kayak fishing

New Texas Paddling Trail Opens on Oso Bay

News Release  
CORPUS CHRISTI – Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) is opening a new paddling trail on Oso Bay in Corpus Christi. The Ron R. Smith Memorial Paddling Trail, the 82nd official Texas paddling trail, is named in memory of TPWD biologist Ron Smith. He was a founding member of the Texas Paddling Trails team and an alumnus of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.

“Ron was an avid advocate of teaching others to love the outdoors through paddling and fishing experiences,” said Shelly Plante, TPWD nature tourism manager. “While Ron is greatly missed, his legacy of inspiring others to enjoy paddling and fishing lives on, and we hope many enjoy this scenic trail on Oso Bay.”

Paddlers can access the looped trail from the Turtle Cove parking area on the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi campus. Parking fees may apply. The trail features a five-mile loop south from the access point and a shorter two-mile loop to the east. Float times range from one to three hours depending on the route taken, water levels and wind speed. The water can be shallow in Oso Bay, so paddlers are advised to check the tide before heading out.

The trail offers an abundance of bird-watching opportunities for paddlers. The shallow waters and tidal flats of Oso Bay are home to great blue herons, reddish egrets, pelicans, plovers, ducks and roseate spoonbills. The spring migration in Corpus Christi provides even more chances to spot colorful birds as they fly north for the summer.

If fishing is the objective, this paddling trail is a prime location to reel in a big catch. Red drum, black drum and spotted seatrout are species commonly caught within the waters of Oso Bay. Wade fishing is also popular for anglers in the area.

“Oso Bay, a shallow bay south of Corpus Christi Bay, is home to relic oyster reefs and scattered seagrass providing excellent fish habitat,” said Holly Grand, TPWD Coastal Fisheries outreach and education coordinator. “Fishing for red drum and spotted seatrout is good most of the year, and Oso Bay provides opportunities for a variety of anglers. Shore-based, wade fishing, and kayak; plus natural bait, artificial, and even fly anglers have great odds of catching fish.”

The Texas Paddling Trails program helps promote habitat conservation through sustainable economic development, while providing additional recreational opportunities to the public. To learn more, visit the Texas Paddling Trails website.

The Ron Smith Memorial Paddling Trail is a cooperative effort between TPWD and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. There will be a special launch event for the trail at 10 a.m. April 17 on the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi campus. Media members who would like to attend the event can RSVP by email at [email protected]

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