Lower Neches WMA


Phone: (409) 736-2551
Address:
10 Parks & Wildlife Dr.
Port Arthur, TX 77640

Contact: Michael Rezsutek

Dates Open: Open year round.

Description

The Lower Neches WMA has 7,998 acres located near Bridge City in Orange County. The Atakapan tribe of Native Americans lived in this area for centuries. Studies have suggested their presence covered a large region of southeast Texas. The WMA consists primarily of briny coastal marshland which was a donation from Mrs. Nelda Childers Stark.

Mrs. Stark was the wife of Lutcher Stark who was known for his cultural and educational philanthropies. Lutcher inherited the fortune of his father H. L. Stark a financial and industrial pioneer who headed several lumber and petroleum companies and his grandfather Henry J. Lutcher, who was an early east Texas lumber industry tycoon. The Nelda C. and H. J. Lutcher Stark Foundation, a non-profit organization, located in Orange, is operated for public charitable and educational purposes in the state of Texas. The Lutcher and Stark families' contribution to the establishment of commerce and society are preserved in the local art museum, Frances Ann Lutcher Theater and restored family home museum. The theater, together with the Stark Museum of Art and the W.H. Stark House form the nucleus of a cultural center in downtown Orange.

The Lower Neches WMA, south of Bridge City, is about eight miles southwest of Orange and borders Sabine Lake on the east side. The area is known for historic sites and birding opportunities. The boat landing at the end of Lake St. on Sabine Lake dates to the 1920s when a boat ferry was established to bring commuters across the Neches River to Port Arthur. In 1938 the Port Arthur-Orange Bridge, called the Rainbow Bridge, was built to cross the Neches River on Highway 87/73 between Bridge City and Port Arthur. The Old River Unit of the WMA borders part of the Neches River on the north side just over the bridge from Port Arthur in Orange Co.

The low-level coastal plains surrounding the rivers, bayous, and shoreline has an environment attractive to many migratory game and non-game birds, that stop over during their flight to and from South America on the Central Flyway. Hunting for game birds during the respective open seasons is permitted. A spring or late autumn trip, during pleasant weather conditions, is recommended due to the natural humidity of the area.

The WMA is divided into three main units; the Nelda Stark Unit, the Old River Unit and the Adams Bayou Unit. The Nelda Stark and Old River units are open year-round for consumptive and non-consumptive uses. The Adams Bayou Unit is limited to non-consumptive uses. A Limited Public Use permit is needed for non-consumptive uses while an Annual Public Hunting permit is valid for both consumptive and non-consumptive uses in the WMA.

Please Note
  • There aren't any restroom facilities.
  • Bring your own drinking water.
  • The wildlife viewing platform on the Old River Unit is currently closed to public use while renovations are being planned and completed.