Bandera, Medina
Hill Country
Medina Lake
Medina Lake & Canal System Information:
Medina Lake was constructed between 1911-1912 as an irrigation reservoir and canal system to deliver irrigation water to 34,000 acres of Blackland prairie farmlands below the Balcones escarpment around Castroville, La Coste, Natalia, Devine, Texas. Henri Castro’s, founder of Castroville, Texas in the 1940s, was the first to envision irrigated farms and other farming communities along the Medina River in Medina County and southeastern Bandera County. In 1910, world famous engineer Dr. Fred Stark Pearson persuaded British investors to finance the construction of the project. A photo album with over 100 construction images was compiled during the building of the dam. The 5,475 surface acre Lake Medina is 18 miles long, and 3 miles wide at its widest point. It has 113 miles of shoreline and a maximum depth of 152 feet. Medina Lake was a tourist destination in the 1920s. Four miles downstream from the Medina Lake dam is the Diversion Lake dam. The is a storage lake which has a dam holding tank from which discharges are made to the canal system. Diversion Lake shores and waters are not open to the public. Several small holding lakes holding excess waters are located along the canal. Portions of the canal extend to outside Loop 1604 in San Antonio. The lake is operated by the Bexar/Medina/Atascosa County Agricultural District. Mica, Texas is located lakeside, and Lakehills, Texas is located close by. The lake is on FM 1283, approximately 40 miles northwest of San Antonio, and 25 miles southeast of Bandera, Texas.  
Medina Lake Location Map 
Current Medina Lake Level 
Medina Lake TPWD Public Access Facilities Map
Medina River:
The Medina River’s north and west prongs originate from springs located in the Edwards Plateau in northwest Bandera County and converge near Medina, Texas to form the river proper. The river then flows southeast for 116 miles to its mouth on the San Antonio River in south Bexar County. The first European to view the river was Alonso De León, governor of Coahuila, who led his expedition across Texas in 1689 in pursuit of the French. De León noted in his diary that he named the stream for Pedro Medina, the early Spanish engineer whose navigation tables he was using in mapping his route through the wilderness. For a time the Medina River was considered the official boundary between Texas and Coahuila; maps showed the river flowing to the Gulf of Mexico, with the San Antonio River labeled as a tributary. Later the designations were reversed, and, along with Cibolo Creek, the Medina has been regarded as a tributary of the San Antonio River. Towns on or near the river include Castroville, Bandera, Mountain Valley, Natalia, Macdona, Riomedina, Somerset, and others.  Medina River Fish Stocking History
Bandera County Medina Lake Park & Boat Ramp:
Bandera County Park amenities include picnic areas, a swimming area, restrooms and a playground. The concrete boat ramp is usable at most lake levels. Boats may also launch from a gravel ramp. The boat ramp is open 24 hours daily. The park is open daily, 8am-8pm, June through August. From September through May it is open Saturdays and Sundays only. An entrance fee and a $5 boat launch fee apply. (830) 460-1654. Bandera County Park is located on the north shore of the lake on Plum Creek Cove at the end of Park Road 37 in Lakehills.
Joe's Place Marina, Scuba Diving & Resort, Mico:
Amenities include cabin rentals, a sandy beach, picnic sites, a volleyball court, 3 horseshoe pits, a playground, restrooms with hot showers, boat rentals, 36 covered boat slips, moorings, jet ski docking, a gas dock, two boat ramps, free dry trailer storage, and a ships store selling wood, bait and other items. Amenities at the 9 RV sites include electric and water hookups, and picnic tables; a dump station is located nearby. Fire rings and BBQ grills may be checked out from the office. The 12 primitive tent campsites feature pads, picnic tables, a BBQ grill and a rock fire ring. Scuba diving area amenities include a diving platform located in 25 feet of water, and mapped and tagged underwater dive sites. Only long term RV patrons may bring in pets. Open Wed-Sun, 8am-dark, except Fri-Sat dock fishing to 10pm. Open Mondays and Tuesdays only during holidays. Entry and vehicle fees apply. Annual fishing passes are available. (830) 612-3775. Joe’s Place is located at 200 CR 2620, Mico, Texas 78056.
Joe's Place Marina & Resort Email & Directions Map 
Joe's Place Marina & Resort Facilities Map 
Joe's Place Marina & Resort Underwater Dive Map    
Red Cove Boat Ramp:
A small launch fee applies. (830) 612-2715. The boat ramp is located at 255 CR 2611.
Paradise Watersports Jet Ski & Boat Rentals:
(210) 379-6133. 12241 Park Road 37, Lakehills, TX 78063.  Email
Porky's Texas Spirits Saloon & Dance Hall, Rio Medina, TX:
The front bar is housed in a 1945 gas station; the Mayflower Dance Hall was added in the 1990s. A later remodeling job increased the size of the front bar, and added A/C and heat to the back bar and dance hall. On beautiful days, the swing-up windows are opened. Amenities include a juke box, pool tables, Friday night live music, and Saturday karaoke. Open Mon-Wed, 3pm-2am; Thu, 3pm-2:15am; Fri-Sun, 12pm-2am. (830) 538-2300. 3940 FM 471 North, Rio Medina, Texas. From Castroville take FM 471 north to Rio Medina. Rio Medina Texas Map; Click to Enlarge  Rio Medina Area Map
Rio Medina General Store, Early 1900s, Rio Medina, TX:
The store was established as the San Geronimo Store in the early 1900s; it has been in continuous operation ever since it’s opening. In 1908 the name was changed to Rio Medina when the U.S. post office was established in the store. The store is still the social center of the Rio Medina community. The store sells fresh and dry Alsatian sausage and parisa (made locally), homemade sandwiches, cold old-time sodas, hardware, farm and ranch supplies, antiques and collectibles, and still serves as the post office. Generally open Mon-Sat, 11am-4pm, but call first. (830) 538-2441. The store is located at 3980 FM 471 North in Rio Medina, Texas. Rio Medina is located at the intersection of FM 2676 and FM 471, 22.8 miles northeast of Hondo, 7 miles north of Castroville, and 10 miles southeast of Mico, Texas. Rio Medina Texas Map; Click to Enlarge  Rio Medina Area Map
Birding - Heart of Texas West Birding Trail:
Bandera Loop:  Medina, Bandera, Pipe Creek, Lakehills, Tarpley, Utopia, Vanderpool
Medina Loop:  Lakehills, Riomedina, Castroville
Texas Birds Checklist
Edwards Plateau Bird Checklist
Indian Blanket & Pioneer Spirit Ranch Bird Checklist, Uvalde
Lost Maples SNA Bird Checklist, Vanderpool
Texas Wildflowers:
Due to budget constraints, TX-DOT no longer maintains a website offering spring wildflower sightings. Information is available at the Texas Highways Magazine.
Fishing Medina Lake:
Lake maps are unavailable. Common fish species include largemouth bass, white and hybrid striped bass, channel, blue and flathead catfish.
Current Medina Lake Level 
Current Medina Lake Survey Report 
Current Medina Lake Fishing Report 
Medina Lake Fish Records 
Medina Lake Fish Stocking History
ShareLunker Program, Largemouth Bass:
The ShareLunker program began in 1986 as a way to improve Texas’ largemouth bass population by selectively breeding trophy fish. It is limited to largemouth bass weighing 13 pounds or more. Fish must be weighted on certified or legal for trade scales. Possession of the live fish must be transferred to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department representative within 12 hours after capture. Since the program’s inception, more than 400 largemouth bass have been donated from 55 public reservoirs and more than a dozen private lakes. As the program grew it became apparent that a new fish hatchery that was specifically tailored to the program was needed. Specifications called for the facility to be built within 50 miles of Lake Fork, because the majority of big fish are caught there. In 1998 the Edwin L. Cox, Jr., Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens, Texas was completed. Call (903) 681-0550. 24 hour pager: 1-888-784-0600.  Official Weigh and Holding Stations