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SHOAL CREEK (Travis County). Shoal Creek rises in north central Travis County (at 30°23' N, 97°45' W) in northwest Austin and runs south for ten miles to its mouth (at 30°16' N, 97°45' W) on Town Lake. It traverses generally flat to rolling terrain with some local steep slopes; the clay and sandy loam soils support junipers, oaks, pecans, and grasses. As early as 1839 the creek had become a popular fishing and swimming spot for Austin residents; later, hiking trails were constructed along its banks. As Austin grew, a variety of business and residential areas were built along the creek, and concern about the construction's impact on the environment began to grow as well. The paved streets channeled large amounts of runoff into the creek, which made it rise quickly during rainstorms and led to occasional floods. One of the most devastating of these occurred in 1981, when thirteen people were killed and an estimated $30 million in property damage was done.


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

"SHOAL CREEK (TRAVIS COUNTY)," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed November 24, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.