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Rio Grande

Cameron County, Texas.

Rio Grande midpoint in Midland, Texas.

Rio Grande ends in Port Isabel, Texas.

1947.56 miles long (3134.30 kilometers)

22587773.35 miles (36351508.76 sq kilometers)

About The Rio Grande

About Rio Grande, TX

The Rio Grande is a 1,896-mile-long river located in the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. It is known in Mexico as Rio Bravo del Norte or simply Rio Bravo. The river starts in south-central Colorado and then flows to the Gulf of Mexico as it forms part of the US-Mexican border. It’s also a natural border between Texas and the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas, as well as a boundary between Texas and New Mexico. The river runs through El Paso in Texas, supporting its fertile lands. 

Rio Grande in Spanish means ‘big river’. People of Pueblo and Navajo communities also had their own names for the river which provide a similar meaning. A Spanish naval expedition charted the mouths of several rivers, including the Rio Grande’s in 1519. The river in 1536 then appeared for the first time on a map of New Spain. In the late 1830s and early 1840s, the stretch of water tagged the disputed border between Mexico and the then Republic of Texas. In 1905, following the approval of the Rio Grande Project, the waters of the river were divided among New Mexico, Texas and Mexico. The US and Mexico signed a treaty in regards to the river in 1994. The river has been heavily altered making it one of the top endangered rivers in the world. 

Rio Grande Fishing Description

All About Fishing in Rio Grande, TX

The Rio Grande is home to the Rio Grande cichlid, also known as the Texas cichlid or Rio Grande perch, which can be found in the lower drainage area of the river near Brownsville and northeastern Mexico. At least 166 species of fish have been identified in the river, 86 of which are of the freshwater variety. In Texas, the Lower Rio Grande contains the Rio Grande silvery minnow (which has been listed as endangered), bullhead minnow, common carp, fathead minnow, flathead chub, longnose dace, and red shiner. The river’s irrigation system also houses white and black crappie, bluegill, channel catfish, green and longear sunfish, largemouth and smallmouth bass, rainbow trout, river carpsucker, walleye, white sucker, and yellow bullhead

The river and its tributaries offer slow-running waters, suitable for fly fishing as well as baitcasting. Anglers also say spin fishing is ideal when the river banks are clear following a runoff. Swimming or walking in the river could be dangerous as there are periods and areas of fast-flowing currents. It is allowed to float down the Rio Grande in non-motorized watercraft like kayaks, canoes and rafts. Anglers planning for a trip are urged to look up the state’s fishing and licensing regulations as well as daily limits for catches and bags for certain species.  

Rio Grande Seasonal & Other Description

Fishing Seasonality

The Rio Grande cichlid is very sensitive to cold as it’s considered a warm-water fish The best months to catch them are during the spring or summer from June to September as they can’t survive in waters that are below 49 degrees Fahrenheit, though they can withstand brackish waters. The bullhead minnow’s spawning season is from mid-May to early September. Carp and bluegill are best caught during the spring as they also prefer warm waters. The fathead minnow and longnose dace start spawning in late May through to mid-August. Red shiners are prolific during mid-April to September. Species like crappie, bass and trout can be accessible all-year round. It’s advisable to check for river and weather forecasts before going to fish as the river’s vastness may deem certain areas varied in terms of conditions. 

Temperature and Optimal Seasons

Fishing Seasonality

The Rio Grande cichlid is very sensitive to cold as it’s considered a warm-water fish The best months to catch them are during the spring or summer from June to September as they can’t survive in waters that are below 49 degrees Fahrenheit, though they can withstand brackish waters. The bullhead minnow’s spawning season is from mid-May to early September. Carp and bluegill are best caught during the spring as they also prefer warm waters. The fathead minnow and longnose dace start spawning in late May through to mid-August. Red shiners are prolific during mid-April to September. Species like crappie, bass and trout can be accessible all-year round. It’s advisable to check for river and weather forecasts before going to fish as the river’s vastness may deem certain areas varied in terms of conditions. 

Rio Grande Fish Species

All About Fishing in Rio Grande, TX

The Rio Grande is home to the Rio Grande cichlid, also known as the Texas cichlid or Rio Grande perch, which can be found in the lower drainage area of the river near Brownsville and northeastern Mexico. At least 166 species of fish have been identified in the river, 86 of which are of the freshwater variety. In Texas, the Lower Rio Grande contains the Rio Grande silvery minnow (which has been listed as endangered), bullhead minnow, common carp, fathead minnow, flathead chub, longnose dace, and red shiner. The river’s irrigation system also houses white and black crappie, bluegill, channel catfish, green and longear sunfish, largemouth and smallmouth bass, rainbow trout, river carpsucker, walleye, white sucker, and yellow bullhead

The river and its tributaries offer slow-running waters, suitable for fly fishing as well as baitcasting. Anglers also say spin fishing is ideal when the river banks are clear following a runoff. Swimming or walking in the river could be dangerous as there are periods and areas of fast-flowing currents. It is allowed to float down the Rio Grande in non-motorized watercraft like kayaks, canoes and rafts. Anglers planning for a trip are urged to look up the state’s fishing and licensing regulations as well as daily limits for catches and bags for certain species.  

Channel Catfish

Habitat: Rivers, Tidal Mouths, Bends, Wrecks

Weight: 2 - 4 Pounds

Length: 15" - 25"

Bluegill

Habitat: Lake, Pond, River

Weight: 1 - 2 Pounds

Length: 6" - 16"

Crappie

Habitat: River, Lake

Weight: 0 - 5 Pounds

Length: 4" - 19"

Common Carp

Habitat: River, Lake, Backcountry

Weight: 5 - 100 Pounds

Length: 16" - 47"