In May of 2009, 2010, and 2011, the Cradle of Texas Chapter sponsored field trips to the Matagorda Island Unit of Aransas National Wildlife Refuge Complex. These trips were organized by COT Members Steve and Clyde Zilliox. Twenty or so COT members and a few invited guests participated in each trip. Dr. Wayne McAlister and his wife Martha served as guides. The McAlisters had lived on Matagorda Island for several years during the 1980s and 90s as representatives of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. They have authored several books about the Island.In 2010, we were escorted by Tanya Nix, a staff member from the Aransas Pass National Wildlife Refuge. Tanya taxied us around the island in a passenger trailer towed by a USFWS vehicle. In 2011, Dr. McAlister taxied us.
Each trip began with a boat trip across Aransas, Carlos, and Mesquite Bays from the dock in Fulton to the Island. Our captain was Tommy Moore, owner of Rockport Birding & Kayak Adventures, a company that provides "a truly unique nature tourism experience." According to his website:
Capt. Tommy has been in the Aransas area for over 30 years. His knowledge of the area, the incredibly abundant wildlife, and the rich history of Aransas bay give our customers a perspective of the area they cannot get anywhere else. We are a classic family business and care about our customers.
- Photos the following pages were taken by Ed Hunter, Tom Morris, Phil Huxford, Jeanne Manry, and Neal McLain.
- The video of the 2011 trip was compiled by Steve Zilliox.
- The Species Lists were compiled by Tom Morris (2010) and Ed Hunter (2011).
Thanks to Steve, Ed, Tom, Phil, and Jeanne for their contributions. And a special thanks to Steve for the video of the 2011 trip.
Blue balloons indicate docks
View TMN-COT Boat Trip to Matagorda Island in a larger map