Attendee at Trout Fest tries her luck in the Gaudalupe River

Chris Wood, President of Trout Unlimited, speaking to the gathering of Texas Outdoor Writers in New Braunfels,Texas struck a positive note with a statement.  “Take care of the fish and the fishing will take care of itself,” exclaims Wood.

His comment is in response to a comment made by an attendee.  What he is trying to promote is the concern for habitat preservation and enhancement that is so important to trout and Trout Unlimited.  Wood adds that a concern for habitat is also due to a need to know what to use as a lure on any given day.  The appetite of a trout seems to be somewhat finicky.  

My interest in this area centers on the Guadalupe River where I will be fishing tomorrow for rainbow trout.   Although the river is only a stones throw from the room where Wood is speaking, I plan to fish the more shallow areas upstream. 

The trout are more prevalent in the tailwaters up there at the base of Canyon Lake.  The local chapter of TU, Guadalupe River Trout Unlimited ( stocks rainbows and some brown trout each October as part of the winter trout stocking that goes on around the state. 

The stocking program here began with stocking a trout by Lone Star Brewing Company and continues through GRTU.  Today some 12,000 pounds of fingerlings from a Missouri hatchery go into the river each year.  This particular bloodline of rainbows seems to survive the best.  In early days some browns and cutthroat trout stocked that did not survive as well as these rainbows. 

Additionally watercress plantings are helping the reestablishment of vegetation in the river.  A massive flood in 2002 destroyed much of the native vegetation in the river and trees on the shore. 

The local activity is to protect, reconstruct and restore the environment of the river.  This river is one of  the 100 best trout streams in the country.  It is also the furthest south water were trout will actually survive and reproduce.  The Texas state record trout came from this river.  It was over 10 pounds according to a local fly shop owner in Gruene, Tx.  

The water here comes from the bottom of Canyon Lake through a pumping station in the dam.  Because it comes from so deep, cold temperatures are maintained year around.  The water maintains the cold temperatures for 13 to 15 miles downstream with the assistance of cold water springs along the way. 

Because much of the shore is in private hands, GRTU is engaging in cooperative agreements in and attempt  to provide public access in many areas of the river. 

GRTU does have some concern over the predator problems along the fishery.  Ospreys are the principle threat but some eagles are present.  They are exploring various in-river shelters that protect the fish from threats from the sky.  They also have to consider the other users of the rivers.  Much of the shoreline is privately owned and it is a popular waterway for canoers, kayakers and tubers.  GRTU believes a way can be found to protect the fish without interfering with their activities. 

The most promising shelter appears to be under cutting the shore and establishing sheltered areas beneath it.  That presents problems with shoreline ownership and costs.  They continue to explore all alternatives.

Visitors to the New Braunfels can obtain information about other attractions and accommodations from the New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce, 390 S. Seguin Ave., New Braunfels, TX 78130.  On line they can be contacted at


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