- Attractions to this diverse State Park relate directly to its ability to provide quality access to a variety species of plants and animals with a particular emphasis placed on birds.
As part of a joint project of the Bureau of Reclamation and the American Birding Association, Choke Canyon Reservoir has been recognized as a place of special importance for birds and bird watchers. Large numbers and varieties of birds are attracted to the water and to the adjacent upland habitats. Also, many typically Mexican species of birds approach the northern limits of their range here, making this one of Texas' finest places to watch birds.
The reservoir and surrounding terrain are characterized by eroded, gently rolling brush land crossed by silted stream valleys. The land was formed during the Cenozoic Era (the period following extinction of the dinosaur) by accumulating sediments from seas that once covered south Texas. Ancient rivers flowing to the southeast dumped their sediments into what was then part of the Gulf of Mexico, producing new land. Seas intermittently covered the newly formed land by river-carried sediments which eventually dominated. These sediments are generally composed of volcanic ash, claystone, siltstone, tuff, shale, and shaley limestone. The present location of Choke Canyon Dam is near the ancient Gulf shoreline of about 30 million years ago. Erosion of these sediments and subsequent deposits of river silt eventually produced the present terrain.
Both Calliham and South Shore have a wide variety of wildlife that inhabits dense thickets of mesquite and blackbush acacia. Choke Canyon is the westernmost common occurrence of the American alligator. Rio Grande turkey, whitetail deer, javelina, coyote, opossum, fox squirrel, raccoon, and various skunks are among the most common animals. The crested caracara (Mexican eagle) can also be seen in the area. The following fish are in the reservoir: largemouth bass, white bass, striped bass, white crappie, bluegill, longear sunfish, green sunfish, flathead, channel and blue catfish, carp, freshwater drum, and gar.
Choke Canyon State Parks are situated within the Gulf Coast region of Texas.
* South Shore Unit is located 3.5 miles west of Three Rivers on State Highway 72.
* Calliham Unit is located 12 miles west of Three Rivers on State Highway 72 to Tilden.
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