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New kayak launch opens at Middle Bosque spot known for white bass | Local News

The creators of a new kayak launch on the Middle Bosque River hope it will bring new anglers and paddlers to a place previously known mostly to insiders.

The launch opened earlier this month at the end of Barrett Road in a wildlife management area owned by the US Army Corps of Engineers, east of Speegleville Road and north of Highway 84. Officials Corps at Lake Waco worked with Texas Parks and Wildlife, the City of Waco, and various groups and businesses to create a gravel parking lot and water ramp.

From there, small craft can descend and explore the South Bosque River and Lake Waco, or upstream a mile or more during wetter seasons on the Middle Bosque River.

The stretch of river is popular among long-time anglers in the area as a great place to catch white bass as they make their spring run this time of year. It is also a popular starting point for deer and duck hunters.

“It was already popular, but once we opened it up it gave it more parking space, and we removed a lot of brambles to make it better for shore fishing,” the manager of the Body Lake, Mike Champagne. “We wanted to open it in the spring so people have an opportunity to use it. Even though the water is low, there is great fishing on the shore and it’s a great place to put your kayak.”

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Lake Waco Park Ranger Taylor Christian walks the launch that opened this month on the Middle Bosque River.

Rod Aydelotte, Tribun-Herald

Project officials said solar-powered panels and lights would be added in the near future, though supply chain issues have made the streetlights hard to find, said John Botros, access coordinator at the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife river.

The project cost $48,000, funded by in-kind donations and a grant from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Habitat and Angler Access program, which is funded by a fishing license surcharge. State funding has also been approved for a fish habitat improvement project at Lake Waco.

Other project partners included the City of Waco Parks and Recreation Department, which hauled the gravel, as well as Keep Waco Beautiful, Group W Bench Litter Patrol, Waco Fly Fishing Club, Waco Paddle Club, and Central Crushed Concrete. .

Paddle club member Lloyd Lund said the group has used the river access point for years but will use it more now that it is more convenient.

“That’s good because if the water is low, you can head out to Lake Waco or go upstream,” he said. “A lot of people go there to fish. It was nice of them to lay the gravel. It would get really muddy if you tried to park.”

Middle Bosque boat ramp

Lake Waco Park Ranger Taylor Christian walks the launch that opened this month on the Middle Bosque River.

Rod Aydelotte, Tribun-Herald

Several of the partners in this project have worked together to open another kayak launch at Bosque Park in 2020, also using gravel. Champagne said boating is becoming increasingly popular, both for fishing and for personal enjoyment.

“We see a lot more people out there with kayaks and canoes,” he said.

The launch point is across the Middle Bosque River from the Twin Rivers Golf Course, but with no access from that side. A large concrete jetty remains from a bridge that once spanned the river, but Corps officials said they believe the bridge was removed in the mid-1960s when the current lake dam was built.

To get to the launch, turn east from Speegleville Road on McLennan Crossing Road, then travel approximately 2 miles on Barrett Road, a gravel road.