Frequently Asked Questions

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Where can I rent a canoe, boat or jetski?
How do I find the current lake elevation and generation schedule?
Why is the lake elevation low (or high)?
How do I make a campsite reservation?
How can my son or daughter volunteer a project for Eagle Scout or Gold Award?
What is the record for the largest fish caught out of the lake?
Where can I operate my ORV on Corps land at Town Bluff?
What facilities are available for a family reunion?
Where does the money go when I pay to rent a campsite or launch a boat?
How can I become a Gate Attendant in one of the parks?
Where can I Hunt on the Town Bluff Project?
What is the policy on metal detectors?
What is the policy on geocaching?

 

Where can I rent a boat or a jet ski?
There are currently no local businesses that rent motorboats of jet skis.  Martin Dies Jr. State Park does offer canoes for rent. Additional information on the State Park may be found at http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/spdest/findadest/parks/martin_dies_jr/ or by phone at 409-384-5231.

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How do I find the current lake elevation and generation schedule?
The current lake elevation is automatically posted on the Town Bluff website Home Page (Click Here) under the Lake Elevation/Gate Opening block in the middle of the page. Additional information may be available by calling the Town Bluff Project Office at 409-429-3491. 

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Why is the Lake Level Low (or High)?
The normal elevation of B. A. Steinhagen Lake is fairly constant at 82.5’ above mean sea level, but it does occasionally fluctuate (sometimes on a daily basis) between elevations 81.0’ and 83.0’.  Town Bluff is not a flood control lake.  It provides water storage and hydroelectric power generation, as well as acting as a flow stabilizer, absorbing the periodic releases from Sam Rayburn Dam, allowing a more steady flow down the Neches River.  These releases from Sam Rayburn may cause an elevation change of 3 to 12 inches, depending on where you are on the lake (greater fluctuations occur along the Angelina River in the upper reaches of the project.)  Sometimes, depending on rainfall forecasts and river stages downstream, the lake level may be slightly lowered in order to accommodate a heavy inflow, or be allowed to temporarily rise slightly to allow flood waters downstream to recede.  Occasionally, the lake has been drawn down as far as the original river bed in an effort to combat nuisance aquatic vegetation infestations.  These drawdowns have been in both winter and summer, and have lasted from 3 to 12 months.  Any scheduled drawdown will be publicized well in advance.

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How do I make a campsite reservation?
Advance reservations can be made up to 6 months in advance of the arrival date, and must be made a minimum of four days in advance of arrival. A reservation made on a Monday will allow arrival on the following Friday. Approximately 70% of the campsites at Town Bluff are reservable. 
Reservations may be made over the Internet at www.recreation.gov or by calling
toll-free 1-877-444-6777. Reservations can also be made at the individual parks, however reservations can be made ONLY for reservations in that park. A reservation for Sandy Creek Park cannot be made from Magnolia Ridge Park.
Reservations made by Internet or telephone require a credit card. Reservations at the park can be paid with credit card, personal check or cash.

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How can my son or daughter volunteer a project for an Eagle Scout or Gold Award?
For more information on Eagle Scout and other projects, please contact the Town Bluff Volunteer Coordinator at 409-423-3491 or Click Here. to send an email.

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What is the record for the largest fish caught in the lake?
The Texas Parks & Wildlife Department maintains an up-to-date listing of record fish for each lake in Texas. To see records for Town Bluff/B.A.Steinhagen Lake , Click Here. Scroll to find "Lake Records."

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Where can I ride my 4 Wheeler or Off Road Vehicle at Town Bluff?
The management of US Army Corps of Engineers lands are governed by 36 US Code 327, commonly known as "Title 36." Within this code, section 2(c) states "The operation and/or parking of a vehicle off authorized roadways is prohibited except at locations and times designated by the District Commander." Given the relatively small land base and the highly erodible soils at Town Bluff, there are no designated off road areas where vehicles can legally operate. Therefore, all vehicles of any type (including golf carts, cars, trucks, etc.) are prohibited from operating or parking on Corps land, except on designated roads. A copy of Title 36 can be found Here.

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What facilities are available for family reunions?
There are Day Use Group Shelters at Bluff View, Magnolia Ridge, and Sandy Creek Parks, which rent for $45.00 per day, and can each accommodate around 100 people.  Additional information on these facilities can be found HERE.

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Where does the money go when I pay to rent a campsite or launch a boat?
Since the US Army Corps of Engineers is part of the Department of Defense, the user fees collected are handled differently that those fees collected by the US Forest Service, National Parks, Bureau of Land Management, etc. All of the user fees collected at Town Bluff (and all Corps parks across America) are required to be forwarded to the General Treasury. None of the fees remain at the park where the fees were collected. 

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How can I become a Gate Attendant in one of the parks?
Gate attendants are paid contractors who perform fee collection and general park management duties, and are critical members of the recreation management team. Information concerning the positions can be found Here.

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Where can I hunt on Town Bluff?
Information on hunting can be found by clicking HERE.  There are several tracts of land south of US 190 (totaling approximately 900 acres), as well the lake itself (approximately 5000 acres), that are managed by the Corps and are open for hunting.  North of US 190, all of the available hunting lands (approximately 7500 acres), as well as the lake and river system (approximately 5000 acres), are leased to the state and are operated as the Angelina-Neches/Dam B Management Area, and require a state Public Hunting Lands permit.

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What is the policy on Metal Detectors?
USE OF METAL DETECTORS ON LANDS OR WATERS CONTROLLED BY THE U. S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS ON B. A. STEINHAGEN/DAM B LAKE IS PROHIBITED WITH THE FOLLOWING EXCEPTIONS.  In general, Corps policy allows for use of metal detectors only at designated beaches; however, the Corps does not operate any designated beaches at the lake.  The only designated beach is located in the Hen House Ridge Unit of Martin Dies, Jr. State Park.  Please contact the state park (409-384-5231) before using metal detectors.

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Geocaching may be allowed on public lands managed by the US Army Corps of Engineers, providing the activity is performed in compliance with the Code of Federal Regulations Title 36 (CFR 36) and any applicable State or local rules and regulations, and is carried out in a non obtrusive manner, following “common sense” guidelines. Given the heightened security since September 11, 2001, any geocaching activity on the Town Bluff Project requires a permit from the Project Office. There is no charge for this permit, and the Coordinator can be reached at 409-423-3491 or by e-mail at Click Here. Information needed for the permit include the cache coordinates (location), histher name, and histhler address and phone number. The intent of collecting this information is to keep track of the location and number of caches on the project, and to contact the owner if the caches need to be removed. The applicant should also provide a current picture ID with an address to confirm the applicant's identity. The applicant's request can be denied for failure to comply with the information required for the permit application.
Geocache objects or containers should be clearly identified as such when placed on public lands. Transparent containers are required, due to homeland security issues. Caches should not contain alcohol, drugs or other illicit or inappropriate materials.

Additional information on geocaching policy may be found Here.

 

 

This site last updated on November 30, 2009