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KCMOfossil

Any suggestions for a collecting trip near Waco, TX?

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KCMOfossil

I hope to take some of my grandchildren (ages 6-12) on a fossil hunting trip near Hewitt, TX during my week there between Christmas and New Years.  I've been to the Waco Research Pit with them two other times, so this time I'd like to take them somewhere else.  My preferred maximum range is about 45 minutes from Hewitt, although we could go further if needed.  They enjoy the outdoors and have been fossil hunting with me numerous times.  Does anyone have any suggestions?

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Jeffrey P

Whiskey Bridge near Bryan, where US21 crosses the Brazos River about an hour south of Waco.  Access and parking on westside of the bridge. It's an Eocene marine site with abundant small gastropod shells in the clay embankments. The only tools necessary are screwdrivers to dig the shells out of the clay.

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KCMOfossil
21 minutes ago, Jeffrey P said:

Whiskey Bridge

Thanks, Jeffrey P, this sounds good.  It's a bit farther than I'd like but still doable.  I appreciate the parking tips etc.

 

Russ

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ClearLake

Whiskey Bridge is indeed a good site to visit. One other piece of advice, check the river level before you go. It has been a little high lately and periodic rain will keep it that way. It’s best if the level is down below 15’. You can check the river level here: https://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?cb_00010=on&cb_00060=on&cb_00065=on&cb_00095=on&cb_00300=on&cb_00400=on&cb_72148=on&format=gif_default&site_no=08108700&period=&begin_date=2018-10-01&end_date=2018-12-11

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KCMOfossil
12 hours ago, ClearLake said:

check the river level before you go.

Will do.  Thanks for the link.  It looks like it is at 18' or so today.  I'll check again as the date for the trip approaches.

 

Russ

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RyanNREMTP

The only place I got has been mentioned.  While I've never been to Whisky Bridge I have heard it is a good place to hunt.  Waco Pit is more pain in the @@@ nowadays so I've avoided that location for a while now. There are road cuts as well but that probably wouldn't be that good for kids since you will always be looking over your shoulder for safety sake instead of looking for fossils.

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KCMOfossil
17 hours ago, RyanNREMTP said:

Whisky Bridge I have heard it is a good place to hunt

It looks like Whisky Bridge is the best option so far.  I'm sure the grandkids will enjoy it and I imagine they will come home with some nice finds.

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TNGray

There are some road cuts just north of Gatesville that expose chalk layers that produce decent urchins, gastropods and bivalves.

As I recall, its along CR 215 north of the intersection with TX36.

 

I also have a report on Whiskey Bridge on my website -->   http://nautiloid.net/fossils/sites/whisky_bridge/whisky_bridge.html

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Edited by TNGray
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KCMOfossil

Thanks, TNGray, this is useful info.  I've been to Gatesville a number of times, but always in a hurry--so no fossil collecting.  The spot on 215 looks good.  Thanks, too, for the report on your website.

 

Russ

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KimTexan

Pick a creek, any creek.

Whitney and Lake Whitney area are loaded with fossils. It can be mind boggling at times. I’ve mostly hunted the north side of the lake, but I’ve also hunted a spot north of Clifton, TX on the south side of the lake.

 

There are some awesome ammonites to be found. Awesome is relative, but this is one of my early ammonite finds from maybe 1995 or 1996 from the Lake Whitney area. It was a construction site find.

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It didn’t exactly look like that when I found it though. It was all smooth and solid. I put it on my back patio leaning up against the house. One day while sweeping leaves I picked it up and presto (not instantly, next time I saw it) it looked like this. The chambers are lined with calcite and it’s got that calcite hole in it, but I think it’s beautiful for a Texas ammonite. 

 

Around Lake Whitney you can’t help but trip or swim over fossils. Swimming at Christmas time in Texas is not recommended unless you’re part of the Polar bear club. ;) 

There are decent ammonites, echinoids urchins, gastropods and bivalves in many places. You can also find corals, crystallized fossils and some pyratized ones. 

The area is early Cretaceous undivided for the most part.

I have not been hunting near Whitney per se, but I’ve hunted around different places around Lake Wittney and the shores of it and found some great finds. 

Look in the Brazos. There have to be fossils there if you can find a place where there are gravel bars or the river is low enough. Kayaking is always a fun option, but probably not a good idea with small kids.

I generally use satellite maps to find exposures, creeks with gravel bars or embankments or construction sites. Usually it works great, but occasionally you may come across private land posted no trespassing. Then occasionally you do something like I did 2 weeks ago and you inadvertently end up at the local land fill. LOL I’ll be laughing at myself on that for years to come.

Needless to say I opted to look elsewhere. Satalite images have their drawbacks. It’s a pitfall of fossil hunting by satalite image. 

But I have found some of my best fossils and hunting spots that way.:P

 

I could be wrong, but I believe any waterway in Texas is open game unless controlled by the Army Corp of Engineers or it is a state or national park area. I’ve hunted private property on Lake Whitney in several places. So I’m not sure what the Corp of Engineer position is on that lake, they don’t rule feeder creeks and rivers though. Usually if you’re not hammering away or digging they don’t have too much issue, but it’s a good idea to be informed before hunting Corp of Engineer terrain since they can levy hefty fines. 

Best of luck.

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lcordova

What a beauty!

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KCMOfossil
16 hours ago, KimTexan said:

satellite maps to find exposures, creeks with gravel bars or embankments

Thanks, KimTexan, I always enjoy your posts, and this is no exception.  You have given me some new avenues to check out.  Nice ammonite.  Odd how it changed like that.

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KimTexan
1 hour ago, KCMOfossil said:

Thanks, KimTexan, I always enjoy your posts, and this is no exception. 

I had no idea. I try to make it entertaining and informative. Wish I could make money fossil hunting and writing about it. I’d do it full time.

1 hour ago, KCMOfossil said:

Odd how it changed like that.

It’s soft grainy limestone like many ammonites in the area. They are steinkerns I believe. So they’re sedimentary material that filled the void left when the cephalopod decomposed.

Most ammonites I leave outside without coating will weather away. This one just did it in a cool way to reveal something beautiful. Quite a few ammonites have calcite in them.

One of my nice Eopachydiscus ammonites was a tree trunk find near south side of Lake Whitney. I was scouting out the terrain in a remote area and found the ammonite sitting at the base of a tree growing algae or something green and smooth. It’s not unusual for tree roots to push rocks and fossils to the surface as they grow. It was about 12 inches across and maybe 20-25 lbs. I didn’t have a pack on me. I had to carry it in my arms all the way back to camp.

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