WEST FORK OF THE TRINITY RIVER
WEST FORK OF THE TRINITY RIVER. The West Fork, one of four forks of the Trinity River, rises twenty miles southeast of Archer City in southeastern Archer County (at 33°27' N, 98°38' W) and runs southeast for 145 miles, through the central and southeastern portions of Jack, Wise, and Tarrant counties. The surrounding rolling prairie is surfaced by clay and sandy loams that support cacti, scrub brush, mesquite, and live oak. With the exception of the area near the Fort Worth metropolitan district, the stream has retained its natural qualities and scenic character; it is a popular recreational spot for fishing enthusiasts, boaters, and picnickers. For most of the history of the North Texas area the West Fork region has been used as range and crop land. During the first third of the twentieth century three reservoirs were constructed along the river. Two were built near the city limits of Fort Worth-Lake Worth (1916), along the city's western edge, and Eagle Mountain Lake (1931), fourteen miles northwest of the city. The waters of the third reservoir, Lake Bridgeport (1931), lie in two counties, a small portion in Jack County and the remainder in Wise County, four miles west of Bridgeport. In spite of the construction of three reservoirs, periodic flooding continues to cause problems for those who live near the river. In May 1957, for example, more than 4,000 persons were evacuated from the unprotected lowlands of the West Fork above Fort Worth. After the West Fork is joined by the Clear Fork of the Trinity in Fort Worth (at 32°46' N, 97°21' W), it flows east to its mouth on the Elm Fork of the Trinity, just northwest of the city limits of Dallas (at 32°48' N, 96°54' W).