San Angelo State Park - O.C. Fisher Reservoir
|Description: San Angelo State Park is located on the shores of O.C. Fisher Reservoir, which was completed by the US Corps of Engineers in 1952 for flood control on the North Concho River. The park, adjacent to the City of San Angelo in Tom Green County, is an oasis of quality outdoor recreation in an area of west Texas known as Concho Country. It was leased by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department in May 1995 and was opened to the public May 1, 1995. The property contains 7677 acres, most of which will remain undeveloped. Park redevelopment to its full recreational potential is expected to take a number of years. In the meantime, a wide range of facilities are available for the enjoyment of the visitor.
Archeological findings indicate some 18,000 years of Native American occupation in the expansive West Texas region, beginning with the Paleo-American hunters of giant Ice Age mammals. The Euro-American history of the area begins with 16th- and 17th-century Spanish exploration and the missions established for the semi-settled Jumano Indians. Some of these Jumanos made their way along the forks of the Concho River on expeditions to trade with Indian groups in central and eastern Texas. By the mid-1800's, German immigrants began to acquire land in the Concho River region. The increasing need to protect California-bound travelers led to the establishment of Fort Concho in 1867. From then on, farmers, ranchers, and sheepherders all contributed to the settlement of Concho Country, with San Angelo (originally Santa Angela) becoming the county seat of Tom Green County in 1883. The American Indian rock art, ancient animal tracks, and the majestic bison add a prehistoric touch to this park. The park is also home to the Official Texas State Longhorn Herd.
Wildlife to Watch: Natural Features: The name "Concho" (meaning "shell" in Spanish) comes from the plentiful freshwater mussels that inhabit the area's rivers and streams and produce the beautiful iridescent gems of all sizes and colors - especially the big purple ones (called "Concho pearls" by the early Spanish explorers.) The park sits astride the junction of four ecological zones: the High Plains to the north, the Texas Hill Country to the south, the Rolling Plains to the east, and the arid Trans-Pecos to the west. Consequently, plant and animal life are highly diversified, including some 350 species of birds and about 50 species of mammals. The park is also home to Bison and the Official Texas State Longhorn Herd.
Ownership: US Army Corps of Engineers
Size: 7,677 acres
Closest Town: San Angelo, TX
Best Seasons for Wildlife Viewing: