What to do in Sheldon Lake State Park

Sheldon Lake State Park and Wildlife Management Area is a 2,503.2-acre resource, located in northeast Harris County. The reservoir levees encompass 1200 acres, of which 800 acres are permanently inundated and 400 acres are marsh and swampland. Sheldon Reservoir, located on Carpenter's Bayou, a tributary of Buffalo Bayou, was constructed in 1942 by the Federal Government to provide water for war industries located along the Houston Ship Channel. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department acquired the Reservoir in 1952 and designated it as Sheldon Wildlife Management Area; it was opened in 1955. The Houston office of Texas Parks and Wildlife's Nongame and Urban Program is headquartered at the park.

Sheldon Reservoir has survived a tremendous influx of urbanization over the past 40 years, which is where the most remarkable aspect of natural conservation has come to be realized. Sheldon Lake State Park and Wildlife Management Area remains as the last freshwater marsh habitat and refuge for various forms of wildlife within the city limits of the greater Houston area.

Sheldon Reservoir is open to public fishing with appropriate licenses. The reservoir is closed to boats from November 1 through March 1, in order to curtail disturbance of waterfowl using the area. Fishing from the bank and Sheldon's five "T"-head fishing piers, located along the levees, is allowed during this period. Boat access to the reservoir is provided for large boats at the south boat ramp on Fauna Road. Smaller boats may be launched at the north parking lot on Garrett Road. A boat-motor limit of 10 HP is enforced. Plans call for development of Sheldon Lake Environmental Education Center, with nature trails, boardwalks, and wildlife-viewing platforms, made possible in part by a grant from Houston Endowment, Inc. There are currently 2 miles of nature/interpretive trails. Canoe enthusiasts can explore a vast array of wildlife and plants, while navigating through 1200 acres of Sheldon Reservoir from March 1 through November 1. Canoe trails are presently being developed. Hunting/fishing licenses and Texas Conservation Passports are sold daily.

The vegetation consists of a variety of grasses, woody plants, and trees such as oaks, pines, cypress, sycamore, and others typical of the Houston area. Marshy areas contain aquatic plants. Typical animals include deer, raccoon, mink, opossum, rabbit, and alligator. Bald eagles, ducks, geese, and other waterfowl are present seasonally. Birdwatching opportunities are best during Spring and Fall migration periods. Waterfowl observations of 25 species of ducks and geese are best between November and early March. Several heron/egret rookeries exist on the barrier islands and are very active during March through June. The lake has been stocked with Florida bass, crappie, sunfish and catfish.

Nearby attractions include the San Jacinto Battleground Historical Complex including the San Jacinto Battleground, the San Jacinto Monument, and the Battleship TEXAS; Lake Houston State Park; NASA Space Center; Mercer Arboretum; Houston Zoological Gardens; Houston Museum District; and AstroWorld.

Primary activities at Sheldon Lake State Park and Wildlife Management Area are fishing, birding, wildlife/nature study, and canoeing. No camping is available in the park. Wildscape demonstration gardens, located at Park headquarters, show visitors various landscaping techniques using native plants and wildflowers that attract wildlife to your backyard.

Sheldon Lake State Park is situated within the Gulf Coast region of Texas. The park headquarters is located on Garrett Road, 2 miles East of Beltway 8.

Sheldon Lake State Park is located at elevations ranging from 41 to 50 feet. Temperatures within the park range from an average January low of 46 degrees and a July average high of 93 degrees. The average annual rainfall is 42.6 inches. Current weather conditions can vary from day to day. For more details, call the park or Park Information at 1-800-792-1112.

14320 Garrett Road
Houston, TX 77044

Phone: 281/456-9350

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