During the spring mating season males gather on the “booming” grounds to perform an elaborate courtship ritual. They inflate their yellow air sacs and emit a strange booming sound across the sea of grasses. Snow does not bother the prairie chickens; they dive into it to keep warm. Their problems begin when spring rains drench their chicks, and when draughts destroy their chick’s food source. Studies have shown that the chickens avoid nesting or rearing their chicks within a quarter mile of power lines, and within a third of a mile of improved roads. They also avoid agricultural land, rural farms, and communication towers. The Houston Zoo runs a captive prairie chicken breeding program which is overseen by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. In 2006, the zoo moved its captive colony from a noisy section of the Houston Zoo to a more quiet area at the Johnson Space Center, which resulted in a record production of eggs and chicks in the next full breeding season. These numbers are now increasing annually. Two other protected program sites are the Texas City Prairie Preserve, and a program recently started on private land near Goliad where 30 captive-bred juveniles were released into the wild. For more complete NWR information, go to the Attwater Prairie Chicken NWR Home Page.
D.R. Wintermann Wildlife Management Area Information:
This 246 acre Wildlife Management Area was a former rice farm. A section of the WMA was used to develop a wetlands area using water from the Colorado River. The land is flat coastal prairie and is used as a laboratory for students and land owners to observe wetlands management. Wildlife consists of winter migratory waterfowl including bald eagles, sandhill cranes, a variety of geese, teal, doves, ducks, and a variety of ibis, Neotropical migrants and many other birds. The site is good for viewing these birds and for viewing alligators. Amenities include a creek, a hiking trail, and a viewing platform overlooking the lake. Access is limited; contact the WMA for details. For more complete WMA information, go to the D.R. Wintermann WMA Home Page. The WMA is located 15 miles northwest of Wharton off FM 102 near Egypt and has limited access. Contact Area manager for additional information.
Lake Texana Information:
Construction on the Lake Texana Palmetto Bend Dam and spillway on the Navidad River began in 1973. Because of legal challenges the dam was not completed until May, 1980. The lake and recreation areas opened to the public in 1981. The 9,272 surface acre lake has 125 miles of shoreline, and a maximum depth of 58 feet. The lake was named after the town of Texana, established in 1832 near the junction of the Navidad and Lavaca rivers. Texana was inundated when the lake was impounded. The Lavaca-Navidad River Authority manages the lake and over 7,000 acres of land around the lake. This authority owns the Brackenridge Plantation Park, Campground and Lake Texana Marina, the Mustang Primitive Campground, eight public boat ramps, and three fishing areas. These facilities were leased to the Gulf Bend Mental Health/Mental Retardation Center in June, 1990. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department manages the Lake Texana State Park. The lake is located on U.S. 59, 8 miles east of Edna. For more complete lake information, go to the Lake Texana Home Page. Lake Texana Location Map  Current Lake Level  TPWD Public Access Facilities Map 
Texana Park & Campground, Formerly Lake Texana State Park:
In 2013, Lake Texana State Park management was transferred to the Lavaca-Navidad River Authority and the park was renamed “Texana Park & Campground.” This 575 acre park is located on the shores of Lake Texana, a reservoir on the Navidad River. It is No. 020 on the Texana Birding Loop. Habitat consists of mixed oak and pecan woodlands. Wildlife includes white-tailed deer, rabbits, armadillos and raccoons, and occasional sightings of bobcat and turkey. Alligators are found in the park coves. The 9,272 surface acre Lake Texana has 125 miles of shoreline, and a maximum depth of 58 feet. The lake was named for Texana, Texas, founded in 1832, and later flooded when the dam creating Lake Texana was built. The park is located on SH 111 south, approximately 7 miles east of Edna, Texas. (361) 782-5718. The Lavaca-Navidad River Authority is located at 4631 FM 3131, Edna, Texas 77957. For more information, go to the Edna, Texas Home Page and Click on Outdoors.
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
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 up, 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
Hunter Education
Hunting Season by Animal
Texas Parks & Wildlife Department Donations