U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service logo A Unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System
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Buffalo Lake
National Wildlife Refuge

P.O. Box 179
Umbarger, TX   79091
Phone Number: 806-499-3382
Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
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Tierra Blanca Creek and natural springs fed Buffalo Lake for decades, until the 1970s. Irrigation and urban water pumping sapped the water table and simultaneously, the rains decreased. Tierra Blanca Creek dried up and eventually so did Buffalo Lake. After a torrential rain filled the lake to capacity in 1978, Umbarger Dam was condemned and the lake drained.

In 1992, the Fish and Wildlife Service replaced Umbarger Dam with a modern flood control structure. Major storms occasionally flood Tierra Blanca Creek, but water quality suffers from upstream cattle feedlots. The refuge manages the dry lakebed for wildlife habitat.

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