TEXAS GEMS -CANDY ABSHIER WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREA
The 208.77 acre wildlife management area (WMA)is located within the Gulf Prairies and Marshes ecoregion of Texas in the southern portion of Chambers County, bordered on the north, east, and west by the community of Smith Point with East Bay to the south. State Highway 562 provides the only access to the area from Anahuac, the county seat. The area is bounded by Plummers Camp Road on the east, SH 562 on the north and west, with East Bay to the south. The WMA was established in 1990.
Area of Influence:
12040202- East Bay/southeast Galveston and east
Trinity Bays/East and West Fork Double Bayou (USGS Hydrologic Units,
Gulf Coast Prairies and Marshes; 4b- Estuarine zone & 4c- Upland Prairies and Woods (Ecoregions and Sub-regions of Texas).
The area consists primarily of coastal prairie habitat with significant important coastal woodlot or oak mottes. Approximately 60 acres of the area are in this oak motte habitat with the remaining acreage in coastal prairie vegetation.
Rare/endangered/threatened species and natural communities with occurrence record on the WMA include:
Texas Diamondback Terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin littoralis)
Uniqueness of Natural Community:
Coastal prairie and oak woodlot habitats are vital for resident and migrant species of wildlife, with emphasis on management to enhance habitat needs for neotropical migrant passerine species.
Archaeological and Cultural Significance:
The Smith Point area is rich in historical significance because of the location in the Galveston Bay Complex and its proximity to Fort Anahuac on the Trinity River. Portions of a tower used to survey the Galveston Bay Complex still exists on the area. At the present time no archeological investigation has been done by certified archeologists. Plans will be drafted to acquire this information when budget constraints allow.
Bird watching and public use of the area is an integral part of the planning and promoting of the area. The public has been encouraged to use the area whenever possible through popular articles and interviews. Tours are being conducted to the area by the Texas Conservation Passport program.
Houston Audubon Society and the Ornithological
Group of the Houston Outdoor Nature
Club have utilized the area many times.
Educate the public on the significance of these woodlot habitats for migrating birds.
At the present time there are five petroleum related leases on the area and one cattle grazing lease. The grazing is used as a management tool to reduce the amount of woody vegetation and create habitat diversity. All income derived from the property will be deposited into the Nongame Fund.
The area is owned by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
The area is administered from the Upper Coast Wetland Ecosystems Project headquartered at J.D. Murphree WMA in Port Arthur.
The area is dedicated to the preservation and management of coastal prairie and oak woodlot habitat vital for the resident and migrant species of wildlife, with emphasis on management to enhance the habitat needs of neotropical migrant passerine species, while encouraging the utilization of the area for research, demonstration and appreciative uses compatible with sound biological management.
Existing Monitoring Activities:
The use of prescribed burning is limited by the close proximity to the residential subdivisions on two sides of the area. The area was burned periodically in the past and will be again when clearance is granted to disc fire lanes to reduce the acreage burned at any one given time.
Source of Information
Texas Parks and Wildlife Dept. 1996. Management Plan for Candy Cain Abshier Wildlife Management Area.