“Few experiences compare with navigating a sea kayak through a large sandy bay lined with oyster-shell beaches, past golden sand dunes into rough ocean waters, then surfing back onto a wind-swept beach at sunset.”—from the Introduction Half of the nearly 400-mile Texas coastline is flanked by barrier islands. Behind them, large and small bays shelter estuarine marshes, oyster-reef communities, and sea grass meadows that teem with wildlife, creating a bird watcher's and angler's paradise. For an intimate encounter with these natural treasures, no other water craft can compare to a kayak. Veteran kayaker John Whorff’s Kayaking the Texas Coast is an essential guide for beginning and experienced kayakers to the many miles of shoreline that surround the shallow bays, lagoons, and islands of the Texas coast. Novices will appreciate this book’s detailed information about where to paddle and camp, what to see, and where to obtain additional information about safety and route planning. Accomplished kayakers will enjoy Whorff’s enticing route descriptions and other pertinent details on paddling the Texas coastline. Opening with an extended introductory text that covers kayaks and equipment, safety considerations and emergencies, camping dos and don’ts, and helpful resources, Kayaking the Texas Coast also lists useful websites and guidebooks. In the main portion of the text, the coast is organized into ten destinations, from the Galveston Bay complex in the north to Boca Chica State Park in the south. For each of these destinations, Whorff provides information on navigational aids, planning considerations, accommodations, and directions to launch sites before describing various paddling routes within each destination—around seventy routes in all. Each route is ranked for difficulty as “beginner,” “intermediate,” or “advanced.” Detailed maps and vivid photographs by the author complete the package. "Kayaking the Texas Coast is your must-have guidebook to the coastline and bays of the Lone Star State. Many miles of sea kayaking adventure are described, along with maps and discussion of the natural world encountered along the way. My copy will be riding in car and kayak with me. I look forward to seeing with my own eyes what the author has described and mapped."-- Natalie Wiest, founder and director, Galveston Bay Information
The Flyfishers Guide to the Texas Gulf Coast is the definitive guide book on fishing the Texas Coast. Interest in fishing the gulf coast is exploding and the Flyfisher’s Guide to the Texas Gulf Coast gives you all the information you need for success. Nationally known author and saltwater flyfisher, Colby Sorrells, covers every aspect of saltwater fishing for the entire Texas Coast. He covers the fish, the flies, light tackle, tactics, and the best seasons. Colby covers the entire coast in detail with information on each specific area. He lists the fly shops, outfitters, charter captains, marinas, accommodations, and much more. There are 60 detailed maps showing every bay, cover, harbor, reef, island, park, marina, and boat launch. There are also seasonal fishing charts showing the peak seasons for each species of fish. This book is essential reading for everyone who fishes the great Texas Gulf Coast.
Bioluminescence and Henry Compton's Art of the Deep
Author: David A. McKee
Publisher: Texas A&M University Press
The cold, stygian dark of the extreme sea depths is home to some of our planet’s strangest creatures. Even their names evoke a science fiction adventure: dragonfishes, greeneyes, viperfishes, mirrorbellies, lanternfishes. Marine biologist Henry “Hank” Compton (1928–2005) of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Rockport Marine Lab was present on some of the earliest Gulf of Mexico cruises on which these fishes were collected for the first time in Texas waters. Upon returning, Compton would retire to the darkroom he had constructed beneath a stairwell at the lab and photograph the specimens. A talented artist, Compton then painted watercolors based on his photographs. He allowed free rein to both his scientific judgment and his artistic vision as he constructed representations of how the specimens might have appeared in the crushing pressure of their alien environment. Compton dubbed the series of deep-water paintings “Fire in the Sea” because of the shimmering bioluminescence common to these deep-water species. Then, along with taxonomic descriptions, he drafted fanciful narratives to accompany the paintings: quirky, humorous, and sometimes cryptic stories of the fishes in their unreachable habitat. Professor, researcher, and author David A. McKee has taken Compton’s work, discovered in cardboard boxes following his death, and, along with others, provided chapters on bioluminescence, life in the deep, taxonomic arrangement, and life history information.
In this powerful call to action, conservationist and environmental lawyer Jim Blackburn offers an unconventional yet feasible plan to protect the Texas coast. The coast is in danger of being damaged beyond repair due to the gradual starvation of freshwater inflows to its bays, the fragmentation of large tracts of land, and general public neglect. Most importantly, it is threatened by our denial that the coast faces major threats and that its long-term health provides significant economic benefits. To save coastal resources, a successful plan needs to address the realities of our current world. The challenge is to sustain an economy that creates optimism and entrepreneurship while considering finite natural resources. In other words, a successful plan to save the Texas coast needs to be about making money. Whether visiting with farmers and ranchers or oil and chemical producers, Blackburn recognizes that when talking about the natural environment in monetary terms, people listen. Many of the services we get from the coast are beginning to be studied for their dollar values, a trend that might offer Texas farms and ranches the potential for cash flow, which may in turn alter conservation practices throughout Texas and the United States. Money alone cannot be the only motivation for caring about the Texas coast, though. Blackburn encourages Texans to get to know this landscape better. Beautifully illustrated and accessibly written, A Texan Plan for the Texas Coast weaves together a challenging but promising plan to protect the coast through economic motivation, thoughtful litigation, informed appreciation, and simple affection for the beauty and life found on the Texas coast.
Within about seventy-five miles of downtown Houston, some 1,500 miles of rivers, creeks, lakes, bayous, and bays await discovery. Canoeing and Kayaking Houston Waterways, by longtime paddler Natalie Wiest, is the perfect companion for anyone who wants to experience Houston’s well-watered landscape from the seat of a kayak or canoe. Before introducing readers to the quiet, green world that lies within and around the heart of the city, Wiest gives some pointers on water safety (including swimming and boating); on weather, flood stages, and legal access; and on an often unseen but always present paddling companion—alligators. She also provides a gear checklist for a day trip, a brief guide to boats and paddles, and a “sampler” list of easy places to paddle for true beginners. Presented in nine chapters, each organized around a river system or coastal basin and comprising a “suite” of paddling trips, the excursions described by Wiest offer a general description of the destination, directions (both driving and paddling), and details about the paddling conditions and access sites, which are all publicly owned or managed. Each chapter lists mileages, USGS gauging station numbers, and GIS locations when applicable. Also including ninety color photos and more than thirty detailed maps, Canoeing and Kayaking Houston Waterways offers both novice and experienced paddlers a helpful and enjoyable reference for experiencing nature at water level, in and around Houston. To learn more about The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment, sponsors of this book's series, please click here.
From the canyons of Big Bend to the cypress swamps of Pine Island Bayou, the waters of Texas have something for most every type of paddler and every paddling mood. One might float the diminutive Comal River, argued to be the shortest river in the world. Another might dig deep and follow the four-day, 260-mile route of the Texas Water Safari, which Canoe & Kayak Magazine referred to as “The World’s Toughest Canoe Race.” Whitewater is here too. Lakes are as well. And, the Texas Gulf Coast is home to sandy beaches, knobby mangroves, and sea grass flats. Meanwhile, Texas is home to some of the fastest growing cities in America. And, paddling is the fastest growing outdoor sport in the country. “Paddling Texas” is a guide for those who are new to either and all those who love both. Featured trips offer easy access, secure environments, good facilities, great fishing, superb wildlife viewing, and beautiful scenery. “Paddling Texas” gives recreational paddlers and anglers all the information they’ll need to paddle many of the best trips in Texas.
Profiled are accommodation options for every taste and income plus highlights of all the important attractions, from the Alamo and historic adobes to city skyscrapers and the Austin music scene. of color. 65 maps.
While giving life and sustenance to plants, animals, and people, the bays and estuaries of Texas have other stories to tell--about freshwater inflows, deep port construction, disappearing oyster beds, beach resorts, industrial pollution, and more. Each story brings opposing forces into the courtroom for vigorous debates on the future of some of our most valuable and irreplaceable resources.