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Tributaries of the Neches River Below Lake Palestine

This is a project to reduce bacteria and protect recreational safety in watersheds in the Lufkin area. The stakeholders and TCEQ adopted total maximum daily loads (TMDL) and approved an implementation plan (I-Plan), which together will be the road map for improving water quality.

photo of Cedar Creek in the Lufkin area
Cedar Creek in Lufkin
Photo courtesy of the Angelina and Neches River Authority
map of the Matagorda Bay watershed

County: Angelina
Parameter: Bacteria
Basin: Neches River
Segments: 0604A, 0604B, 0604C, 0604M
Assessment Units (AUs): 0604A_02, 0604B_01, 0604C_01, 0604M_03

On this page:

Background and Goal

In portions of four stream segments in the Lufkin area, bacteria concentrations are sometimes higher than the criteria set to protect the safety of recreation. High concentrations of bacteria, which are found in both human and animal waste, may indicate a health risk to people who swim or wade in the water body—activities called “contact recreation” in the state’s standards for water quality.

The goal of this project is to improve water quality to protect recreational uses. Toward that goal, the TCEQ and stakeholders are developing a TMDL and an I-Plan to reduce bacteria in the creeks.

Watershed Description

The watersheds lie in Angelina County in east Texas in the vicinity of Lufkin, and include the cities of Hudson and Lufkin. The project includes portions of Jack Creek, Cedar Creek, Hurricane Creek, and Biloxi Creek. The watershed area for this project is also referred to as Tributaries of the Neches River below Lake Palestine.

The project includes assessment units (AU) in four stream segments:

  • Jack Creek (Segment 0604C)
    From the confluence with Cedar Creek (0604A) upstream to confluence with unnamed tributary southwest of US Hwy 69 northwest of Lufkin.
  • Cedar Creek (Segment 0604A, AU 02)
    From the confluence with Jack Creek (0604C) to the confluence with unnamed tributary adjacent to State Loop 287. This assessment area is the only impaired portion of the stream.
  • Hurricane Creek (Segment 0604B)
    From the confluence with Cedar Creek (0604A) upstream to the headwaters near Groesbeck Ave in Lufkin.
  • Biloxi Creek (Segment 0604M, AU 03)
    From the confluence with One Eye Creek in Angelina County southeast of Lufkin upstream to FM 325 east of Lufkin. This assessment area is the only impaired portion of the stream.

The Jack Creek watershed, which includes portions of the city of Hudson, is about 29 square miles. The dominant land cover includes hay/pasture (33%), forest (33%) and developed (13%).

The Cedar Creek watershed is about 32 square miles. The dominant land cover includes forest (37%), developed (25%), and hay/pasture (19%). It includes portions of the cities of Hudson and Lufkin.

The Hurricane Creek watershed, which includes portions of Lufkin, is about 13 square miles. The dominant land cover includes developed (66%) and forest (22%). 

The Biloxi Creek watershed is about 19 square miles. The dominant land cover includes forest (37%), hay/pasture (31%), and developed (17%). It includes small portions of Lufkin.

Get Involved

Staff from the Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI) are working with communities, interest groups, and local organizations to distribute information about this project and involve stakeholders in developing the I-Plan for watershed improvement. All public meetings about this project are open to anyone interested. Watch for meeting announcements here and on the TWRI website .

Meeting Records

Approved I-Plan

Community stakeholders worked together to create the I-Plan. The Commission approved the stakeholders' plan on August 16, 2023.

Adopted TMDLs

The Commission adopted these TMDL on October 5, 2022. On June 7, 2023, the EPA approved the TMDLs, at which time they became part of the state’s Water Quality Management Plan.

Revisions to the TMDLs

From time to time, it is necessary to revise TMDLs to account for changing conditions in the watershed. Revisions to the load allocations in TMDLs are made via the state’s Water Quality Management Plan (WQMP), which is updated quarterly. The WQMP provides projected effluent limits for use in planning and permitting activities under the Texas Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (TPDES). The TCEQ reviews all applications for new and amended permits for conformance with applicable portions of the WQMP, including adopted TMDLs.

Revisions are made to TMDLs in one of two ways:

  • Updates are made to account for changing conditions in the watershed, such as new or revised wasteload allocations, permits that have been canceled or have expired, or changed facility names.
  • Addenda are created to add load allocations for assessment units that are impaired by the same pollutant or condition, within the same watershed as in the original TMDL report.


Additional TMDLs have been added for the watershed by addendum:

WQMP updates may be viewed in person at the TCEQ Library, Building A, 12100 Park 35 Circle, Austin, Texas. Electronic versions of updates are available on the TCEQ Water Quality Management Plan: Updates page.


Contact the TMDL Program

Please e-mail, and mention the Lufkin Area Watersheds project in the subject line. Or call us at 512-239-6682.

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