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County
Val Verde
Region
Big Bend
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Lakes
Amistad Reservoir
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Amistad Reservoir Information:  
The Amistad Dam creating the 68,000 surface acre Amistad Reservoir was completed in 1969 through a joint effort between the U.S. and Mexico. The U.S. portion of the dam is 1.81 miles long and the Mexico portion of the dam is 4.25 miles long. The lake is the second largest lake in Texas after the Toledo Bend Reservoir. Two thirds of the lake’s water volume is located in the U.S. The Rio Grande River arm of the lake extends up the river for 78 miles. The Pecos River arm extends up the river for 14 miles, and the Devils River arm extends up the river for 25 miles. The lake has 851 miles of shoreline, and has a maximum depth of 217 feet. The Lake Amistad National Recreation Area consists of the U.S. portion of the lake and the adjacent U.S. lands. The Amistad Dam is located approximately 10 miles west of Del Rio. From Del Rio, take U.S. 90 West for 8 miles. Go left on Spur 349 and drive 2.4 miles to the top of the dam; the dam road is an official Port of Entry to Mexico and is open daily, 10am to 6pm. By boat, the dam is located 1 mile below the mouth of the Devils River.  
Lake Location Map 
Lake Amistad NRA Facilities Map 
Lake Amistad Boat Ramps & Parks Closures 
Lake Amistad Lake Level  
 
Goodenough Spring & Cave:
The spring, also called Hinojosa Spring, was once the third largest spring in Texas. Its annual discharge averaged 89 million gallons per day. The spring’s opening was located at the base of a limestone bluff at what is now the northeast side of Lake Amistad. In 1968, the spring was inundated by the filling of Lake Amistad, and is now under 150 feet of water. It is thought that the spring’s outflow has been reduced by the 65 pounds of pressure the lake waters exert on the spring outlet. In the winter when the spring waters are warmer than the lake, the spring waters rise to the lake surface creating a glassy surface. Goodenough Spring and the other lake springs prevent the lake from becoming too salty for human consumption and irrigation use. The Goodenough Springs Exploration Project mapped the spring cave and marked the cave’s location with a buoy, but because the cave is considered to be one of the most dangerous underwater diving caves in the world, they placed a “Grim Reaper” warning sign at the cave entrance to deter casual divers from entering. Though the cave is open to the public for diving, GSEP notes that there is nothing in the cave worth dying for, and no amount of training and experience can prepare divers for the cave’s torrential currents, tight restrictions, temperature extremes, and entanglements. On a historical note, in the early 1900s, John Kelly created an irrigation system by building a water wheel that pumped spring water to the top of a nearby bluff.  
 
Devil's River:
This intermittent stream rises in southwestern Sutton County, west of Eldorado, Texas. It flows southwest for 94 miles, passing through Sonora and east of Comstock to its mouth on the northeastern shore of the Amistad Reservoir in southern Val Verde County. The river has 32 tributaries including Dolan Creek where Dolan Falls is formed, Dark Canyon, Dead Man’s Creek, Satan Creek and others. 80% of the river’s crystal clear and unpolluted waters is provided by springs. For River flow at Baker’s Crossing at the Devils River State Natural Area click here. For River flow at Pafford Crossing near Comstock, Texas, click herePaddling Information
  
Pecos River & U.S. 90 Pecos High (Railroad) Bridge:
The Pecos River, one of the major tributaries of the Rio Grande River, rises on the western slope of the Santa Fe Mountain range in Mora County, New Mexico and flows south through New Mexico before entering Texas approximately 40 miles northwest of Mentone, Texas. The Pecos River is dammed on the Texas side of the border to form the Red Bluff Reservoir which is located on the New Mexico-Texas border. The river forms the boundaries between Loving and Reeves, Reeves and Ward, Ward and Pecos, Pecos and Crane, Pecos and Crockett, and Crockett and Terrell Counties. The 926 mile long river flows through Val Verde County to its mouth on the Rio Grande River in the Amistad Reservoir approximately 20 miles west of Comstock, and approximately 40 miles northeast of Del Rio, Texas. The actual confluence of the Pecos and Rio Grande Rivers is located underwater in Lake Amistad. The shoreline of Lake Amistad extends up the Pecos River Valley for over 10 miles. Two wonderful viewing areas are located 18 miles east of Langtry, Texas on the east rim of the river canyon. The roadside park located south of the highway offers the best view in the entire region. The U.S. 90 Pecos River Bridge is one of the most photographed sites in West Texas. Pecos River towns include Barstow, Grandfalls, Imperial, Langtry, Iraan, Sheffield, Pecos, Girvin and Pandale, Texas.  Southwest Paddler  Fish Stocking History
 
Rio Grande River:
The Rio Grande rises 12,000 feet above sea level in the Rio Grande National Forest in Colorado as a clear, spring and snow-fed mountain stream. The river cuts through the middle of New Mexico to the sites of El Paso and Ciudad Juárez at the junction of Chihuahua, Mexico and Texas. At that point, because of the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo which terminated the Mexican War, the Rio Grande became the international boundary between the United States and Mexico. It forms the western or southern borders of El Paso, Hudspeth, Presidio, Brewster (where the river's sweeping curve gives Big Bend National Park its name), Terrell, Val Verde, Kinney, Maverick, Webb, Zapata, Starr, Hidalgo, and Cameron Counties. The river empties into the Gulf of Mexico. The river has many large and small tributaries including the Pecos and Devils Rivers which enter the Rio Grande at the Amistad Reservoir northwest of Del Rio, Texas. At El Paso the Rio Grande caused friction in the 1870s, when the river bit deep into the banks of Mexico and gradually transferred land to the United States. The famous Chamizal Dispute was not settled until 1963, when 437 acres was ceded from downtown El Paso to Mexico. The agreement economically strengthened both cities. The international border at the two cities is now lined with concrete so that the river will never again shift its channel. In Mexico the river is known as the Rio Bravo del Norte, or Rio Bravo.  Fish Stocking History      
 
Directions:
The Amistad Dam is located approximately 10 miles west of Del Rio. From Del Rio, take U.S. 90 West for 8 miles. Go left on Spur 349 and drive 2.4 miles to the top of the dam.