AUSTIN The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) expanded public fishing and paddling opportunities on the Brazos and Colorado rivers thanks to three new leased river access sites through the River Access and Conservation Area (RACA) program, a Thursday news release said.
The new RACA sites on the Brazos River are upstream of Lake Granbury in Parker County and feature three combined access points. The new Colorado River RACA site is located near the city of Bastrop just off FM 969.
“Historically in Texas, recreation on rivers has been limited by a lack of quality public access,” John Botros, TPWD river access coordinator, said in the release. “These new RACA sites are an important step in expanding the public’s options for safe, legal, and high-quality fishing and paddling access on rivers. Conveniently located near major urban centers of Fort Worth and Austin, these new sites should aid in fostering a more inclusive and enjoyable experience for individuals seeking outdoor adventures in Texas.”
Brazos River Sites: One of the two new sites on the Brazos River, Fuller’s Folly River Ranch is located about 45 minutes from Fort Worth at 5751 Old Dennis Road, and offers complimentary parking for TPWD leased access users, as well as access to excellent opportunities for fishing and paddling. Fuller’s Folly is the put-in point for a 4.1-mile float downstream to the Sandy Bottoms River Company.
It is open from 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset for bank angling and launching non-motorized boats, canoes, kayaks or other floatable devices for the purpose of fishing or paddling. Visitors are asked to contact Fuller’s Folly River Ranch by email at [email protected] (or at 682-730-2405 as a backup) at least 24 hours in advance to ensure access. TPWD leased access users must sign a liability form before using the property.
Sand Bottoms River Company has two access points, located at 7026 River Trail and 173 Chavez Trail near Weatherford. Complementary parking is available for TPWD leased access area users who are fishing or paddling. The River Trail Camp (7026 River Trail) access point is the takeout location for the 4.1-mile float from Fuller’s Folly River Ranch. The Chavez Access point is roughly 1.5 miles downstream of the River Trail Camp and features a small dock to launch paddle craft or fish.
The sites are open from 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes before sunset for bank angling and launching non-motorized boats, canoes, kayaks or other floatable devices for the purpose of fishing or paddling. Visitors are asked to contact Sandy Bottoms River Company by text at 817-980-2528 (or 254-246-6934 as a backup) at least 24 hours in advance to ensure access. TPWD leased access users must sign a liability form before using the Sandy Bottoms River Company property.
Fishing opportunities at both locations include largemouth, spotted and white bass. Channel catfish, freshwater drum and sunfish are also good species to target.
Colorado River Site: Horseshoe on the Colorado is TPWD’s newest RACA site on the Colorado River and is located at 142 Frances Loop just off FM 969 and Howard Lane near Bastrop. The site is a take-out location for a 7.4-mile paddling trip from Big Webberville Park and starting point for a 6.8-mile float downstream to the Utley boat ramp at FM 969. Complimentary parking is offered to TPWD leased access area users in the designated space. The immediate area around the river access point is restricted to loading and unloading watercraft.
Visitors are asked to text (512) 970-9739 and include vehicle make, model, and license plate number at least 24 hours in advance to ensure access. The landowner also requests that each person fill out a liability waiver form before accessing the property.
The Colorado River provides anglers with abundant opportunities to catch largemouth bass, Guadalupe bass and channel catfish.
River Access and Conservation Areas are currently funded by a combination of sources, including donations from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation, grant awards from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Sport Fish Restoration Program and U.S. Department of Agriculture – Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program, as well as sales of the Texas Rivers Conservation License Plate.
To learn more about the RACA program and meet members of the team, watch Accessing Our Rivers: The RACA Team.