Ecologically Significant River and Stream Segments
Big Creek (San Jacinto County)
Figure 10. Map Location of Big Creek (San Jacinto County)
Adapted from USGS Beaumont, Texas. 1978. Original scale 1:250,000
Figure 11. Big Creek at the Big Creek Scenic Area
Big Creek rises near Cold Springs in Central San Jacinto County and flows southeasterly into Northern Liberty County where it joins the Trinity River. The creek is narrow with a sandy bottom, follows a run, riffle, pool sequence, and contains abundant woody debris. This provides habitat for a diverse community of fish and macroinvertebrates including the southern brook lamprey, blacktail shiner, blacktail redhorse, blackstripe topminnow, numerous perch species, and several species of sunfish.11 The creek meanders through pristine forestland in the Sam Houston National Forest and provides significant opportunities for bird watching and outdoor recreation.14 Bird species often found include Louisiana waterthrushes and worm-eating warblers, as well as the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker that the National Forest Service developed an interpretive site around. An interpretive trail through the Big Creek Scenic Area and the Lone Star Hiking Trail provide access to the creek and provide an opportunity to see mammals such as bobcats, squirrels, and beavers. The ecologically significant segment is from State Highway 150 in San Jacinto County upstream to and including the Double Lake and Henry Lake Branches that form Big Creek in San Jacinto County.
(1) Biological Function- displays significant overall habitat value considering the high degree of biodiversity.11,15,24
(2) Riparian Conservation Area- fringed by the Sam Houston National Forest and the Big Creek Scenic Area and is part of the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail.
(3) High Water Quality/Exceptional Aquatic Life/High Aesthetic Value- exceptional aesthetic value.15,24
(4) Threatened or Endangered Species/Unique Communities- red-cockaded woodpecker group nearby.4,6