Brazos Bend State Park
Volunteer Organization   
Gator Hatch


Pond Life of Brazos Bend State Park

The purpose of the pond life program at Brazos Bend State Park is to acquaint park guests with the very diverse and interesting world of aquatic invertebrates which exists beneath the surface of all of the bodies of water at the park. This world is largely unknown or ignored by most visitors to the park. They all know that there are alligators, fish, turtles, and frogs in the water, but few have ever taken note of the water beetles that they see swimming about on top of the water. Even fewer are aware of the mini-monsters that crawl about in the muck at the bottom of the pond. And those who have looked through microscopes to see incredible creatures like copepods and water fleas are even rarer.


Copepod. 1.5 mm long

Water Scavenger Beetle Larva, 4 mm long attacking midge larva.


Here, in this hidden world, tiny creatures must cope with problems of survival and reproduction. Little worms, no thicker than a human hair, build camouflaged houses out of bits of decaying plant material, and drag them everywhere they go. Mothers must find safe places to hide their eggs and babies must make their way alone in a very hostile world. Tiny predators, less than 5 millimeters long, but fiercer than any tiger, stalk and attack their prey in the duckweed jungle

It is the awareness of this fantastic and little known universe that the pond life program would impart to the public.


Pond Life Program at Brazos Bend State Park

Creekfield Lake at Brazos Bend State Park




All of the organisms described here are found along the edges of the major standing bodies of water at Brazos Bend State Park. Most of the collecting was done at Creekfield Lake, Pilant Slough, Elm Lake, and the Prairie Pond. All of these locations represent the Lentic-Littoral environment. Lentic means that the water is standing, rather than flowing (Lotic) The Littoral zone is the area near the bank, extending out as far as sunlight can penetrate to the bottom. The term Pond is used very loosely here. None of these bodies of water are technically ponds. Elm Lake and Pilant Slough are lakes, while Creekfield Lake and the Prairie Pond are more marshes than ponds.

Major Groups of aquatic invertebrates found at Brazos Bend State Park:




Segmented Worms




Updated: Sep 06, 2011