The Brazos River emerges at the convergence of Double Mountain Fork and Salt Fork near the east boundary of Stonewall County. It runs 840 miles through Texas to its mouth on the Gulf of Mexico (The Official Website of the State of Texas, n.d). It is the longest river in Texas, and it has the greatest discharge. There are several watersheds along its course as shown on the map above. I am going to deal with the Bosque River Watershed.
The Bosque River Watershed starts in Erath County, and includes sections of Bosque, Hamilton, and Coryell Counties. The watershed discharges its water into the Brazos River, downstream of Lake Waco in McLennan County, and drains approx. 1,653 sq. miles. The watershed encompasses portions of Blackland Prairie and Oak Woods eco-regions (The Official Website of the State of Texas, n.d). The soils in this area range from fine-textured clays to coarse-textured sands. The distinctive land uses include animal-feeding operations, agriculture, pasture land, range land, and urban areas. Lake Waco acts as flood control in the area, while at the same time providing drinking water for the surrounding communities.
The Brazos River Authority is the organization that is mostly involved in watershed projects in the Bosque River Watershed. It has been working to coordinate efforts to improve the watershed. Its efforts have been made possible by the Clean Water Act. Its main objective has been to identify all projects dealing with pollution prevention, monitor their progress, track the rules and regulations, identify trends in water quality, assist in the efficient use of resources, and enhance communication between the relevant parties. The Authority also provides a point of contact between the various stakeholders and other parties interested in activities involving the watershed.
During my visit to the area, I discovered that The North Bosque Watershed is the longest branch in the watershed. Dairying is the major agricultural activity in the watershed (The Watershed, n.d). However, hay operations and beef cattle farming are also highly practised. I visited a turkey farm, which had approximately 20,000 turkeys in it. The farm also had a corn farm which produced around 2,000 bags per season. I took part in several farm activities and learned a lot in the process. However, I noted that dairy farming in the region was beginning to decline owing to the regulatory pressures and low milk prices. The owner of the farm I had visited and other farmers in the region had to sell most of their dairy cattle so as to reduce on maintenance costs.
During my second week of stay in the Watershed, my host took me to the North Bosque River for fishing. I was a bit apprehensive at first sine I am frightened of water bodies, but my host assured me that I would be safe with him. I finally agreed to join him in his canoe. We travelled for about 10 miles on the canoe, and this gave us about 7 hours to fish and hunt...