The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) is expanding public fishing and paddling opportunities in the state with the addition of two leased river access sites through the River Access and Conservation Area (RACA) program.
The new site at Cupgrass Cabins provides a second leased access point near County Road (CR) 150 on the South Llano River, giving ample public parking at this popular crossing. The new RACA site at John Knox Ranch is the first on the Blanco River.
“Both the Blanco and South Llano rivers are beautiful Hill Country streams just a short drive away from major urban areas like San Antonio and Austin,” said John Botros, TPWD river access coordinator. “Historically in Texas, recreation on rivers has been limited by a lack of public access points. These new sites are an important step in expanding the public’s options for safe, legal and high-quality fishing and paddling access on rivers.”
Anglers will find a gated entrance to Cupgrass located off U.S. 377, approximately 0.24 miles southwest of CR 150, near Junction. TPWD river access at Cupgrass offers a complimentary parking area and an access point to the South Llano River via Bailey Creek. Access for launching nonmotorized boats, canoes or kayaks for the purpose of fishing is open from 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset.
Reservations to park on the property must be made in advance by texting the visiting vehicle make and color to 512- 407-9357. Canoes and kayaks can be launched in Bailey Creek and ingress/egress to the South Llano is a short paddle out. This segment of the river offers ample opportunities to cast for largemouth and Guadalupe bass while channel catfish and sunfish are also prevalent.
The new river access area at John Knox Ranch is located off FM 179, approximately 0.25 miles west of the “Slime Bridge” crossing of the Blanco River. John Knox Ranch offers a complimentary parking area for TPWD leased access users, and access to the Blanco River for fishing and paddling purposes. Access for wade fishing and launching nonmotorized boats, canoes, kayaks or other floatable devices for the purpose of fishing is open each day from 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset.
The site provides new and exciting opportunities for anglers to catch some of Texas’s most popular sport fish. This segment of the Blanco River has abundant populations of largemouth bass, channel catfish and Guadalupe bass, which is the state fish of Texas. Anglers are encouraged to practice catch-and-release of sport fish.
River access and conservation areas are currently funded by a combination of sources, including donations from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation, grant awards from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Sport Fish Restoration Program and U.S. Department of Agriculture - Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program, as well as sales of the Texas Rivers Conservation license plate.