Texas Rivers

SPRING, 2006

Texas Rivers Protection Association 444 Pecan Park Dr. San Marcos, TX 78666








Tom Goynes, President

Martindale, 512-392-6171



David Reichert, Vice-president

San Antonio, 210-545-0548


Leslie Redwine, Secretary

New Braunfels, 830-626-8047


Duane TeGrotenhuis, Treas.

Martindale, 512-353-3946


Board of Directors:


Mark Andrus

Angleton, 409-849-3732


Kathy Cusick

Spring Branch, 830-885-5324


Steve Daniel

College Station, 979-846-4649


David Davenport

New Braunfels, 830-609-3038


Jim Hatcher

Fort Stockton, 915-336-6700


Ed Lowe

Dallas, 214-824-9470


Ann Olden

Houston, 713-864-0205


Jeff Pine

Austin, 512-443-2870


Ginger Turner

Austin, 512-459-5742


Michael Van Winkle

Kerrville, 830-995-3113


Fred Zagst

Marble Falls, 830-693-1054


Richard Grayson  (webmaster)

Dallas, 214-733-4140

Rio Vista Dam to be turned into Rio Vista Rapids


It all started when the hundred-year-old dam at Rio Vista Park in San Marcos began failing this past fall.  The city of San Marcos hired an engineer from Austin to come and estimate how much it was going to cost to repair it.  His estimate was kinda confusing (it talked about various cost overruns and so forth) but the city officials all seemed to think that the repair job was going to cost about one million dollars.


But it was the nature of the repair that caused me the most concern.  I was told that the plan was to add approximately eight feet of ledge (the current apron or ledge is about four feet wide) to the downstream side of the dam.  That would have meant that the resulting ledge would be about 12 feet wide.  I couldn't see how any canoe, kayak, or even tube could run that kind of dam without "busting" something.


I did some surfing on the net and, with the help of Ben Kvanli of the Olympic Outdoor Center in San Marcos, we were able to get in touch with an engineer in Colorado named Scott Shipley who has designed a number of whitewater parks throughout the country.  Scott e-mailed me a PowerPoint presentation of some of the past work he and his partner Gary Lacy have done.


I was able to get an appointment to show the presentation to the city manager and some folks from the parks and rec department the day before the city council was going to consider the dam repair project.  These city officials liked the presentation so much that they asked me to show it at the city council meeting. 


After that meeting, the ball was rolling.  One of our members in Austin, Ed Travis was able to create a composite "picture" of what an artificial rapid would look like in place of the dam.  That picture probably did more to sell the concept of a rapid replacement for the dam than anything else we did.  It even made it onto the front page of the local paper.


The next week Scott Shipley himself addressed the city council.  He is one impressive guy.  And his pictures of other artificial parks around the country show how natural and beautiful these things can be.  Then when he said he could build it for less than $400,000 the deal was done.


I'm sure that this is the start of something very big for Texas.  Once towns like Luling and Gonzales see the recreational potential of their now dangerous, ugly dams, they will obviously want what San Marcos has.  Towns like Del Rio will be able to turn unattractive creeks like San Felipe into whitewater parks that will draw millions of tourists.


The work on Rio Vista is scheduled to begin in March and be finished by Memorial Day Weekend.  The city plans to set up a web cam so folks can watch the rapid as it is being built.  Be sure to see our website at www.txrivers.org for the link to that web cam.  Here is a link to sketch drawing proposal for Rio Vista Dam Emergency Repair Project.


Speaking of our website, be sure to send articles to our Webmaster if you have something to share.  And it's election time, so please take the time to vote and to renew your membership if it's due (the mailing label should tell you when your dues are due).  Hope to see you at one of the clean ups, or at the annual meeting or on the river.  Remember, they're your rivers; get out and enjoy them.


Tom Goynes, president.



 This is a composite picture showing (in the background) the current Rio Vista, and (in the foreground) a man made rapid (from a whitewater park in Reno) that Gary Lacy and Scott Shipley built.  It is intended to give the viewer an idea of what the new Rio Vista may look like.  On the bottom is the preliminary design draft.



TRPA Financial Report 2005

Beginning Balance, 1/1/05                                     $10,343.07

Less $ Earmarked for Hidalgo Falls, 1/1/05                233.07

Money available for general fund 1/1/05              10,110.05

Plus ending balance of Hidalgo fund                      3,687.98

Plus contributions received for Brown fund             563.00

Plus contributions received for general fund       11,098.76

Plus interest received for 2005                                       76.49

    Subtotal                                                                $25,536.08


Less Expenses:

    Brazos instream flow study                         $2,062.25

    Bumper stickers                                               1,225.00

    T-shirts                                                                693.00

    Newsletter                                                             85.00

    P.O. Box rent                                                         33.00

    Postage                                                                221.73

    Office supplies                                                     17.86

    River Network dues                                           100.00

    Clean up and annual meeting                           126.57

                Total expenses general fund                   $4,564.41

Total money available                                              20,971.67

    (bank account 20,936.86 plus 34.81 cash)


Less $ earmarked for Hidalgo Falls 12/31/05            3687.78

Less $ earmarked for Brown Fund 12/31/05               563.00


Total $ available general fund 12/31/05               $16,720.89




Hidalgo Falls Fund 2005

Money earmarked for Hidalgo Falls 1/1/05              $233.02

Contributions received for Hidalgo Falls                6,187.82

Total money available                                                6,420.84


Less Expenses:

    Electricity                                                          $256.20

    Road repair                                                       1,800.00

    Picnic tables                                                        230.00

    Shed                                                                     446.86

                Total expenses                                          $2,733.06

Total money available 12/31/05                              $3,687.78




Susie Brown fund

This is a fund that was established in 2005 to remember Susie Brown.  The money is being held for a special future project.


Money at start of 2005                                                    $0.00

Contributions received                                                 563.00

Balance 12/31/05                                                          $563.00




Third Annual Brazos River Clean Up

Saturday, April 1, 2006

Meet at Tres Rios Campground (near Glen Rose) at 9:00 A.M.

Complimentary BBQ dinner after clean up (2-6 pm).

Free canoes and shuttles.

Complimentary camping at Tres Rios 4/1-4/3. Cabins available. Call Tres Rios for info (254-897-4253)

Contact: Ed Lowe

                                Work :214-358-0612







Hidalgo Falls River Festival

April 8-9, 2006
Hidalgo Falls on the Brazos River
Near Navasota

The fifth annual Hidalgo Falls River Festival will be held Saturday & Sunday, April 8-9, 2006 at the TRPA Hidalgo Falls property on the Brazos River near Navasota. More than 300 paddlers and spectators attended last year's event. Dealer reps and outfitters will have boats and gear available for demos on moving water, and (based on past years) many boaters will come as early as Thursday to enjoy the nice play levels on the river and to camp in the upstream and downstream campgrounds.

Events will include a 28-mile downriver race from Koppe Bridge Landing south of College Station to Hidalgo on Saturday morning, a "Boatercross" head-to-head elimination race through the rapids late Saturday afternoon, a concert and auction on Saturday night, and on Sunday a whitewater giant slalom race through the islands in the Falls, a whitewater rodeo, and a more leisurely 3.5-mile float trip from Hidalgo to Hwy 105. During the downriver race on Saturday, festival goers can demo different kinds of boats, watch paddling videos, and play in the rapids. A festival t-shirt is included in the $12 festival admission fee; children under 12 are admitted free. Registration for the TCRA downriver race on Saturday costs $20 before March 24; after that date registration is $25. The registration fee includes admission to the festival site, the concert, camping, and a special racer version of the festival t-shirt.

Directions to Hidalgo Falls:  http://philosophy.tamu.edu/~sdaniel/location.html

To get into the TRPA property, you normally have to meet someone at the locked gate or be certified (and thus get the gate combination). We will meet visitors at the gate when they arrive.


Information about the location of Hidalgo Falls, TRPA ownership, pictures, etc. can be found at the Hidalgo Falls website:


Free primitive camping is available at the TRPA property (limited toilet and water facilities available). For information on Navasota motels, contact Steve Daniel.




21st ANNUAL - March 4, 2006

On Saturday, March 4, folks from all over Texas will be participating in the world's longest river clean up.  We will be picking up trash along the entire length of the San Marcos River (approximately 90 miles).


Everyone is urged to help. If you are unable to participate on the water, we need volunteers to work the banks of the river, especially at parks and highway crossings. Scuba divers and snorkelers are also urged to participate.


We are asking recreational paddlers and canoe clubs to accept the challenge and volunteer for a section of river. If your group or club has not already been assigned a section, be sure to contact Tom Goynes and tell him what stretch you would like.  The upper sections of the San Marcos River, particularly just downstream of the City of San Marcos, will require the most attention, and the short mileages set for these sections reflect this. Furthermore, the river becomes less accessible and more hazardous as one goes downstream. For that reason, novice boaters should volunteer for either section 1 or 2 and more experienced boaters for the other sections.


The lower river, from Luling to Gonzales, has several long sections with few bridge crossings and for that reason, we are asking canoe racers (especially teams that have competed in the Texas Water Safari) to volunteer for sections 9 - 11.


Everyone participating in this event is invited to camp free at either Shady Grove Campground/ Spencer Canoes or at Pecan Park Retreat for the weekend. Starting at 6 p.m. on Saturday evening there will be a free fish fry provided by the San Marcos River Foundation at Shady Grove Campground/Spencer Canoes.


On Sunday morning at 8 a.m., there will be a non-denominational Christian worship service at Pecan Park. 


A group meeting will be held for everyone working sections 3 through 7 at 9:00 a.m. Saturday morning at Spencer Canoes. Groups working sections 8 - 11 will arrange their shuttles as early as possible Saturday morning and try to put in the river by 9:00 a.m. Persons working sections 1 and 2 will meet at City Park in San Marcos at 10:00 a.m.

 Tom Goynes (coordinator)        512-392-6171

e-mail: mailto:goynes@centurytel.net



1    San Marcos City Park to Thompson's Island (2 miles)         Contact Tom Goynes at 512-392-6171 mailto:goynes@centurytel.net

2     Thompson's Island to Pecan Park Retreat (3.5 miles)                                               "          

3     Pecan Park Retreat to Spencer Canoes (6 mi.)                    Contact Houston Canoe Club: Ken Anderson at: mailto:klandrsn@hal-pc.org

4     Spencer Canoes to Staples - Hwy 1977 (5 miles)               Contact Jeff Pine at 512-443-2870  mailto:txpine@swbell.net

5     Staples to Fentress - Hwy 20 (9 miles)                                Contact Austin Paddling Club: Jeff Bauknecht at: mailto:2paddles@austin.rr.com

6     Fentress to Stairtown (7miles)                                              Contact Susan Eda at: mailto:Susan.Eda@springbranchisd.com

7     Stairtown to Luling - Hwy 90 (6.5miles)                              Contact Tom Goynes at 512-392-6171 mailto:goynes@centurytel.net

8     Hwy 90 to Luling City Park (6 mi.)                                                                                     "

9     Luling City Park to Palmetto State Park (14.4 mi.)               Contact Texas Canoe Racing Association: Ginsie at: mailto:ginsie@io.com

10  Palmetto State Park to Gonzales Hwy 90A (14.8 miles)                               "

11  Gonzales 90A to Gonzales 183 (10 mi.)                                                      "


TRPA Annual Meeting

On Sunday, March 5, 2006 at 10 a.m. the Texas Rivers Protection Association will hold it's annual general meeting.  It is also time for the biannual elections, so before the meeting is called to order the ballots will be counted (see page 5).  We will meet at the Pecan Park Retreat office (which is also the home of Tom and Paula Goynes).

We will discuss ongoing river issues.  Everyone is welcome to attend. 

To get to Pecan Park Campground: coming from Interstate 35 in San Marcos, get on Highway 80 and head toward Luling for 1.8 miles.  Take a right on county road 101.  Take an immediate left onto county road 102.  Go 1/2 mile on 102 and take a right on Pecan Park road.  Keep going straight (past TG Canoe Livery) and the road will end at the Pecan Park Retreat Office. For more info call Tom Goynes at 512-392-6171 or visit our website at http://www.pecanparkretreat.com/





Please Help Us Clean the Medina River on May 7, 2005

Sixth Annual Medina River Cleanup:

May 6, 2006

Register: 9-12 a.m. at Bandera City Park Maple St. at the Medina River Bridge Bandera, Texas
Free barbecue: 5-7 p.m.

Awards for Trash: 6 p.m.

Free t-shirts for all participants

Free camping: May 5th and 6th at the Bandera City Park and at Pioneer River Resorts (across 173 from the park - http://www.pioneerriverresort.com). There are new restrooms at the park and Pioneer River Resorts (formerly Jelleystone Park) is offering free showers for all river cleanup campers. RV sites are available to river cleanup participants at Pioneer for $10 per vehicle, less than half their normal rate. For reservations call 1-800-543-2185 or email Linda or Lloyd Rantall at



For questions about the cleanup, write to Bob Brischetto at mailto:Brischetto@wireweb.net.


For more information visit the Medina River Protection site at:



Texas Rivers Protection Association

Election, 2006

Officers and board members of the TRPA serve two-year terms.  Our by-laws state: "Election of the officers and other members of the board shall be conducted by mail prior to the annual meeting in such a manner as the Board of Directors shall determine."


This ballot contains a list of the current officers and board members who have agreed to serve another term.  It also contains other nominees and blank spaces for all offices and board positions, allowing write-ins for some or all positions.  Immediately prior to the annual meeting on Sunday morning, March 5, 2006, at 10 a.m. at Pecan Park Retreat, members present will discuss additional nominations or changes since this ballot was sent out.  Members present will fill in their ballots and these ballots will be counted along with those ballots that have been received in the mail.  A committee selected from persons present at that time will count the ballots.  Once the election is over, the annual meeting will begin.


If you intend to be present at the meeting on Sunday, March 5, please bring this ballot with you.  If you cannot attend, but wish to vote in this election, please fill in this ballot and return it.  Make sure that your dues are paid, and that the backside of this page either has your mailing label affixed or the application filled out.  Your vote will be private, but we need to verify that everyone voting is a paid member, so we will look at the labels first, then all the ballots will be turned over and the votes privately counted.


Officers:              [    ]  check here  or                                   write in candidate


President             [    ]  Tom Goynes (Martindale)                 _______________________

Vice President    [    ]  David Reichert (San Antonio)           _______________________

Secretary             [    ]  Leslie Redwine (New Braunfels)     _______________________

Treasurer            [    ]  Duane TeGrotenhuis (Martindale)    _______________________


Board of Directors:

                             [    ]  Mark Andrus (Angleton)                    _______________________

                             [    ]  Kathy Cusick (San Antonio)              _______________________

                             [    ]  Steve Daniel (College Station)         _______________________

                             [    ]  David Davenport (New Braunfels)   _______________________

                             [    ]  Jim Hatcher (Fort Stockton)             _______________________

                             [    ]  Ed Lowe (Dallas)                              _______________________

                             [    ]  Anne Olden (Houston)                      _______________________

                             [    ]  Jeff Pine (Austin)                              _______________________

                             [    ]  Ginger Turner (Austin)                      _______________________

                             [    ]  Michael Van Winkle (Kerrville)         _______________________

                             [    ]  Fred Zagst (Marble Falls)                 _______________________


Other Nominees:

                               [    ]  Richard Grayson (Dallas)                          _______________________

                              [    ]  David Price (Austin)                          _______________________




Return to: TRPA Ballot, 444 Pecan Park Drive, San Marcos, TX 78666