Fishing & Boating News

Amistad NRA Allows Personal Watercraft Use

Amistad National Recreation Area

by: Alan Cox, Superintendent,

(May. 27, 2004 - Lake Amistad, TX) The National Park Service has re-opened Amistad National Recreation Area to personal watercraft use. Personal watercraft (PWC), small one or two-person craft such as Ski-doos and Waverunners, have been prohibited at Amistad NRA since November 2002. The National Park Service has written a special regulation to permit the watercraft after determining that PWC use at Amistad NRA is appropriate and consistent with the park's mission, resources and values, and other visitor activities. Amistad NRA consists of the United States portion of Amistad Reservoir; an earlier ban did not affect the Mexican portion of the reservoir.

PWCs must have a daily or annual lake use permit, available at automated machines within the park or at the park Visitor Information Center. Owners are also reminded to be sure the PWC has current state registration. The park Superintendent may temporarily limit or restrict PWC use in specific areas for safety or resource protection purposes. Limited areas closed to PWC use within the park include:

  • The water area extending 1000 feet out from the concrete portion of Amistad Dam.
  • Seminole Canyon, starting 1/2 mile from the mouth of the Rio Grande; and Hidden Cave Cove and Painted Canyon on the Rio Grande where marked by
  • buoys.
  • Landing on any island posted as closed.
  • Government coves at Diablo East and Rough Canyon.

Amistad NRA Superintendent Alan Cox said, "We're glad PWCs are allowed back on the reservoir, but we caution users to ride safely. With increasing water levels, waves are larger than many boaters are used to."

Amistad National Recreation Area's visitor information center is located on US Highway 90W near Blackbrush boat ramp, Del Rio TX, and is open daily 8am-5pm, except Thanksgiving Day, December 25, and January 1. For more information, visitors may call 830.775.7491, tune in to AM 1540 near the lake.