French Island Ranch is approximately 1,000 acres of prime coastal prairie habitat. This tract is nestled in the confluence of Taylor and Hillebrandt Bayous in Jefferson County, Texas and borders on the J.D. Murphree State Wildlife Refuge, making it an ideal resting and feeding area for migrating waterfowl. Once in extensive rice production, French Island consists of native grasslands and natural marshlands that abound with bird and animal life. Five large reservoirs stocked with largemouth bass and bluegills bound an approximately 100 acre native marsh, where a variety of rails, herons and egrets step around loafing alligators.
During the fall and winter, large numbers of waterfowl visit French Island and roost on various parts of the ranch, including gadwalls, wigeons, teal, ringnecked ducks, shovelers and pintails, with occasional canvasbacks, mallards and mottled ducks. Commencing in mid-December, it is typical to have several thousand snow geese roosting at French Island, with occasional white-fronted and Canada geese.
French Island is a member of the Texas Farm Bureau and is enrolled as a Texas Prairie Wetlands Project, a consortium among Ducks Unlimited, the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service. As a Texas Prairie Wetlands Project, French Island receives planning and infrastructure support for the enhancement of wetland habitat, thereby providing increased habitat for migrating waterfowl.