Cassels-Boykin Park is located in
the mid-lake area of Lake Sam Rayburn. This
area is known as one of the best locations in Texas
for Largemouth Bass due to its flooded timber, lily
pads, channels, drop offs and lots of hydrilla. Prime fishing spots near
the park include the the Black Forest, Canyons, Deer Stand, Pophers
Creek, Atoyac River, Julie Creek, Harvey
Creek, Indian Creek, Mud Creek and Veach Basin.
Cassels-Boykin Park with its close proximity to
great bass fishing, a large pavilion, and ample
trailer parking, is a great place to have a large
To reserve Park amenities or for more information,
Jason Kartye County Parks Director at
936-630-3231. The pavilion
was designed to facilitate bass tournaments
but is also a great venue for weddings.
new Dr. Bill and Emily Shelton Pavilion — a vision
and partnership that took nearly 13 years to realize
— has the perfect view overlooking a portion of Sam
Rayburn Reservoir near Zavalla.
Officials from the Lufkin/Angelina County Chamber of
Commerce, along with Angelina County, the Corps of
Engineers and Texas Parks and Wildlife, dedicated
the Cassels-Boykin County Park Expansion project,
including the pavilion, on Friday morning.
The pavilion, designed with natural wood, river
rocks and stone floors, was named in honor of the
man who continually pushed for the project's
completion. Dr. Shelton avidly fished the local
lakes and had stressed to his friend, James Slack,
the importance of restoring Cassels-Boykin Park.
After Shelton's death in 2006, Slack took over the
project and saw it through.
"From 1997 to 2003 we really couldn't get any
traction on the project," Slack said at the
dedication ceremony. "In February 2003 we had our
first meeting. That was the beginning, and we all
knew it was a monumental task we were undertaking."
Shelton's wife, Emily, also helped keep the passion
"She continued to push to get this done," Slack
said. "I would fax her all of my e-mails to keep her
The first seed money for the project came in April
2004 in the form of $5,000 checks from Memorial
Health System of East Texas and Woodland Heights
Medical Center, Slack said.
Along with numerous private donations, the project
received funding from the TLL Temple Foundation,
which gave $1.6 million; Texas Parks and Wildlife,
which gave $500,000 for boating access; the
Pineywoods Foundation, which gave $105,000; and the
Lower Neches Valley Authority, which gave $250,000,
"I'm as amazed as you are that this was built,"
Slack said. "It is bigger and better than any of us
The pavilion, a 100-space truck and trailer parking
lot, boat ramps and restrooms adequate for hosting
special events are the results of phases one and two
of the project.
"This is an amazing venture and an amazing
accomplishment," Angelina County Judge Wes Suiter
said. "Because of the partnership with The Chamber,
the county and the Lake Enhancement Task Force, we
will be able to maintain and operate this facility
on a first-class basis. This is a major asset to
Angelina County, and we reap many benefits from this
facility. You will continue to see improvements out
our new video of the park featuring James Slack,
Chairman of the Lake Enhancement Task Force, and
Jeff Buchanan, B.A.S.S. and FLW pro fisherman.
James and Jeff discuss the park improvements and
give tips on fishing near Cassels-Boykin.
County Park has 5 new launch ramps on its south
shore in addition to its original 4 ramps on the
north shore. The new ramps are part one of an
ongoing renovation project that began through the
efforts of the Angelina County Chamber of Commerce.
Along with the ramps, there also are 100 new parking
spaces, an 80-foot handicapped accessible courtesy
pier and improved lighting and signage. All of these
amenities will be beneficial to the many fishermen
and boaters who access the lake through this park.
Phase II of the renovation plan is
now complete and the pavilion was dedicated on July
The new Dr. Bill and Emily Shelton Pavilion is ready
for use. This
100-foot diameter multi-use structure can seat 400
and will feature rustic rock and faux log
architecture with an adjacent amphitheater area. The
new restroom building is complete and will be
ready for both tournaments and weddings.
The restroom/concession building
will have a dressing area suitable for weddings and other
Detailed planning for Phase III is set to begin
soon, and it will include RV accessible and
primitive campsites, a handicapped-friendly fishing
pier as well as a hiking/biking trail of several
miles. Fund-raising for this phase is under way and
tax deductible donations can be made to the Angelina
Chamber of Commerce Foundation, P.O. Box 1606,
Lufkin, TX 75902-1606.
Funding for Cassels-Boykin County Park to date has
been provided by the generous donations of many area
businesses in addition to grants received from the T.L.L. Temple Foundation, the Pineywoods Foundation,
and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. The
project also has received substantial support from
the The Lower Neches Valley Authority and the many,
many friends of Dr. Bill and Emily Shelton.
The Park is just a 35-minute drive from the city of
Lufkin (www.cityoflufkin.com). Lufkin is the region's
medical and retail center, and it boasts many
hotels, restaurants, and shops as well as two
well-known museums and one of the best small zoos in
boat ramps are in the lake! Drewery
Construction has placed two ramps in the lake, one
two lane ramp and a three lane ramp.
Watch the HD video on YouTube. The ramps
were poured on dry land and slid into the lake.
This is one of the first times this procedure has
been successfully preformed.
We also have a
Windows Media version.
The park has 17 campsites.
Seventeen (17) sites have
water and electricity.
There are two restrooms in
the park. No showers are available.
A trailer dump station is
Nine boat ramp lanes are available.
Angelina County Lake Enhancement Task Force chairman
recent interview on City Hall Update with host
Yana Ogletree. This interview was conducted in
May, 2009 and contains footage of the Dr. Bill
Shelton's Totally Awesome Fishing adventure which
was the first major bass tournament conducted at the
renderings depicting proposed park improvements
Enhancement Task Force of the
Lufkin/Angelina County Chamber of Commerce has
formulated a strategy to improve the facilities at
Cassels-Boykin Park to increase tourism and
stimulate the economy on northern Sam Rayburn
Reservoir and in Angelina County.
located near Zavalla, is owned by the Army Corps of
Engineers, but is on long-term lease to Angelina
County. Income generated from boat launch, camping,
and other fees at this 110-acre location currently
totals $20,000 - $30,000 per year, which is used to
maintain the facility.
The proposed improvements
of the park include a handicap-accessible fishing
pier, swimming area, improved restroom facilities,
five-lane boat ramp, 100 car-trailer space parking
lot, caretaker residence, landscaping, signage, and
an access road. The project will also include a
large pavilion, named in honor of Dr. Bill Shelton,
one of the pioneers of this endeavor, an outdoor
enthusiast and a true hero to all those whose lives
he touched. The total estimated cost of the project
Funding has already been
received from a private foundation for
preliminary planning and engineering of this
project. A $500,000 Boating Access Grant from Texas
Parks & Wildlife has also been awarded to Angelina
The potential economic
impact of the Cassels-Boykin Park
Project is immense, according to studies conducted
by Texas A&M University for Texas Parks & Wildlife
on Sam Rayburn Reservoir in 2002. The study
concluded that the total annual economic value of
recreational fishing at Sam Rayburn Reservoir was
$15,100,401 in 2001.
Dr. Bill Shelton lived a life of passion
for his patients' healing but also for the outdoors.
After fishing Sam Rayburn Reservoir for nearly 40
he spearheaded a group that saw the potential for
Cassels-Boykin Park to
serve the needs of our children and the physically
challenged and all of East
Texas to a much greater extent. He worked tirelessly
to ensure access for
these individuals and to give all citizens an
opportunity to enjoy this beautiful
resource by creating facilities for fishing, as well
as family gatherings,
weddings, reunions, and fishing tournaments. His
enthusiasm for seeing this project reach its
fruition remained until his death in October 2006.