Tejano History

Nueces River

Tejanos |

       NUECES RIVER. The Nueces River rises in two forks in north central Edwards County and northwestern Real County (at 29°56' N, 100°00' W) and follows a southerly and southeasterly course of 315 miles to its mouth on Nueces Bay (at 27°50' N, 97°29' W). It drains an area of 16,800 square miles and carries an annual runoff of some 620,000 acre-feet. Fed by headsprings on the Edwards Plateau, the East Prong from Real County joins Hackberry Creek from Edwards County to form a portion of the Real-Edwards county line. The stream flows thence through a canyon of remarkable beauty paralleling Ranch Road 335. Joined in western Uvalde County by the Nueces West Fork, which rises in Edwards County and crosses the northeastern corner of Kinney County, the river descends from the plateau through the Balcones Escarpment. It continues its generally southeast course through the relatively flat terrain of the Gulf Coastal Plain to its mouth. After passing through Zavala, Dimmit, and La Salle counties, it turns northeast through McMullen County. Its major tributary, the combined Frio and Atascosa rivers, joins the Nueces near Three Rivers, Live Oak County. The Nueces then turns back southeast to form the county line between Jim Wells and San Patricio and San Patricio and Nueces counties. The rivercourse and drainage basin are in a predominantly rural area. Corpus Christi (pop. 262,092), situated at its mouth, is the only metropolis. Uvalde (pop. 15,086) is the second largest town in the entire watershed. Major impoundments in the Nueces watershed include Choke Canyon Reservoir and Lake Corpus Christi. The Choke Canyon lake, on the Frio River four miles west of Three Rivers, is a joint project of the city of Corpus Christi and the United States Bureau of Reclamation, providing water for municipal and industrial uses, recreation, and flood control. With shoreline in Live Oak and McMullen counties, it has a conservation storage capacity of 690,000 acre-feet. Lake Corpus Christi, impounded by Wesley E. Seale Dam four miles southwest of Mathis, is in the Lower Nueces River Water District. It furnishes water for recreation, municipal, and industrial and mining uses, as well as generation of electric power.


Full article on the Texas State Historical Association's Handbook of Texas Online

   Courtesy of the Texas State Historical Association.