Carpenters Bayou

Carpenters Bayou

Watershed Overview

Drainage Area Watershed Population Open Stream Miles Primary Streams
25 Sq. Miles 70,721 (2020 Census Data) 44 Miles Carpenters Bayou

The Carpenters Bayou watershed is located in east Harris County. Carpenters Bayou flows southward from its headwaters just west of Lake Houston into the Houston Ship Channel. The bayou parallels the East Sam Houston Tollway and passes through Channelview. The watershed covers approximately 25 square miles, with Carpenters Bayou being the single primary stream. There are about 44 miles of open streams within the watershed, including the primary stream and tributary channels. Based on the 2010 U.S. Census, the estimated population of the Carpenters Bayou watershed is 57,249. 

Under existing development conditions, the floodplain is not very extensive along Carpenters Bayou. The lower end of Carpenters Bayou is tidally influenced and therefore vulnerable to storm surge flooding.

Land Use

Development is concentrated downstream of Wallisville Road. The upper half of the watershed is mostly agricultural and includes the Sheldon Lake State Park and Environmental Learning Center. Development is expected to occur slowly between Wallisville Road and the reservoir.


The Sheldon Reservoir area includes the Sheldon Lake State Park and Environmental Learning Center Wildlife Management Area, which is operated by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. The reservoir is not a Flood Control District facility and is managed to include a fish hatchery and to provide a resting place for migratory birds. The main channel of Carpenters Bayou from Market Street to the Houston Ship Channel is heavily vegetated and, for the most part, inaccessible. The District has identified this reach as environmentally sensitive and has incorporated the protection of this reach into the regional planning for the watershed.

Summary of Carpenters Bayou Watershed Plan

This planning study was funded by the 2018 HCFCD Bond Program, Bond ID F-124.

How Water Flows In The Carpenters Bayou Watershed