Keller Bay Ranch is located along the Texas Gulf Coast on the Sand Point peninsula which defines Keller Bay to the north, Lavaca Bay to the west and Matagorda Bay to the south. The ranch is situated in Calhoun County and accessed near the town of Olivia, which is between Corpus Christi and Houston and 45 miles southeast of Victoria.
Keller Bay Ranch and the Sand Point peninsula are surrounded by Coastal Protected Areas that include Matagorda Island WMA, Powderhorn WMA, Mad Island WMA, Welder Flats WMA, Guadalupe Delta WMA, three units of Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, and thousands of acres of private preserves and conservation easements. Additionally, a million acres of state and federal waters for hunting, fishing and recreation connect them all. Two words come to mind… Habitat and Wildlife!
1,099± Acres in Calhoun County
Keller Bay Ranch is truly a one-of-a-kind property, with its extensive coastal prairie, intact wetlands, expansive beachfront, and a range of fishery habitats. The combination of these natural habitats has provided for a huge diversity of wildlife alongside a rich ranching heritage.
There are hundreds of tidal potholes and wetlands along the inside of Keller Bay creating the Ideal fishing habitat on this stretch of the Texas Coast. Meanwhile the Matagorda Bay Beachfront Is untouched and pristine as it provides protection and endless recreation.
Ranching livestock has been the traditional use of this ranch for over 100 years and the property is set up with infrastructure of wells, troughs, fences, and traps. Through a series of roads and mowed lanes there is great access to much of the ranch.
Keller Bay Ranch lies within the Gulf Coast Prairies and Marshes Ecoregion. Many say the habitats at Keller Bay are very similar to Aransas National Wildlife Refuge and with the network of similar protected areas in the immediate vicinity, a wildlife mecca. This system is characterized by a diverse complex of soils, and habitat associations including tallgrass prairie, sand barrens, freshwater marshes, and freshwater pothole ponds. Tidal bayous, brackish emergent marshes, and creeks further enhance the ranches’ biological diversity. This broad soil diversity supports a unique assemblage of native grasses, yucca, forbs, brush and trees.
The wildlife resources on Keller Bay are “refuge quality” not only in game but also in non-game species. Hunting, birding, photography, and just enjoying the array of wildlife is easy to do within this diverse assemblage of habitats. Fresh and Coastal waters are home to a wide array of wintering waterfowl, shorebirds, and waterbirds such as ducks, geese, cranes, stilts, plovers, egrets, bitterns, and herons. Sandy soils, prairies and motts provide world class bobwhite quail, and native whitetail deer.
Motts and shrubs provide exceptional fall-out habitat for neotropical songbirds during spring and fall migration. At times the diversity of warblers, oriels, vireos, tanagers, and hummingbirds foraging and resting in the trees are unbelievable.
Fishing on the ranch and in adjacent waters is world class. Redfish, trout, flounder, and drum are all part of the fishery that makes this region a fishing destination.
Improvements and Water
The ranch is largely unimproved and set up as a working cattle ranch. and there are several pastures and gathering areas all with adequate water resources. The hundreds of tidal pothole ponds are distributed naturally across the ranch as well as water troughs and storage from a network of wells providing adequate water for livestock, wildlife, and future headquarters.
Conservation and Management
The ranch is made up of 3 individual tracts that were placed under 2 Conservation Easements as part of a comprehensive plan to implement a wildlife and landscape Conservation Strategy. Additionally, the Easement provides for future recreation and limited homesite development and usage of each of the 3 properties both individually or as a whole. Each of the tracts and easements allows for the ability to improve with building sites for homes, lodges and recreational infrastructure including the ability to construct a major landing pier for access by boat or barge.
Hand in hand with the conservation strategies on the ranch, significant improvement has been made in habitat management, infrastructure, and wildlife management. Prescribed burning has been an ideal tool for coastal prairie management and regular use of it has had significant impact on the health of the native range. Ranching livestock has been the traditional use of this ranch over past generations and is still a part of the management and use of the ranch today.