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 tournament.

To reserve Park amenities or for more information, please contact 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.
   
 
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Watch the Dedication Ceremony - July 9, 2010

 

Joel Andrews/Lufkin Daily NewsThe 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."

Angela Marcotte/Expressive ImagesShelton's wife, Emily, also helped keep the passion alive.

"She continued to push to get this done," Slack said. "I would fax her all of my e-mails to keep her informed."

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, Slack said.

"I'm as amazed as you are that this was built," Slack said. "It is bigger and better than any of us could imagine."

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 here."
 
The next step will be to build a handicap-accessible fishing pier.  Read more about it in the Lufkin Daily News.  Read the editorial in the Lufkin Daily News.


Elaine Cameron/Bill Cameron ConsultingWatch 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.

 

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 9. 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.  TheChip Buchanan and Dad with Chip's 8 lbs bass restroom/concession building will have a dressing area suitable for weddings and other events.

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 the nation.

We have a new aerial video of the ramp and park.  Thanks to Memorial Health System of East Texas and PHI Air Medical, an aerial video was shot on July 10, 2009. 

 

The 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

     

Currently:

  • 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 available.
  • Nine boat ramp lanes are available.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Watch Angelina County Lake Enhancement Task Force chairman James Slack's 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 park.

 

 

 


 

 Architectural renderings depicting proposed park improvements

The Lake 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.

Cassels-Boykin Park, 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 is $5,000,000.

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 County.

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 years, 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.

 

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