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Fishing along the river road.

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Offline Txlj

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Fishing along the river road.
« on: January 27, 2019, 09:32:57 PM »
I will be in the Bend at the end of March for 9 days. I have never fished the Rio Grande and wondered what the thought would be as far as fishing or eating the fish. I was thinking fishing off the river road in the state park area possibly. Just a way to relax for half a day and drown some worms. Dont care if its big or small, just to catch something and relax.

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Offline House Made of Dawn

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Re: Fishing along the river road.
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2019, 11:53:21 AM »
You can fish the river throughout the national park, but IIRC it may require a special NPS-issued permit. I fished it many, many years ago, caught some catfish. I thought about cooking them up, but in the end I chickened out. Too many water-borne heavy metals concentrated in the fish for my comfort.

I assume fishing in the state park would simply require your standard state-issued fishing license. I don’t recall any prohibitions there. I would think you could have fun doing it, but again if I were you, I wouldn’t eat anything you catch.


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Offline Ranger Tim

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Re: Fishing along the river road.
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2019, 12:52:36 PM »
Fishing is not only allowed in BBRSP, it is encouraged and with your daily entrance fees you don't even need a fishing license! Of course if you do want a license, we can sell you one at the Barton Warnock Center in Lajitas.

I would also like to dispel the notion that the Rio Grande is toxic. While there have been numerous contaminants observed in this river over the years, the reach through the Big Bend is generally free of heavy metals, petrochemicals, or fertilizers and is tested by yours truly every three months or so. If anything, the Rio Grande is probably cleaner than many other lakes and rivers elsewhere in the state!
"The greatest happiness possible to man ... is to become civilized, to know the pageant of the past, to love the beautiful,... and then, retaining animal instincts and appetites, to live in the wilderness"
- J. Frank Dobie

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Offline House Made of Dawn

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Re: Fishing along the river road.
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2019, 12:59:04 PM »
Fishing is not only allowed in BBRSP, it is encouraged and with your daily entrance fees you don't even need a fishing license! Of course if you do want a license, we can sell you one at the Barton Warnock Center in Lajitas.

I would also like to dispel the notion that the Rio Grande is toxic. While there have been numerous contaminants observed in this river over the years, the reach through the Big Bend is generally free of heavy metals, petrochemicals, or fertilizers and is tested by yours truly every three months or so. If anything, the Rio Grande is probably cleaner than many other lakes and rivers elsewhere in the state!

Thanks, Tim. If there's one thing I don't want to be, it's a dispenser of bad information. That info about the Rio Grande's lack of toxicity blows my mind. I've simply preceded on that unquestioned assumption for over twenty years now. I would have loved to have fished for dinner on my last float from Lajitas to the Adams Ranch. With your endorsement of the river's safety, I most definitely will the next time I try that.   :great:
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

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Offline Ranger Tim

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Re: Fishing along the river road.
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2019, 01:13:34 PM »
Here's a link to the most recent Clean Rivers Program monitoring report (2017) so that you can take a deeper dive into the water quality of the Rio Grande

https://www.ibwc.gov/documents/2017%20BHR_Final%20Draft,%20Print%20Quality.pdf
"The greatest happiness possible to man ... is to become civilized, to know the pageant of the past, to love the beautiful,... and then, retaining animal instincts and appetites, to live in the wilderness"
- J. Frank Dobie

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Online jim2

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Re: Fishing along the river road.
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2019, 01:27:06 PM »
Here's a link to the most recent Clean Rivers Program monitoring report (2017) so that you can take a deeper dive into the water quality of the Rio Grande

https://www.ibwc.gov/documents/2017%20BHR_Final%20Draft,%20Print%20Quality.pdf

Deeper dive!
That water is nasty

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Offline GaryF

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Re: Fishing along the river road.
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2019, 08:48:27 PM »
Worms should be a pretty good bet for some channel cat, and if you fish into the night, a flathead catfish is a possibility.  Being outside of the National Park increases your bait choices tremendously.

I’ve fished in the National Park a few times, but live bait restrictions there limit your options. I watched an older couple catch several small channel cats using chicken liver for bait at Daniels Ranch near Rio Grande Village.

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Offline Txlj

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Re: Fishing along the river road.
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2019, 10:24:38 PM »
Thanks to all and Ranger Tim. I was unsure about the pollutants and mainly just wanted to waste a day fishing where I never have.  Its nice to know I could eat that monster if I catch it.

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Offline dprather

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Re: Fishing along the river road.
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2019, 11:04:04 PM »
Here's a link to the most recent Clean Rivers Program monitoring report (2017) so that you can take a deeper dive into the water quality of the Rio Grande

https://www.ibwc.gov/documents/2017%20BHR_Final%20Draft,%20Print%20Quality.pdf

So Tim, would you drink from the Rio Grande (filtered) along the Marufo Vega Trail?
Leave "quit" at the car.  Embrace the trail as your friend.  Expect to enjoy yourself, and to be amazed.

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Offline House Made of Dawn

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Re: Fishing along the river road.
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2019, 11:37:21 PM »
Here's a link to the most recent Clean Rivers Program monitoring report (2017) so that you can take a deeper dive into the water quality of the Rio Grande

https://www.ibwc.gov/documents/2017%20BHR_Final%20Draft,%20Print%20Quality.pdf

So Tim, would you drink from the Rio Grande (filtered) along the Marufo Vega Trail?

I have. During my 2017 float. And it wasn’t even filtered. Just settled and pilled.

Fortunately, I’m still here to tell the tale. Pay no attention to that sixth finger growing on my left hand.


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Offline congahead

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Re: Fishing along the river road.
« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2019, 05:10:34 AM »
Compare Ranger Tim’s take on RG water with verbiage from the BIBE website: “The quality of water in the Rio Grande through the Big Bend region is highly variable. We recommend drinking river water only as a last resort.”

Then again, the NPS is pretty risk-averse on all things water-related. Rangers will never tell you about water availability at any springs; they’ll just repeat the mantra of “haul everything you need.”

I know a lot of people on this board regularly drink treated RG water and have lived to tell the tale.
"The animals here will generally try to avoid you, but the plants will hurt you every chance they get."

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Offline mule ears

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Re: Fishing along the river road.
« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2019, 07:00:18 AM »
I have used Rio water on 5 different trips, treated, with no repercussions. 
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
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Offline Hang10er

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Re: Fishing along the river road.
« Reply #12 on: January 29, 2019, 09:14:49 AM »
That dark murky water might call for some good ole' stink bait.  Plus, it's easy to buy before you go and then convenient to store and travel with. 

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Offline Txlj

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Re: Fishing along the river road.
« Reply #13 on: January 29, 2019, 12:25:52 PM »
I was thinking some Rio Grande perch from the Rio Grande. Not that I would turn down some catfish. Mainly just to do something I havent done there before. That and living on the gulf, I cant say when was the last time I fished fresh, you know, water.

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