Luce Bayou Watershed
About the Watershed
The Luce Bayou watershed is located in the far northeast corner of Harris County and drains into the East Fork San Jacinto River, in the upper reaches of Lake Houston. The watershed extends through Liberty County and into San Jacinto County with its headwaters located in the Sam Houston National Forest. The watershed covers about 227 square miles, of which only 73 square miles are within Harris County. Luce Bayou is the watershed's single primary stream. There are about 35 miles of open streams within the watershed, including the primary stream and tributary channels. Within Harris County, the only significant tributary is Shook Gully, which drains the area to the east of the main channel. The estimated population within the watershed (Harris County portion) is just under 9,500. The floodplain from Luce Bayou is significant in Harris County due to the large upstream drainage area.
Significant levels of development are concentrated near the mouth of the bayou at Lake Houston and the portion of the City of Cleveland that is drained by the bayou. The remaining areas of the watershed are mostly undeveloped. Development will probably increase in an upstream direction from Lake Houston and in the vicinity of Cleveland, but the expected rate is fairly slow.
Luce Bayou is, for the most part, a natural, vegetated channel. The lower reaches are influenced by the pool elevation from Lake Houston, so that the lower few miles of the bayou are full of water. This constant inundation of the channel and the undeveloped conditions of the watershed support extensive and varied wildlife habitat and make this watershed environmentally sensitive to flood damage reduction projects.