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County
Orange
Region
Gulf Coast
Nearby
Parks
Tony Houseman Wildlife Management Area
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Tony Houseman Wildlife Management Area Information:
The WMA consists of the 3,343 acre Blue Elbow Swamp. The swamp takes its name from a sharp bend in the Sabine River where the water runs as deep as 60 feet. The Texas Department of Transportation purchased the land in 1997 to mitigate the loss of wetlands incurred during various highway construction and roadway improvement projects in East Texas. TxDOT transferred the tract to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. The WMA lands extend from the western bank of the Sabine River just north of the community of Echo, down to the confluence of Little Cypress Bayou and the Sabine River south of IH-10 at Orange. A public boat launch is available at Bluebird Fishing Camp, just south of IH-10 on U.S. 90 in Orange. The WMA 600-foot ADA compliant boardwalk begins at the ADA compliant Texas Travel Center and extends into the swamp. Primitive campsites have fire rings and picnic tables only. There are no restrooms or designated trails. Bring your own drinking water. Fishing, primarily for catfish, is available in the canal and river. No trapping is permitted, except for crawfish. Wildlife includes western ribbon snake, western cottonmouth snakes, southern copperheads and coral snakes, western pygmy rattlesnakes, alligator snapping turtles, red-eared sliders and box turtles, nutria, otters, beaver, coyotes, bobcats, white-tailed deer, and gray foxes. A boat is necessary to get around the WMA. Maps are available from the Texas Travel Center. The Blue Elbow Swamp is the most eastern point of the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail.TPWD plans to offer passport canoe tours of the WMA. (800) 792-1112. The WMA is located on the Sabine River at SH 87 and IH-10 in Orange. The Texas Travel Center is located at 1708 East IH-10 in Orange; (409) 883-9416.
 
Texas Travel Information Center, Orange, Texas:
The twelve ADA compliant Texas Travel Centers are managed by the Texas Transportation Department (TxDOT). All are staffed by professional travel counselors who help travelers with routings and provide information on points of interest, events, and road conditions. Open daily, 8am-5pm; 8am-6pm, Memorial Day through Labor Day; closed Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Easter, New Year’s Day, and Thanksgiving. From Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend, the centers are open until 6pm. Travelers can also call the toll free line, (800) 452-9292. Road conditions are available 24 hours a day on the toll free line; travel information is available 8am-6pm. The line also has information on fall foliage and scenic wildflower routes during the spring. A 600-foot, ADA compliant boardwalk begins at the Travel Center and extends into the Blue Elbow Swamp. The travel center is located at 1708 East IH-10 in Orange, Texas. (409) 883-9416.    
 
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       
 
Mosquito Information for 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 Orange County Mosquito Control call (409) 883-5717. 
 
 
Birding - Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail, Upper Texas Gulf Coastal Region:
Big Thicket Loop: Camden, Hillister, Woodville, Chester, Woodville, Angelina National Forest, Sam Rayburn Reservoir, Jasper, Jonestown, Jasper, Newton, Big Thicket National Preserve, Kirbyville, Evadale, Deweyville, Orange, Mauriceville, Beaumont, Lumberton, Kountze, Warren
Sabine Loop: Orange, Vidor, near Beaumont, Port Neches, Bridge City, West Orange, Groves, Nederland, Fannett, Sabine Lake, Texas point WNR, McFaddin NWR, JD Murphree Lake and NWR
Texas Birds Checklist
Southeast Texas Bird Checklist
Big Thicket National Preserve Bird Checklist - Scroll Down & Choose Species, Beaumont to Kountze
Sea Rim State Park December 29, 2016 Bird Count, Sabine Pass
Sea Rim State Park Fall Bird Checklist
Sea Rim State Park Winter Bird Checklist
Sea Rim State Park Spring Bird Checklist
Sea Rim State Summer Park Bird Checklist
 
Fishing Tony Houseman Wildlife Management Area:
Fishing, primarily for catfish, is available in the canal and river. No trapping is permitted, except for crawfish. Unattended fishing lines or crawfish traps are prohibited.
 
Bluebird Fish Camp Boat Ramp & Fishing Pier:
Amenities at this Orange County park include a Sabine River boat ramp and boat dock, a fishing pier, a large picnic shelter, a small playground and three picnic tables. The park is open 24 hours a day. Orange County Parks Department: (409) 745-2255. The park is located on Simmons Drive, just south of IH-10 in Orange.
 
Hunting Tony Houseman Wildlife Management Area:
Public hunting is permitted for feral hogs, waterfowl, woodcock, rail, gallinule, snipe, dove, squirrel, rabbits, hares, furbearers and predators. The areas of the WMA that are located within the City of Orange are off limits for hunting. Permitted hunters may enter the area at 4:30 am and must leave the area by one-half hour after sunset.  Blue Elbow Swamp Unit #712 Hunting Information & Map
 
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