My Montana

My Montana
My Montana

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Trinity River National Wildlive Refuge

A few weeks ago, I visited Trinity River National Wildlife Center. The part that is open to visitors, especially fishermen and paddlers, is only a few minutes away from Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge.  But it has a totally different feel. Most of that refuge is comprised of riparian lands along the Trinity river or it's floodplain. So it is comprised of streams, swamps, lakes, and bayou's. The visitor area has what is usually a lovely wooded lake, good for ducks in the winter - and duck hunting - and for wading birds in the summer - there is a rookery there. Pickett's Bayou can also be accessed from this unit.

A view of the lake near the boat launch

 I heard that the lake was so low, the refuge cancelled their Fishing Day so decided to go check it out. Champion's Lake was indeed low and no motor boats could use it.  However, it may have been possible to paddle in the channel left in it.  I found Peach Creek, which feeds the lake,  was also dry when I checked it out on the highway.  Pickett's Bayou had enough water in it to paddle but but I know it has a very shallow section just as it meets the Cut-Off, so it might not be currently possible to paddle into the Cut-Off and up to the Trinity River.

The fishing pier at the refuge is way out of the water now. 
And the views are still beautiful

The Refuge has a butterfly garden fenced off  from the deer. Due to the dry conditions, not much was in bloom and there were only a few butterflies around. But there were some birds still hunting or flying around there. 

This tri-colored heron was finding some food

Trumpet vine bloomed along the wooded trail to the butterfly garden

A black-bellied whistling duck whizzed by

A little blue heron was waiting for breakfast

As was this green heron until the little blue heron chased him off - he wasn't sharing

A view of Pickett's Bayou