Somerville Lake Information

Lake Somerville lies in Burleson, Washington, and Lee counties, 23 miles southwest of Bryan/College Station, Texas. Lake Somerville covers 11,630 acres with 85 miles of shoreline and a maximum depth of 38 feet. Yegua Creek in the Brazos River Basin feeds Lake Somerville. U.S. Army Corp of Engineers Ft. Worth District oversees Lake Somerville. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) manages the Somerville Public Hunting Land and seven parks under a license agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Lake Somerville is 65 miles east of Austin, Texas, and 78 miles northwest of Houston, Texas, with a few tiny communities on its northern border. Somerville, Texas is the nearest town on its eastern shores. Lake Somerville sits in a rural backdrop with over ten islands. The largest islands are named Buck Nekkid Island in its northern waters and Sunny Buns Island in its southern waters. 


History of Lake Somerville

The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers began building the Lake Somerville Dam in 1962 and impounded Lake Somerville in 1967 for the purposes of flood control, water supply, and recreation. TPWD leased the complex from the federal government in 1969 and opened it in 1970. Lake Somerville technically lies in East Texas, but it also flanks the Texas Hill Country on its western border with plenty of wildlife because it lies in a strikingly rural region. 

Buried and topsoil artifacts characterize Lake Somerville’s surrounding terrain, and its artifacts are illegal to remove. The TPWD kindly advises visitors to, “Enjoy, but do not disturb historical places. If you find an artifact, leave it in place and let park staff know”. In 2004, the Yegua Creek Archaeological Project uncovered historic and prehistoric sites, including 19th century farmsteads and prehistoric sites. 

Shovel tests and cutbank profiles at the Yegua Creek Fishing Access area revealed buried soils and artifacts as much as six and a half feet below ground surface. Of the 34 sites, archeologists found 31 prehistoric sites. Six of the nine historic farmstead sites contained intact features, including structural remains and trash/dump scatters dating from the mid-1800s.

Prehistoric sites included the eras of the Late Prehistoric, Early Ceramic, Late Paleoindian, and Early Archaic occupations. Findings included arrow points, sandy-paste pottery, projectile points, bifacial adze, and axe-like tools. All the TPWD State Parks on Lake Somerville are designated as archeological sites. 

Spaniard Alvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca is believed to have been the first European to discover the area surrounding Lake Somerville. Cabeza de Vaca acted as a merchant, doctor, ethnologist, historian, and observer of plants and animals, and is responsible for the first written descriptions of the land and people of the future Texas. Shipwrecked on Galveston Island in 1528, Cabeza de Vaca and surviving crew members were able to tough it through the unknown environment with the assistance of local Indians living and camping in the region. 

By 1530, Cabeza de Vaca was engaged in trading activities that often took him along the Texas coast and inland up to 130 miles, and as far as the vicinity of Yegua Creek, Many of the early explorers traveled on the caminos reales, aka the Spanish royal roads, which led to the provincial capital Los Adaes, near Robeline, Louisiana, and other east Texas missions. 

The best-known Spanish road in today’s Texas, Camino Real, aka the Old San Antonio Road, passed within 10 to 13 miles of today’s Lake Somerville, and transported numerous explorers and settlers to the Lake Somerville region. After 1830, many settlers mainly from Tennessee, Kentucky, and Alabama arrived in the counties surrounding Yegua Creek and brought their slaves with them. 

The area grew with the establishment of the Republic of Texas in 1836. Its population explosion continued with settlers from previously settled parts of Texas. The Republic of Texas recruited immigrants from Germany and the East German Wendish region, who established small communities. The new immigrants prosperously grew wheat, corn, and cotton, and raised cattle, hogs, and sheep. 

Today, Washington County, which flanks Lake Somerville’s southern border, is known as the BirthPlace of Texas. In Burleson County, Whiskey Bridge is famous for being the most fossiliferous rock and strata site in Texas. In Lee County, tourists hunt and fish, visit the Wendish Museum in Serbin, and help celebrate the Geburstag festival in Giddings. Old World German culture and ancient artifacts dominate the counties surrounding Lake Somerville. 


Lake Somerville Fishing 

Predominant game species are hybrid striped, largemouth, and white bass, bluegill, bowfin, channel, blue, and flathead catfish, and black and white crappie. Other species include spotted and yellow bass, carp, longnose and spotted gar, panfish, numerous sunfish species, and warmouth. TPWD installed commercial fish attracting structures in 17 places around Lake Somerville. Eleven boat ramps and two marinas make Lake Somerville an ideal place to go fishing. 

All game species are managed under statewide regulations. White bass fishing is excellent, along with hybrid striped bass, and these species are found in the creeks in early spring, beginning in mid-February. During summer and fall, these bass species are found in open water following schooling shad. Crappie, catfish, and largemouth bass make for pretty good fishing opportunities.  

There is very little aquatic vegetation in Lake Somerville except at high water levels. Fish follow the bait fish as they move into shallow waters in spring and fall, then move into deeper water in summer and winter. You can buy fishing and hunting licenses at Lake Somerville Marina and Campground. Fishing guides offering charters on Lake Somerville work several area lakes, so it is best to book a fishing charter in advance. 

Find experienced local guides on our Lake Somerville Fishing Guides page. 


Boating Lake Somerville

Bass boats, pontoons, runabouts, pleasure boats, sailboats, canoes, kayaks, and a host of smaller fishing boats all use Lake Somerville waters. Big Creek Resort and Marina is located on the northeastern side of the lake, and Lake Somerville Marina and Campground is located on the southeastern side of the lake in Overlook Park and offers wet and dry boat storage. Big Creek offers a four-lane boat launch and daily and annual boat launch passes.

Additionally, eleven boat ramps are dotted around Lake Somerville. There are over ten islands to visit, with the largest islands named Buck Nekkid and Sunny Buns. Boaters and water sports enthusiasts will find open waters on the eastern end of Lake Somerville. The scenery features rolling hills and tree-lined shores with few swim beaches. Stunning fields of wildflowers bloom during spring and summer and include Bluebonnets, Indian paintbrushes and sunflowers, which provide excellent photo opportunities. 

Boat rental services include fishing boat, pontoon boat, personal watercraft, sailboat, and ski boat rentals on Lake Somerville, and you can find boat rentals in the small towns surrounding it. You can rent canoes and kayaks at the TPWD Birch Creek and Nails Creek Parks. A few businesses offer boat cruise charters. Lake Somerville Marina sells basic groceries, snacks, drinks, an extensive selection of live and frozen baits, and walls full of tackle.

Find or sell a boat on our Lake Somerville Boats for Sale page. 


Lake Somerville Real Estate

The Somerville Lake real estate market is a beautiful, but lesser known, marketplace for lake property in Texas. If you want a retreat from city life and a quiet home on a lake, then look to Lake Somerville. The median sale price for a home at Lake Somerville is $94,940, but there are lake lots and homes at lower and higher prices available.

The small town of Somerville is on the northeastern tip of Lake Somerville with few shopping opportunities. Brenham, Texas, five miles southeast, and Giddings, Texas, 18 miles southwest have Walmarts. Brenham and Somerville ISDs serve Lake Somerville’s educational needs. 

Quite a few restaurants with a variety of cuisines are scattered around the north and east sides of Lake Somerville. For an exciting nightlife, Austin and Houston are the closest metroplexes at a little more than a one-hour drive away depending on where you are located on Lake Somerville. 

To find your dream lake home, explore our Lake Somerville Homes for Sale page. 


Lake Somerville Cabins and Vacation Homes

The Big Creek Resort Marina and Campground offers cabins that sleep two to 16 people just a few steps away from Lake Somerville. You have to bring your own stuff, like towels, linens, pillows, cooking equipment, and dishes. Their cabins have only a two-burner cooktop and toaster oven. Lake Somerville Marina and Campground cabins come equipped with two full beds, satellite TV, fridge, hotplate, and a bathroom with a shower. 

There are only a few tiny communities around Lake Somerville, and the TPWD owns most of Lake Somerville’s shoreline properties. Vacation home rentals on the lakefront are scarce, but the small towns within a few miles away from the lake offer many options in vacation home rentals. These homes come in the form of mansions, cozy cabins, cottages, and mobile homes. 

Find the perfect vacation home on our Lake Somerville Cabins page. 


Camping at Lake Somerville

Camping options abound at Lake Somerville. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers operates seven parks with campgrounds, and three of those parks offer campsites with picnic tables, grills, restrooms, and showers. Most sites have shelter-tops, but electricity is extra. Overlook Park and Yegua Creek Park are ADA accessible. Birch Creek and Nails Creek have fish cleaning stations. Four of the parks have courtesy docks. 

Lake Somerville Marina and Campground has 168 acres of wilderness and unlimited primitive camping. Its developed campground comes equipped with 109 campsites that include electricity, water, picnic tables, and fire rings, plus 30 and 50 amp RV hookups. Big Creek Resort Marina and Campground offers 63 campsites for tent and RV camping with showers and restrooms, plus monthly RV rates. 

There are some limitations to two TPWD parks because they were so popular that paying campers were overcrowded. Access to the Rocky Creek Park and Yegua Creek Park campgrounds for shoreline fishing, sightseeing, walking, biking, access to nature trails, and playgrounds is not allowed.

Check out our list of campgrounds and RV parks for your family adventure on our Lake Somerville Camping page. 


Hiking, Biking, and Equestrian Trails at Lake Somerville

There are 20 miles of hiking, mountain biking, and horse trails in rolling hilly terrain with wildflowers that follow part of the Lake Somerville shoreline and winds around the 350-acre Flag Pond on the western border of Lake Somerville in Lake Somerville State Park and Trailway. 

The TPWD invites you to hear owls announce their presence as you hike through a post-oak forest. White-tailed deer leap through waist-high bluestem grasses as you bike past them. Saddle your horse and pack your tent. The Lake Somerville State Park and Trailway is one of the finest multi-use trails in Texas.  


Hunting Lake Somerville

Deer hunting is prohibited at Somerville Lake except for the Annual Challenged Hunter Deer Hunt held in December and at the Lake Somerville Wildlife Management Area 2. Each year, the Annual Challenged Hunter Deer Hunt picks a sector of society that faces physical and mental challenges to go on deer hunting expeditions. 

Somerville Lake offers two different opportunities for waterfowl hunting. The first is an area designated for daytime waterfowl hunting only. Temporary blinds are allowed, but hunters must remove their blind before they leave. Red and yellow markers guide hunters to public waterfowl areas. Hunting is allowed within yellow markers, and no hunting can occur outside of the red markers, and hunters must hunt from the shoreline.

The second waterfowl hunting opportunity is hunting from a semi-permanent stand, constructed by the hunter, for the entire waterfowl hunting season The stands are assigned through a random duck blind drawing held annually, and hunters can contact the Hunting Coordinator at the Somerville Lake Office for information.

All Hunters on Government Lands in Texas Must:

  • Have completed a Hunters Safety Education Course.
  • Have a valid State of Texas Hunting License.
  • Obey all Federal, State, and Local Municipality rules and regulations.

Things to Do at Lake Somerville

Old World German culture is alive in the three counties where Lake Somerville lies, so most restaurants offer beer, and there are quite a few restaurants offering an array of cuisines. There is not much nightlife around Lake Somerville. Nature, boating, and fishing are the primary attractions at Lake Somerville surrounded by bucolic lands. But there are a few entertainment options.

Brenham, Texas, only five miles south of Lake Somerville’s eastern border is a historic Texas town full of alpacas, historic streets, live music, wineries, award-winning barbecue, comfy lodgings, and a cotton gin, plus twelve live music venues. In Giddings, Texas, visitors will find a charming rural town at the crossroads of I77 and I290.

In Giddings, the 1900s Antique Carousel, located at 2495 West Highway I290 at Firemen’s Park, was left behind by a traveling circus. Locals and tourists enjoy this carousel exclusively twice a year, during the Lee County Fair in May and the Firemen's July 4th Celebration in July.

The 1879 Schubert-Fletcher Home and Lee County Museum, located at 183 East Hempstead Street, Giddings, Texas, is a historic home, once occupied by two prominent Giddings families, and briefly by Concordia College, but now houses historic photos and memorabilia that tells the story of Lee County. 

The Arnold Smith Native American Collection is the one of the largest compendiums of Native American artifacts in Texas. Arrowheads, pottery, and projectile point weapons that date from the Paleo-Indian period to around 300 years ago are part of its collection, which the Giddings Library exhibits. It is located at 276 North Orange Street at the Giddings Public Library, Giddings, Texas.

Art aficionados will love the town of Giddings for murals and especially for the mural Otis Dozier painted on the wall of the Giddings Post Office entitled “Cowboys Receiving the Mail.” Painted in 1939, this mural is one of the 109 works of art painted on federal buildings during the Great Depression, which was part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's efforts to help artists during times of poverty.

One of the most notable murals, “Businesses of Giddings'', painted by artist Johnny Jones, is on the walls of Laverne’s Flower Shop, next to the Giddings Post Office. This mural challenges viewers to find the 12 hidden objects in the mural, a mouse, fishing hook, chameleon, penny, clothespin, dime, nail, safety pin, butterfly, eyeglasses, cat’s eye marble, and a thimble. Other murals are located at City Meat Market, First National Bank, Orsag's, and the small freight depot off Highway 290 at the railroad tracks. 

At the Texas Wendish Heritage Museum, you can learn about the history of the Texas Wends, and Slavic immigrants from Lusatia, a region in East Germany in nearby Serbin, Texas. View treasures like a folk dress from Lusatia, letters, and the beautifully painted Wendish Easter eggs. It is located at 1011 County Road 212, Giddings, Texas.

Ten miles northwest of the western border of Lake Somerville, in super tiny Dime Box, Texas, sits the Dime Box Heritage Museum, where you can view historic artifacts depicting the area’s German and Czech heritage.

Plan your next trip on our What To Do At Lake Somerville page. 


Lake Somerville Weather & Climate

Lake Somerville sees an average of 42 inches of rain, with no snow, and 209 days of sunshine per year. The winter low in January is 38 degrees with a summer high in July of 94 degrees. April, October, and November are the most comfortable months for this region.

Keep your finger on the pulse of local weather activity with our Lake Somerville Weather Forecast page. 


Lake Somerville Zip Codes

Burleson County: 77836, 77838, 77852, 77863, 77878, 77879.

Lee County: 77853, 78942, 78947, 78948.

Washington County: 77426, 77833, 77834, 77835, 77880, 78932.


Flora and Fauna

Somerville Lake's diverse habitat of open water, wetlands, mudflats, riparian woodlands, grasslands, and yaupon thickets attracts a wide variety of birds, with water birds being the main attraction, which provides the best chance in the Central Brazos River Valley of observing wintering bald eagles and migrating osprey. On your nature walk, common wildlife sightings include see white-tailed deer, gray fox, coyote, raccoon, opossum, armadillo, cottontail rabbit, and bobcat.

Somerville Lake Email Updates


 

Somerville Lake Current Weather Alerts

There are no active watches, warnings or advisories.

 

Somerville Lake Weather Forecast

Friday

Hot

Hi: 97

Friday Night

Mostly Clear

Lo: 73

Saturday

Mostly Sunny

Hi: 96

Saturday Night

Mostly Clear

Lo: 74

Sunday

Hot

Hi: 97

Sunday Night

Mostly Clear

Lo: 75

Monday

Sunny

Hi: 94

Monday Night

Clear

Lo: 68


Somerville Lake Water Level (last 30 days)


Water Level on 9/23: 233.06 (-4.94)