While our physical offices are closed until further notice in accordance with Austin's COVID-19 "stay home-work safe" order, the Handbook of Texas will remain available at no-cost for you, your fellow history enthusiasts, and all Texas students currently mandated to study from home. If you have the capacity to help us maintain our online Texas history resources during these uncertain times, please consider making a 100% tax-deductible contribution today. Thank you for your support of TSHA and Texas history. Donate Today »

ARROYO COLORADO

William MacWhorter

ARROYO COLORADO. The Arroyo Colorado, a stream in the Rio Grande delta, originates at Lake Llano Grande in Hidalgo County (at 26°08' N, 97°56' W) and flows northeast for fifty-two miles through Cameron and southeastern Willacy counties to its mouth opposite Padre Island on Laguna Madre (at 26°25' N, 97°22' W). It is navigable to barges through parts of its dredged channel from the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway to the port of Harlingen. From that point to near its headwaters it is navigable only to small boats. The arroyo is a former outlet of the Rio Grande and in time of flood still carries excess water from the Rio Grande to Laguna Madre. Its upper drainage area includes rich farm and citrus land and the cities of Harlingen and Rio Hondo. The lower arroyo course runs through an area of farms, ranches, and coastal playas. Typical bankside vegetation consists of reeds overhung by huisache, mesquite, and Texas ebony. The final reaches of Arroyo Colorado pass through Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge, where its banks and adjoining thorn forests and marshes shelter ocelots, jaguarundis, indigo snakes, and other rare and endangered animals. The estuary protects roseate spoonbills, brown pelicans, and many other bird species. The first skirmish of the Mexican War occurred at the Paso Real crossing on the banks of the Arroyo Colorado, on March 20, 1846.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 
Raymond J. Fleetwood, Plants of Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge (Albuquerque: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1973). Florence J. Scott, Old Rough and Ready on the Rio Grande (San Antonio: Naylor, 1935).

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, William MacWhorter, "ARROYO COLORADO," accessed July 03, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/rba64.

Uploaded on June 9, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
visit the mytsha forums to participate

View these posts and more when you register your free MyTSHA account.

Call for Papers: Texas Center for Working-Class Studies Events, Symposia, and Workshops
Hi all! You may be interested in this call for papers I received from the Texas Center for Working-Class Studies at Collin College...

Katy Jennings' Ride Scholarly Research Request
I'm doing research on Catherine Jennings Lockwood, specifically the incident known as "Katy Jennings' Ride." Her father was Gordon C. Jennings, the oldest man to die at the Alamo...

Texas Constitution of 1836 Co-Author- Elisha Pease? Ask a Historian
The TSHA profile of Elisha Marshall Pease states that he wrote part of the Texas Constitution although he was only a 24 year-old assistant secretary (not elected). I cannot find any other mention of this authorship work by Pease in other credible research about the credited Constution authors...