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Somerville Lake, nestled in the Prairies and Lakes tourism region, is located in south-central Texas, about 2 hours outside of Houston and Austin, making for an easy drive for weekend getaways. Somerville Lake stretches nine miles upstream from Somerville Dam. The reservoir was officially impounded in 1967 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and serves to provide flood control and water for irrigation for the communities downstream, and is now a popular recreational destination.
Somerville Lake provides those looking for water-oriented adventure with 11,460 acres for activities such as fishing, boating, waterskiing, sail boating, wind-surfing, and jet skiing. While water provides the main focus for most Somerville Lake visitors, the scenic, wooded environment proves popular with campers, hikers, mountain bikers and wildlife watchers. The 85 miles of shoreline are fringed with numerous camping facilities, two floating marinas, ten boat ramps, and extensive nature trails and playgrounds. There are four developed Corps of Engineer parks, one city-operated park, and two State Parks. The State Parks offer a multitude of recreational opportunities such as camping, picnicking, boating, fishing, hiking and biking, volleyball, horseshoes, basketball, backpacking, and equestrian use (visitors must bring their own horses). More than 20 miles of trail are open to hikers, mountain bikers, and equestrians offering visitors the chance to exercise and enjoy the beauty of the parks.
Fishing enthusiasts will be happy to hear that Somerville Lake has had a reputation of being an excellent catfish lake for many years. Anglers also enjoy catching largemouth bass, white bass, hybrid bass, white crappie, bluegill sunfish (perch), channel catfish, blue catfish, and flathead (yellow) catfish. Somerville Lake has a fluctuation of 1 to 6 feet and is surrounded by prairie and rolling grasslands dotted with mixed hardwood forests. There is some standing timber in the upper end of the reservoir, but most of the lake is open.
Dazzling fields of wildflowers bloom during spring and summer. Bluebonnets, Indian paintbrushes and sunflowers blanket the parks and provide excellent photo opportunities. Somerville Lake's diverse habitat of open water, wetlands, mud flats, riparian woodlands, grasslands and yaupon thickets attracts a remarkable variety of birds, with water birds being the special attraction, and provides the best chance in the Central Brazos River Valley of observing wintering bald eagles and migrating osprey. While out on your nature walk you are also likely to see white-tailed deer, gray fox, coyote, raccoon, opossum, armadillo, cottontail rabbit, and bobcat.
During your visit to Somerville Lake, be sure to take advantage of all the recreational opportunities and natural beauty that the lake has to offer.
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