Gulf Coast
2010 Census - 726
2000 Census - 582
Banquete, Texas
Banquete Texas History:
According to legend, the town was named for the 4 day banquette held to celebrate the completion of a road linking San Patricio with Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico. It was once a stop on the Texas-Mexican Railway. Banquete is located a short distance south of the Nueces River at the intersection of SH 44 at FM 666, 20.5 miles north of Bishop, 27.6 miles northeast of Kingsville, 18 miles northeast of Alice, 29.6 miles west of Corpus Christi, 8.4 miles west of Robstown, 21.5 miles south of Mathis, and 10.8 miles south of San Patricio, Texas.
City of Banquete, Texas Historical Marker Text:
“In the critical civil war years, Banquete meant water, supplies, repairs and defenses to thousands on arid trips along the Cotton Road to Mexico. The Cotton Road was well known, for it followed a segment of the historic "King's Highway" of early explorers. Yet its vital role for 4 years in supplying the confederacy earned it undying fame. It was the way to Mexico's border towns of Bagdad and Matamoros, where 20,000 speculators clamored for cotton, using valuable European goods to make attractive bargains. To get guns, ammunition, shoes, clothing, and medicines--necessities scarce at home--the confederacy sent to neutral Mexico long trains of 5 to 15 wagons or ox carts that lumbered for many weeks over the desert. Sometimes to lighten a load for an exhausted team, cotton bales might be hidden in roadside brush. The traffic left signs in the wilds. Often the landscape would whiten with the lint thrown off passing loads. Banquete's water made possible the long hauls to Mexico and back to the goods-hungry confederate population. Thus the town named for an 1832 fiesta honoring Texas colonists served a strategic role in the history of the civil war, 1861-65.”

Birding - Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail, Central Gulf Coast Region:
Brush Country Loop:  Three Rivers, Dinero, Lagarto, Midway, Sandia, San Patricio, Orange Grove, Alfred, Agua Dulce, Alice
Texas Birds Checklist
Bird Checklist for South Texas Brushlands
Lake Corpus Christi State Park Bird Checklist
Texas Wildflowers:
Due to budget constraints, TX-DOT no longer maintains a website offering spring wildflower sightings. Information is available at the Texas Highways Magazine.

John J. Sablatura Nature Park, #84, Banquete, TX:
Good birding site during migrations. Habitat is mostly cotton fields. From Alice, take SH 44 East towards Corpus Christi. The park is located on Aqua Dulce Creek between Agua Dulce and Banquette; watch for the signs.
Nueces River:
The 315 mile long Nueces River rises in two forks approximately 50 miles north of Uvalde in north central Edwards and Real Counties. It flows south through the Texas Hill Country past Barksdale and Crystal City. East of Carrizo Springs it turns east across Dimmit, La Salle, and McMullen Counties. South of Three Rivers in central Live Oak County, it is joined by the combined Atascosa River and Frio River (impounded 3 miles northwest of Three Rivers to form Choke Canyon Reservoir) from the northwest. It then it flows southeast past Mathis where it is impounded to form Lake Corpus Christi; it enters Nueces Bay on the Gulf of Mexico at Corpus Christi. The Nueces is known for its largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, native Guadalupe bass, and a variety of panfish such as redbreast sunfish, rock bass, green sunfish and Rio Grande perch. Fish Stocking History
Lake Corpus Christi Information, Mathis:
The La Fruita Dam, the original dam, washed out in November of 1929. Lake Corpus Christi, originally known as Lake Lovenskiod, was reformed by damming the Nueces River in 1935. Because of water leakage, the dam was replaced in 1958 with the Wesley E. Seale Dam which has a height of 75 feet. The 19,251-surface acre reservoir (lake) has a maximum depth of 60 feet. The lake provides water for the City of Corpus Christi. The reservoir provides good largemouth bass and catfish fishing. Lake maps are available at the Lake Corpus Christi State Park office on Park Road 25. The lake is owned by the City of Corpus Christi. It is located 4 miles west of Mathis, and approximately 20 miles northwest of Corpus Christi, Texas.  
Lake Corpus Christi Location Map
Current Lake Corpus Christi Lake Level
Lake Corpus Christi TPWD Public Access Facilities Map
Lake Corpus Christi State Park Information, Mathis:
This 356-acre park is in San Patricio, Jim Wells and Live Oak Counties, southwest of Mathis, Texas. The TPWD leased the land from Corpus Christi in 1934. The lease runs until 2032. Many of the park's facilities were built by the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps), Company 886. The CCC was part of the New Deal Program under President FDR during the depression. This program was designed to provide jobs for out of work citizens. The CCC was involved in building many state park facilities across the nation, and some of the CCC's work is outstanding. Of the original CCC facilities at Lake Corpus Christi State Park, only the refectory and old pavilion remain. The Mediterranean style refectory was built of cast blocks of local caliche, and features a large terrace, a pavilion, a lookout tower, and a cast stone staircase leading to the lake trails. The park is in a cove where the counties of San Patricio, Jim Wells, and Live Oak meet. The site of the park overlooks an area on the Nueces River which was a disputed boundary between Texas and Mexico. After the war the Rio Grande River became the official boundary. During the spring the park is a riot of bluebonnets and other wildflowers. Park entrance and camping fees apply. For more park information watch the Park Video and read the Park BrochureFrom Mathis: Take FM 1068 south approximately 4 miles to Park Road 25. Turn right on Park Road 25, and drive to the park entrance. The park is located approximately 30 miles northwest of Corpus Christi.  Lake Corpus Christi State Park Facilities Map
Fort Lipantitlan State Historic Site Information, Orange Grove:
Mexican forces constructed the wooden fort in 1831 in preparation of potential conflicts with Texians.
In 1835, the small Mexican guard force surrendered to Texan forces without a shot being fired. Today, there is nothing left of the fort. The only amenities are 6 picnic tables and Texas Historical markers. Activities include picnicking and birding. Hours and fees do not apply. For more information read Texas Forts History and an article by Charles M. Yates.The fort site is managed by Corpus Christi State Park. It is located 9 miles east of Orange Grove, off Texas State Road 359, FM 624 and FM 70. It is hard to find; call the Corpus Christi State Park for directions.(361) 547-2635.
Choke Canyon Reservoir Information:
The 141-foot-tall Choke Canyon Dam was built in 1981 and 1982. The 25,670-surface acre Choke Canyon Reservoir was impounded on the Frio River in 1982. The lake has a maximum depth of 95.5 feet. The lake is owned by the Bureau of Reclamation. It is one of the City of Corpus Christi’s water sources and is managed by the city. The lake is located four miles west of Three Rivers, and 65 miles south of San Antonio, Texas.
Choke Canyon Reservoir Area Map
Current Choke Canyon Reservoir Level
Choke Canyon Reservoir TPWD Public Access Facilities Map
Choke Canyon State Park Information:
This 1,485-acre park is located on the 26,000-surface acre Choke Canyon Reservoir, part of Corpus Christ's water supply source. The reservoir was formed when the Frio River was dammed a few miles upstream from where the Rio, Atascosa, and Nueces Rivers merge near Three Rivers, Texas. Ghost trees are still visible on some portions of the lake. The park consists of two units. The 1,100-acre Calliham Unit is located on a peninsula on SH 72, eleven miles west of Three Rivers in McMullen County. The 385-acre day use only South Shore Unit is in Live Oak County below the dam on SH 72, 4 miles west of Three Rivers, Texas. Camping and other amenities are available in the Calliham Unit. Amenities at the South Shore consist of a day use area. Park habitat consists mainly of thick mesquite forest. The South Shore unit features a 75-surface acre man-made lake. Each unit entrance has a park headquarters. Wildlife sightings include turkey, whitetail deer, javelin, coyote, opossum, fox squirrel, armadillo, raccoon, alligators and skunks. Park entrance and camping fees apply.For more park information, read the Park Brochure and view the Park Video. The South Shore Unit is located 3.5 miles west of Three Rivers, Texas, on SH 72. The Calliham Unit is located 12 miles west of Three Rivers on SH 72 (to Tilden).
Choke Canyon State Park Facilities Map
Hunting the North Shore Unit at Choke Canyon State Park:
The 1,700-acre North Shore Unit is undeveloped. This unit offers archery hunting of white-tailed deer and feral hogs. Hunting is by compartment; baiting is permitted. There are no blinds. Hunters are encouraged to bring portable blinds. Multi-purpose campsites are available at Choke Canyon State Park South Shore Unit. Call the South Shore Park for further information. (361) 786-3868). Access to the North Shore Unit is limited to hunter use during hunting season. The hunter check-in station is located at the James E. Daughtrey Wildlife Management Area headquarters between Tilden and Three Rivers. From Jourdanton go approximately 29 miles south on SH 16 to FM 3445 located 3 miles north of Tilden. Go east (left) on FM 3445 and drive 5.5 miles to the WMA entrance.   2017-2018 Hunting Details
James E. Daughtrey Wildlife Management Area Information:
This 4,400-acre WMA is located on the Choke Canyon Reservoir. The WMA occupies five noncontiguous parcels adjacent to the lake. TPWD took over management of the property in 1981. The land is rough with habitat consisting of thorny scrub brush. Activities include hunting and nature study. Amenities include an interpretive nature trail, and a primitive campground used only for those hunting with Special Permits. The campground will open the evening prior to scheduled hunts. WMA access is limited. It is closed for Special Permit Hunts. Bring your own potable water. The WMA is located between Tilden and Three Rivers, Texas. From Jourdanton go approximately 29 miles south on SH 16 to FM 3445 located 3 miles north of Tilden. Go east (left) on FM 3445 and drive 5.5 miles to the WMA entrance.  James E. Daughtrey WMA Hunting Information & Map
Hunting the James E. Daughtrey Wildlife Management Area:
The Choke Canyon Reservoir is considered part of the WMA for purposes of waterfowl hunting. Alligator hunting is by compartment. Archery and gun hunts for white-tailed deer, feral hogs, and coyote are by compartment. Some permanent box blinds available; hunters may bring portable blinds. The WMA offers special youth only hunts and special javelina hunts. Spring turkey hunts are available. The San Miguel boat ramp is closed during flooding and closed to the public during hunting dates. Primitive camping is available on the WMA, and camping is also available at the Calliham Unit of the Choke Canyon State Park.  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 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
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