San Felipe Creek (Del Rio) Exotic Species Impact Study

San Felipe Creek, San Felipe Springs, Del Rio, Exotic Species, Del Rio Texas, Fishing Del Rio Texas, Texas Parks and Wildlife, Texas Tech University

San Felipe Creek is a small waterway that bubbles up from the Edwards Aquifer in a series of 10 springs in and around Del Rio (Val Verde county) in Southwest Texas.  These are the most western springs to arise from the Edwards Aquifer that also puts out water at larger springs, including in San Marcos (San Marcos River) and New Braunfels (Comal River).  

Edwards Aquifer, San Felipe Springs, San Felipe Creek, Texas Fly Fishing, Fly Fishing Texas, Del Rio Fishing, Fishing Del Rio
Edwards and Trinity Aquifers

It is often overshadowed by other larger, more famous, waters nearby (Devils River and Lake Amistad), but San Felipe Creek is large enough to fish and you can catch all sorts of fish species like Largemouth Bass, Rio Grande Cichlid, many species of Sunfish, and Channel Catfish.  San Felipe Creek is also home to many unique native species of fish such as the Devils River Minnow, San Felipe Gambusia, and Rio Grande darter, over 340 species of birds, and other animals like the Blue Indigo Snake and Big Bend blackhead snake.  However, like many waters of Texas, exotic, invasive species like armored catfish, tilapia, and giant reed/river cane, have begun to take over.  

It a small stretch of water that, in a way, can represent most of the waters of Texas.

Now, Texas Rivers and Stream - Texas Parks and Wildlife and Texas Tech University Department of Natural Resources Management are working together to study how exotic species have impacted native populations.  In their own words from a Facebook Post, they will "assess if exotic species are impacting the aquatic food web in San Felipe Creek," and "over the next two years Texas Tech will be comparing fish communities and food webs in reaches with and without exotics, as well as tracking changes as we start to remove cane and restore riparian areas."

Here is a great video on San Felipe Springs/Creek, produced by Gregg Eckhardt.

Texas Freshwater Fly Fishing will do the best it can to keep you updated with information pertaining to this study.

If you know of other important studies and/or projects regarding Texas' waters.  Let me know in the comments, or send an email to

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Further information on San Felipe Creek and this study:

San Felipe Creek Master Plan, Developed by: San Felipe Creek Commissioners, June 2007 

The Edwards Aquifer Website: San Felipe Springs, by Gregg Eckhardt