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Benbrook Lake Spillway, Tx


hashemdbouk

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Has anyone been to Benbrook lake spillway? A friend told me she used to go there many years ago, and I'm interested in checking it out, but I've heard mixed info about whether collecting is allowed or not, or if permission is needed. Has anyone been recently or has any knowledge of that site?

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I inquired about a month or so ago and wass told it is off limits now. I do hope that is wrong because I would love to venture up there.

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I was there a couple of weeks ago. There is parking space just off the main road at the spillway. There is a steel cable keeping you from going any further in a vehicle. No one approached me while I was hunting and you are always visible from the street while hunting. There was the same sign that had been there for so long stating absolutely no digging equipment to hunt fossils. I should think if it was off limits now, they would have removed the sign and put up one that prohibits hunting.

Don Feare

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Thanks Don!

That's great to hear, I will try to go up there soon.

do you have coordinates or exact directions to get to the spillway (struggling to find exact location of spillway on google maps, any tips on directions would be great)?

thanks again!

Hashem

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this is the address I could find:

4800 E County Road 1042, Benbrook, TX 76126

does that sound familiar or look right on google maps?

Thanks!

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Not sure about the address but County Road 1042 (AKA Lakeside Dr) is correct. The spillway is at the NW end of the long earthen dam. Many moons ago I collected some nice ammonites from the low exposures along the north western end. I found numerous heart urchins just walking the flats. I did need a screwdriver to pry the ammos out but no other tools. The Goodland is almost always rich in fossils of all sorts. I think this place has just become boring for the older collectors. Hard to imagine how the Goodland could be ever collected out.

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Thanks erose!

I hope it proves to be a productive trip! If i can find any complete ammonite, i will be a very happy man!

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Thanks erose!

I hope it proves to be a productive trip! If i can find any complete ammonite, i will be a very happy man!

Let me know and we can go together.

I can show you how to get there.

Give me a text, you got my #.

This Sunday if you want!!!

Jess b.

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Thanks Jess! I was hoping to go in a couple of weeks! Will keep you updated, you're welcome to join.

If anyone else would be interested, let me know.

I'm planning for sunday Sept 14th for whoever is up for it.

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Close to a month away! Well, we'll wait and see.

Just a heads up. It is a very open and popular collecting spot.

Lots of locals, that are not on this forum, go there after practically every rain event.

I know of a couple of other spots we may get in on.

Stay in touch and maybe we can hit something soon.

Jess B.

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That weekend is my "fossil hunting extra-ordinaire" weekend, and I plan to go out both saturday and sunday.

-saturday September 13th: I want to go to Mineral Wells fossil park, I will be going with two friends (Sveta and Alexander, both of whom were with us in the last DPS trip). Ryan and Jessy, if you're interested, you're welcome to join in and meet us there!

-sunday September 14th: I want to go to Benbrook lake. Jessy, I'll keep in touch closer to the date and see if you want to still go. If you do, and you want to check some other locations afterwards, I would love to tag along... the more locations, the more fossils to find!

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I also am very interested in collecting at the Benbrook Spillway & lake, but the US Corp of Engineers website is pretty clear that they don’t allow fossil collecting without a permit (see link). Just this week, I submitted a request for paperwork to fill out and submit but I have not received a response yet. I will post a follow-up summary of the permit process and let you know how that works out.

I was surprised to find out that without an approved permit the penalty for removing a fossil can be up to $5,000 and/or up to 6 months jail time! (See below link and excerpt)

I am told that IF a permit is approved, the Corp will place stipulations on what and how fossils can be removed. In trying to get info on collecting from Corp land I came across a range of conditions listed on the web. Other's permit restrictions have anecdotally included:

1. Limited time period – Some report permit periods allowed up to 6 months.

2. Limited number of specimens – No more than 10 specimens allowed.

3. Limited Size – No Specimen larger than your hand is allowed to be removed.

4. Excavation Tools – Either permit restrictions include “no excavation tools are allowed” or only tools “measuring up 4 inches by 12 inches”

5. And finally, specimens cannot be removed if they are of scientific/historic significance.

With all that said, I have read a lot about others collecting at Benbrook Spillway (I assume without permit) and heard of no one being fined… but there are a lot of other north Texas fossil spots that aren't on Corp land AND my thought on this is if I’m going to spend $5,000 dollars on a fossil hunt it better involve an overseas flight and a nice hotel.

Again, I will post a follow-up of the Corp of Engineers' permit application process. As it stands now I haven't even seen the application form yet.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

The Corp’s web link stating no collection without permits follows:

http://www.swf-wc.usace.army.mil/benbrook/Cultural.asp

The link to the federal statutes governing Corp of Engineer managed lands follows:

http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?sid=6a6ae942a3422fb3acb2fafd0d9b714f&tpl=/ecfrbrowse/Title36/36chapterIII.tpl

I have cut and pasted the relative portions below:

Title 36 - Parks, Forests, and Public Property Chapter III – Corps of Engineers, Department of the Army §327.14 - Public property.

(a) Destruction, injury, defacement, removal or any alteration of public property including, but not limited to, developed facilities, natural formations, mineral deposits, historical and archaeological features, paleontological resources, boundary monumentation or markers and vegetative growth, is prohibited except when in accordance with written permission of the District Commander.

§327.25 - Violations of rules and regulations.

(a) Any person who violates the provisions of the regulations in this part, other than for a failure to pay authorized recreation use fees as separately provided for in §327.23, may be punished by a fine of not more than $5,000 or imprisonment for not more than six months or both and may be tried and sentenced in accordance with the provisions of section 3401 of Title 18, United States Code. Persons designated by the District Commander shall have the authority to issue a citation for violation of the regulations in this part, requiring any person charged with the violation to appear before the United States Magistrate within whose jurisdiction the affected water resources development project is located (16 U.S.C. 460d).

[65 FR 6903, Feb. 11, 2000]

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I guess each USACE is different. In Waco I go up to the office, fill out a form and done in five minutes.

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The difference is probably less to due to the different offices and more to do my doing it through correspondence.

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What sort of restrictions, if any, have been in placed on your permits issued by the USACE in Waco?

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Oh wow! Thanks Fossil2... i'm with you on that one, if i'm paying $5000 for a fossil it had better be worth it, and as much as i'd like to go to Benbrook, I don't think it's worth $5000!

I will see if i can plan something else, there's good time.

Ryan or anyone else, any suggestions for a good fossil site for that sunday?

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You can do what I did back in March. My oldest son and I hit Mineral Wells in the morning, had lunch and then hit Lake Jacksboro in the afternoon. As for doing something over two days, no clue. I don't know how much time you like to spend in the car. Ladonia is also a possibility since that place won't be around forever.

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The permit is highly restrictive regarding "invertebrate bones"... :blink:

"There has been an alarming increase in the number of things I know nothing about." - Ashleigh Ellwood Brilliant

“Try to learn something about everything and everything about something.” - Thomas Henry Huxley

>Paleontology is an evolving science.

>May your wonders never cease!

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You can do what I did back in March. My oldest son and I hit Mineral Wells in the morning, had lunch and then hit Lake Jacksboro in the afternoon. As for doing something over two days, no clue. I don't know how much time you like to spend in the car. Ladonia is also a possibility since that place won't be around forever.

yeah, maybe I will check out lake Jacksboro, thanks for the tip! any good finds there?

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The permit is highly restrictive regarding "invertebrate bones"... :blink:

ha! those rare invertebrate bones, hahaha!

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Mineral Wells is abundant in a few things, mainly crinoids. Lake Jacksboro is the opposite. I found little of everything. I found a lot of horn coral. Found two conularia and other stuff. Now I will mention that Mineral Wells is a great place just to collect matrix to sift through at a later date. I have a large bucket sitting in the garage for the winter time.

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