Superintendent's Compendium

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September 2021

Authorized by Title 54 United States Code, Section 100751, and Title 36, Code of Federal Regulations, Parts 1 through 7, the following regulations are established by the Park Superintendent for the proper management, protection, and public use of Amistad National Recreation Area.

These regulations apply in addition to the criminal laws of the United States and the regulations contained in Title 36 of the Code of Federal Regulations. A person convicted of violating a provision of these regulations shall be punished by a fine as provided by law, or by imprisonment as provided by law, or both.

Designations, closures, permit requirements, and other restrictions authorized by the Superintendent under his discretionary authority are printed in regular type.

Written determinations, which explain the reasoning behind the Superintendent’s use of discretionary authority, are required by 36 CFR § 1.5(c) and appear in this document as italicized print.

Recommended by Matthew Payton, Chief Ranger. Approved by Christopher Ryan, Superintendent on September 23, 2021.


(a)(1) Closures

The following areas are closed to all public use due to the presence of sensitive resources:

  • Seminole Canyon, starting 0.5 miles up canyon of the confluence with the Rio Grande and is marked with buoys.

The following areas are closed to all public use to maintain integrity and security of government emergency response vessels:

  • Government Cove at Diablo East to include the shoreline to the top of the canyon rim/property line, the water, and government docks. The area is marked with buoys and signs.

The following areas are also closed to all public use:

  • All terrestrial cave and karst features, with the exception of Panther Cave, Parida Cave, and Pink Cave.

All terrestrial cave and karst features within the park are closed to public use to protect the resource until such time as a Cave and Karst Management Plan is developed and implemented, with the noted exceptions. For the purpose of this restriction, cave and karst features include true caves, sinkholes, pits, fissures, overhangs, and rock shelters.

  • Interior Least Tern nesting colony sites.

Interior Least Terns are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act; they nest on islands and peninsulas on the lake from approximately May 1st through August 31st. To avoid disturbing their nesting activity, these areas will be closed to all public use during their nesting season. The areas will be marked with signs on the shoreline.

  • The Lower Rio Grande area below Amistad Dam, unless escorted by a park employee conducting official government business.

This area is closed to general public access because of safety and homeland security concerns.
The water area extending 350 feet out from the entire portion of Amistad Dam, which includes both the concrete and earthen wing dams.
International Boundary and Water Commission has closed this area for safety concerns and for homeland security concerns.

  • All administrative service roads and areas marked with a sign.

Closures will maintain integrity and security of government property.

Launching, landing, or operating an unmanned aircraft from or on lands and waters administered by the National Park Service within the boundaries of Amistad NRA is prohibited except as approved in writing by the superintendent. The term ''unmanned aircraft" means a device that is used or intended to be used for flight in the air without the possibility of direct human intervention from within or on the device and the associated operational elements and components that are required for the pilot or system operator in command to operate or control the device (such as cameras, sensors, communication links). This term includes all types of devices that meet this definition (e.g., model airplanes, quadcopters, drones) that are used for any purpose, including for recreation or commerce.

(a)(2) Use Limits

  • Regardless of vaccination status or local community transmission levels, all individuals over the age of two must wear masks, except when actively eating or drinking, in all common areas and shared workspaces in federally owned buildings administered by the National Park Service and in office space leased by the National Park Service.
  • Federally owned buildings administered by the National Park Service include, but are not limited to, visitor centers, administrative offices, maintenance facilities, and shared government quarters; buildings assigned to concessioners or other park partners; and buildings leased for commercial purposes to individuals or entities other than the National Park Service.
  • All individuals over the age of two, regardless of vaccination status or local community transmission levels, must wear masks in the following outdoor areas when others are present, except when actively eating or drinking, where the superintendent has determined that physical distancing (staying at least six feet apart) cannot reasonably be maintained:
    • Fish release station at Diablo East during tournaments and other large gatherings needing the area.
  • Masks must cover the nose and mouth and fit snugly around the nose and chin with no large gaps around the sides of the face. Masks not designed to be protective, masks with ventilation valves, and face shields do not meet the requirement.
  • Regardless of vaccination status, all individuals must comply with all orders regarding masks issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
  • CDC prevention measures continue to apply to all travelers on public transit, regardless of vaccination status. Masks remain required on all forms of public transit that operate within parks--including buses, trains, and boats/ferries--and in transportation hubs.
  • The entire park is closed to the possession of glass beverage containers.

The high occurrence of broken glass that has caused injuries to visitors indicates a need for this prohibition.

  • The following areas are closed to the beaching of vessels:
    • Vessels may not be beached overnight within designated harbors at Diablo East, Rough Canyon, Southwinds Marina, and Box Canyon.

This regulation is intended to reduce the congestion in high visitor use areas.

  • Kitesurfing, kiteboarding, hang-gliding, and parasailing (boardriding while attached to wind­ driven parachute-like objects or wing devices and/or towed by a vessel or vehicle) is only allowed by permit issued by the Superintendent. This closure does not include sailboarding, where a sail is permanently affixed to the board.

Kitesurfing/boarding, hang-gliding, and parasailing within Amistad National Recreation Area has been deemed an inappropriate activity given safety concerns and resource conflicts that the park is mandated to prevent. Accepted safety practices by kitesurfing/boarding and parasailing associations and groups advocate no kiteboard or parasailing use in swim areas and avoidance of obstacles, which abound at Amistad National Recreation Area.

  • The following areas are closed to the use of water jet devices (WJD), such as but not limited to Jetpaks™, Jetlevs™, Flyboards™ and other similar devices where individuals ride a hydro-powered apparatus above the surface of the water while connected to a personal watercraft (PWC) or other power source that supplies thrust to the WJD through a hose connecting the two devices:
    • Within any area marked as "no wake", "no boats", boats keep out", or designated as closed to public use.
    • Within the harbors at Diablo East, Rough Canyon, and Southwinds Marina.
    • Within the SCUBA Cove.
    • Within 100 feet of any other vessel, structure, boat ramp, person in or on the water, or land while airborne.

These areas are closed to WJD devices for the safety of the WJD users and other park visitors as well as to reduce injuries between user groups, particularly in high use areas.

  • Fueling of vessels while on the lake's water is prohibited with the following exceptions:
    • At the approved fueling facilities at Southwinds Marina.
    • From DOT approved portable fuel containers, 5 gallons or less in size.
    • By a park permit.

Diesel fueling of vessels on the water is allowed from a DOT approved commercial fueling apparatus. This prohibition is to prevent pollution of the lake's water from an accidental discharge of fuel into the lake and to prevent injury to visitors due to improper fueling.Diesel fuel is currently not available from an approved fueling facility on the lake; therefore, the park will allow this fueling until an approved fueling station is available.

  • The boat slips at Southwinds Marina are restricted to the use of and access by marina and park employees, customers, and their guests. These boat slips are not open to the general public. These areas are restricted to prevent theft of services and inconvenience to or conflict with slip renters.
  • Public Fishing docks are located at Governors Landing Campground, Rough Canyon Campground, Blackbrush Big Loop
  • Fishing from the public fishing docks will be restricted to rod and reel fishing or the active use of cast nets. The public fishing docks are not to be used as anchor points for drop lines, trot lines, or any other type of fixed lines.

Fixed lines may obstruct the free use and enjoyment of the area by other users.

  • All designated fishing docks are closed to vessels. These docks are provided for the convenience of the non-boating fishing public.
  • Tying or mooring a vessel at public docks for longer than 20 minutes is prohibited.

Time limits are necessary to allow for as many visitors as possible to have access to these convenience facilities.

  • The following areas are closed to SCUBA diving: designated boat mooring, docking, and harbor areas.

This restriction is intended to help ensure diver safety from boat traffic.

  • The longer, western courtesy dock at the Diablo East boat ramp is closed to all houseboats.

Houseboats and privately moored houseboats are restricted to the use of the shorter, eastern dock provided specifically for them to reduce congestion at the public dock.

  • Tying or mooring of a vessel at Panther or Parida Cave docks for longer than 2 hours is prohibited. These docks are closed from 30 minutes after sunset to 30 minutes prior to sunrise.

Time limits are necessary to allow for as many visitors as possible to have access to these facilities, to protect the docks from damage, and to deter long term mooring in a culturally sensitive area.

  • The area known as the SCUBA Cove is closed to all motorboat traffic. The area within the northeast and northwest fingers of land at the entrance of the cove to the shore and marked by buoys shall be off limits to boaters.

This area is reserved for SCUBA divers, who can surface unexpectedly, causing a catastrophic event with a motorboat.

(c) Filming

The following types of filming activities may occur in areas open to the public without a permit and without advance notice to the NPS:

  • Outdoor filming activities involving five persons or less and equipment that will be carried at all times, except for small tripods used to hold cameras.

The organizer of any other type of filming activity must provide written notice to the Superintendent at least 10 days prior to the start of the proposed activity. Based upon the information provided, the Superintendent may require the organizer to apply for and obtain a permit if necessary in order to:

  • maintain public health and safety.
  • protect environmental or scenic values.
  • protect natural or cultural resources.
  • allow for equitable allocation and use of facilities.
  • avoid conflict among visitor use activities.

If the Superintendent determines that the terms and conditions of a permit could not mitigate the concerns identified above in an acceptable manner, the Superintendent may deny a request and not issue a filming permit. The Superintendent will provide the basis for denial in writing upon request.
The NPS will consider requests and process permit applications in a timely manner. Processing times will vary depending on the complexity of the proposed activity. If the organizer provides the required 10-day advance notice to the NPS and has not received a written response from the NPS that a permit is required prior to the first day of production, the proposed filming activities may occur without a permit.

The following are prohibited:

  1. Engaging in a filming activity without providing advance notice to the Superintendent when required.
  2. Engaging in a filming activity without a permit if the Superintendent has notified the organizer in writing that a permit is required.
  3. Violating a term and condition of a permit issued under this action.

Violating a term or condition of a permit issued under to this action may also result in the suspension and revocation of the permit by the Superintendent.

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Pursuant to 36 CFR l .6(f), the following is a list of activities and applicable 36 CFR statutes for which a permit is required. Permits are issued by the Superintendent and may be subject to special regulations. Engaging in these activities without a permit or violating the terms and conditions of a permit is prohibited:
1.5 Public Use Limit (Marina facility permit)
2.2 Hunting (in designated areas)
2.5 Specimen collection
2.10 Camping (in designated campgrounds and designated dispersed camping areas)
2.11 Picnicking (in designated group picnic areas)
2.17 Use of aircraft
2.23 Recreation fees (Lake Use Fees)
2.38 Explosives (permit not available)
2.50 Special events, including fishing tournaments
2.51 Public assemblies, meetings
2.52 Sale or distribution of printed matter
2.60 Livestock use and agriculture (permit not available)
3.3 Use of a vessel
4.12 Ramp parking permit
5.1 Advertisements
5.3 Business operations
5 Commercial photography
6 Commercial vehicles
7 Construction of buildings or other facilities
5.10 Operating an eating, drinking, or lodging establishment

2.23 Recreation Fees (Lake Use Fee)

All motorboats and all sailboats over 14ft. on Amistad Lake that require state registration, including those in fishing tournaments, must possess a valid Lake Use Pass. Lake use fees are $4.00/day, $10.00/3 days, or $50.00/year.

2.50 Special Events - Fishing Tournaments

A special use permit is required when any fishing tournament exceeds ten (10) boats. The application for special use permits must be received by the park at least 72 hours before and no earlier than 18 months in advance of the tournament start date. A permit processing fee of $25.00 must be submitted with the application. A response will be given by park within one week after receipt of an application.

Management Costs: The park has established a standard fee for cost recovery of services provided for a fishing tournament. Personnel costs are the only standardized costs being recovered. In the event there are additional costs incurred by the park, the NPS will notify the tournament director/organizer as to their additional financial obligation. The below fees are to arrive at the park no later than tournament registration time.

Schedule of Costs

Boats Fees
1-100 $0/day
101-200 $90/day
201-300 $260/day
301-600 $495/day

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(a)(2) Introducing wildlife, fish, or plants, including their reproductive bodies, into a park area ecosystem

Introducing non-native species is prohibited, i.e. Zebra and Quagga Mussels, Asian Carp, and Alligators.

(a)(4) Using or possessing wood gathered from within the park

The gathering of dead and downed wood within the park for the purpose of campfires within the park is allowed.
The limited collection of firewood is a traditional use in this region and causes no significant detrimental effects to the resources.

(a)(5) Archeological or cultural resources

The following archeological sites are open to the public with the following restrictions:

  • Panther Cave (41VV83) located in Seminole Canyon. No camping or ground fires permitted. Overnight mooring by boats is prohibited.
  • Parida Cave (41VV187) located on the Rio Grande. No camping or ground fires permitted. Overnight mooring by boats is prohibited.

These sites are generally known to the public and are open to them (with the identified restrictions) as they possess characteristics that allow for such use without damage.

(b) Pedestrian or hiking use

At Panther and Parida Caves, pedestrian traffic is restricted to the designated trail systems.
This is to protect and preserve sensitive cultural resources while still allowing general access to these sites.

(c)(l) & (c)(2) Collection for personal use or consumption

The following renewable plant products may be collected for personal use only:

  • Fruit of the prickly pear cactus.
  • Fruit of the Agarita bush.
  • Fruit of the wild Persimmon tree.
  • Mesquite beans.
  • Hackberry fruit.

There is a limit of one five-gallon container per plant species per family unit during the entire fruit bearing season.
The gathering or consumption will not adversely affect park wildlife, the reproductive potential of a plant species, or otherwise adversely affect park resources. A limit is established to prevent the over-harvesting of the renewable resources and to allow for a wider distribution to the public.

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(b) Hunting is allowed in designated areas of Amistad National Recreation Area

(b)(4) Where hunting or trapping or both are authorized, such activities shall be conducted in accordance with Federal law and the laws of the State within whose exterior boundaries a park area or a portion thereof is located.

Non-conflicting State laws are adopted as a part of these regulations.

(d) Transporting lawfully taken wildlife through the park area

Wildlife lawfully killed may be transported in the park with the following conditions:

  • The wildlife must be tagged as prescribed by state law.
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(d)(8) Fishing limits

The following areas are closed to fishing. This includes fishing from vessels secured in marina boat slips, on docks, and on marina mooring buoys.

  • Diablo East harbor within the no wake buoys.
  • Diablo East Marina dock or boats secured there. Bank fishing is allowed within the Diablo East Marina Cove.
  • Southwinds Marina cove within no wake buoys.
  • Rough Canyon harbor at the low water ramp within the no wake buoys, except for the designated fishing dock.
  • Rough Canyon at the high-water ramp within the "no wake" buoys except for the designated fishing dock.
  • Box Canyon within 200 feet of the boat ramp.
  • Blackbrush launch ramp and courtesy dock.
  • 277 North Launch Ramp and courtesy dock.
  • The SCUBA Cove within the "SCUBA Dive Area" buoys.

These restrictions are necessary to reduce conflicting visitor uses in high traffic areas and to enhance safety for maintenance diving operations.

Anyone 18 years or older must have a current Texas fishing license on their person to be considered legally fishing in the state of Texas and at Amistad National Recreation Area.

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(a) Front Country Camping

Front country camping is allowed only in designated campgrounds. Campgrounds are designated by NPS signage, by brochures, and maps available to the public at the Visitor Center and online. The designated campgrounds are:

  • San Pedro Campground.
  • Governors Landing Campground.
  • Spur 406 Campground.
  • 277 North Campground.
  • Rough Canyon Campground and dirt road below the campground.

A Recreational Fee Permit is required for overnight stays in these developed area campgrounds and will be issued by a self-registration system. The campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Reserving or holding these campsites is prohibited. The permit application requirement shall be met by completing the fee collection envelope, inserting the required payment into the envelope, and depositing the envelope in the security container at the registration station within 30 minutes of arrival in the campground. The permit application requirement will also be met by paying the required fee at one of the park's automated fee machines or the park's Visitor Center and maintaining the fee receipt in the campsite within 30 minutes of arrival in the campground.

Front Country Camping
The following conditions apply to front country campgrounds:

  • Only one recreational vehicle camping unit, not to exceed three vehicles total, will be allowed per campsite. Vehicles must be parked on pavement or designated areas. In no case shall the number of vehicles exceed the designated parking area capacity.
  • Visitors are welcome to stay in the park up to 14 consecutive nights in either a front or backcountry site, with a limit of 60 total nights in the park in a calendar year.
  • Campers can occupy a specific site up to 14 total nights in a year.
  • Total campers per campsite are not to exceed eight persons.
  • Check-out time is 11:00 a.m.
  • Quiet hours in the campgrounds and dispersed camping areas will be from 10:00 pm until 6:00 a.m.
  • Campsites must be actively occupied as demonstrated by at least one individual spending the night in the site.

Occupancy requirements are necessary to reduce the usage of campsites as inexpensive storage facilities and to reduce the "saving" of sites for upcoming weekends that keeps others from using the empty sites during that time.

  • Camp in designated sites or areas only.
  • Target practice is prohibited in all areas of Amistad National Recreation Area

Group Camping
Front country group camping will be permitted, with a camping fee permit, at the following group campgrounds by reservation only. Reservations may not be made more than 180 days in advance:

  • Rock Quarry Group Campground- overnight group size is limited to a minimum of 15 persons and a maximum of 35 persons.
  • San Pedro Group Campground - overnight group size is limited to a minimum of 15 persons and a maximum of 75 persons.
  • 277 North Group Campground - overnight group size is limited to a minimum of 15 persons and a maximum of 35 persons.
  • No target practice within campground for visitor safety.

The following conditions apply to group campgrounds:

  • Check-out time is 11:00 a.m.
  • Quiet hours are from 10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
  • An individual cannot rent a group campsite for more than 14 days. An individual can only reserve the same group campsite twice within the same calendar year. This limit will be excepted if the group campsite has not been reserved by others 24 hours prior to the desired date.

There is a high demand for some of the group campsites. These limits are designed to allow as many different people as possible to enjoy these sites.

Backcountry Camping

Backcountry camping is permitted on the lake waters and shoreline under the following conditions:

  • Camping will be limited to a maximum of 28 days within a calendar year.
  • The possession, use, and removal after use of a portable camp toilet or dry chemical bag system for human waste is required.

The following areas are closed to backcountry camping:

  • Within one quarter (¼) mile of developed areas.
  • Hunt areas during the hunting season.
  • Indian Springs Canyon, on the east side of the Devils River, during periods of low water, in the area beyond the posted signs that read "No Camping Beyond this Point".
  • Within 100 feet of where Indian Springs flows down to the Devils River.
  • All areas accessible by wheeled motor vehicles, except for designated Dispersed Camping Areas.
  • All archeological sites.

DEFINITION: For purposes of the Compendium only, "Developed Areas" in Amistad National Recreation Area include areas within ¼ mile of a campground, dispersed camping areas, picnic areas, launch ramps, or public roads. The entire south shoreline from Amistad Dam eastward to the 277 North Highway bridge, with the exception of Hunt Area 5 during the non-hunting season, is considered a developed area.
Backcountry camping in these areas would not be consistent with their primary designated use and/or may be detrimental to sensitive natural resources.

(b)(3) Camping within 100 feet of a flowing stream, river or body of water, except as designated.

Camping within 100 feet of a flowing stream, river, or body of water other than a spring is allowed.
In some areas of the park the geological features are not conducive to camping farther than 100 feet from the lake and impacts to resources would be minimal.

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Picnicking within the Governors Landing campground is allowed from 7:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m., then the individual(s) must either vacate the campsite or pay the camping fee.
Overnight camping is the primary use for designated campgrounds; however, picnicking is permitted in these areas as long as it does not interfere with camping. The popularity of the Governors Landing campground requires this additional restriction to ensure campsites are available for campers.
Picnicking in the group picnic shelters located at Rough Canyon and within the San Pedro Campground is allowed. These shelters are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

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§ 2.13 FIRES

(a)(l) Fire designated areas and conditions

  • Open fires are prohibited in the park, except for:
  • In developed areas, in designated fire grills, portable stoves or grills, designated metal fire rings, or other containers with sides at least 2 inches high that keep the fire out of direct contact with the ground. Use of rock fire rings or other ground fires is prohibited.
  • In non-developed areas, in portable stoves or grills, or contained in fire pans with sides at least 2 inches high. Use of rock fire rings or other ground fires is prohibited.

The following conditions apply to authorized fires:

  • Wood or charcoal fires must be contained in fire pans at least 2 inches high or in NPS provided metal fire rings. Use of rock fire rings or other ground fires is prohibited.
  • Fires are prohibited in archeological sites.
  • Fires must be constantly attended and are to be completely extinguished prior to departing the area.

Restrictions are necessary to limit the proliferation of fire rings and reduce fire danger in high visitor use areas. Prohibiting ground fires in archeological sites is needed to protect these sites from damage

(b) Conditions for extinguishing fires

When unattended, open fires must be completely extinguished and made cold with no remaining burning material left. All trash within fire rings must be removed and properly disposed. Care must be exercised to ensure that ashes are dead out to prevent the spread of hot ashes, which may ignite a wildfire.

(c) Closures to fire

Amistad National Recreation Area will adopt Val Verde County burn bans. These often include prohibitions of ground fires during times of dangerous fire conditions.

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(a)(7) Disposing of fish remains as designated

Disposing of fish remains at the designated fish cleaning stations is authorized.
These areas were specifically constructed to properly dispose of fish remains.

(a)(9) Non-developed areas, the disposal of human body waste designated

Disposal of human body waste within 100 feet of a water source, high water mark of a body of water, or a campsite is prohibited.
The concentration of campers to the same desirable camp sites creates an unsanitary environment and resource damage with human waste.

(b) Conditions concerning the disposal, containerization, or carryout of human body waste

  • Human body waste shall not be discharged or disposed of into any water source.
  • In non-developed areas, human waste will be carried out or disposed of on land at least 100 feet from the water's edge and outside of archeological sites and buried at least 6 inches deep.
  • All backcountry campers will carry out their solid human waste with a dump station compatible waste system or commercially produced dry chemical bag system. Only properly sealed dry chemical bags may be disposed of in park refuse containers.
  • The construction of any type of toilet structure is prohibited, however the setup of a commercially manufactured temporary toilet structure is allowed as long as the body waste is disposed of in accordance with applicable rules, regulations, and laws of all government entities having jurisdiction.
  • Toilet structures must be removed when the site is vacated.

Human body waste in a water source is a public health hazard. Burying solid human body waste on land is required to reduce health hazards, visual pollution, and odors, and speed the decomposition process.

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§ 2.15 PETS

(a)(3) Unattended and tied pets

Leaving a pet unattended and tied to an object in a humane manner (with adequate food, water, and shelter) is allowed within campsites for up to 4 hours provided the pet does not make unreasonable noise.
This allowance is preferable to leaving a pet in a hot vehicle or running loose.

(a)(5) Pet excrement disposal conditions

In all developed areas (campgrounds, picnic areas, marinas, parking lots, hiking trails, etc.) pet excrement must be disposed of by the pet owner, either in the nearest trash receptacle or by complete removal.
This regulation is intended to keep objectionable odors and excrement out of high visitor use areas.

(b) Hunting dogs

Bird dogs are allowed to hunt or retrieve dove, quail, or waterfowl or retrieve training devices in designated hunt areas. All dogs must be on a leash outside of the hunt areas and bird dogs must be under control at all times while in the hunting areas.
This restriction is intended to allow traditional hunting practices in accordance with Texas State law while protecting other wildlife in the park.

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(a) Pack animals defined

Only horses, mules, burros, and llamas are defined as pack animals.

(b) Areas designated for use of horses or pack animals

The use of horses and pack animals are allowed in the following area and with the following restrictions:

  • The NPS lands east of the Spur 454 area, except within the San Pedro Campground and on the campground access road, except to cross the road.
  • Overnight camping with stock is prohibited.

The use of horses and pack animals is traditional in this area and will not cause significant resource degradation.

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§ 2.21 SMOKING

Smoking is prohibited in all park buildings, including but not limited to offices, ranger stations, visitor contact areas, and toilet facilities.

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(a)(2) Unattended property designations and conditions

The following property can remain in the park longer than 24 hours with the associated conditions:

Mooring private vessels

  • Mooring of vessels is allowed for no more than seven days.
  • Vessels may not be moored at or near a public boat ramp, fishing dock, swim area, or Scuba Cove.
  • Vessels that become a navigational hazard will be towed and the owner will be contacted by a Law Enforcement Ranger.
  • Vessels and the tires or similar devices used to protect temporarily beached vessels on the shoreline are allowed during the length of stay, provided they are not unattended for more than 24 hours. An attended vessel is defined as being launched away from the shoreline and used in its intended manner.
  • No more than two tires/devices per vessel are allowed and they must be clearly labeled with owner's name and vessel number. These tires must be removed when no longer used to beach a vessel overnight.

This regulation is intended to reduce visual pollution from the storing of private vessels on the shore of a public reservoir and prevent beaching devices (tires) from becoming trash.

Vehicles and boat trailers

  • Legally registered vehicles and boat trailers may be left unattended at approved parking areas while the associated park permitted vessel is in use on the water.
  • This does not apply to boat trailers for vessels moored longer than 14 days in marina facilities.

Parking areas are provided specifically for users of the park, but limited space does not allow for parking by persons not using the park or who need extended storage facilities for their trailers.

Deer hunting stands

  • Deer hunting stands may be left unattended in hunt areas for up to 24 hours.
  • Unattended stands must be clearly labeled with the NPS Hunting Permit number.
  • Placing of a stand does not confer exclusive right of owner to use the area, i.e., hunting areas will be used on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Deer hunt stands are allowed by State law. Limiting unattended hunt stands ensures space availability for other hunters wanting to use the areas.

Temporary mooring or jugs

Temporary moorings or "jugs" for "baited holes" are allowed under the following conditions:

  • "Jugs" are marked with owner's name, address, and date set.
  • Only plastic jugs not over 1 gallon in size or plastic floats are allowed.
  • Only jugs may be used that have do not contain oil or other petroleum products or hazardous chemicals.
  • Floating rope or wire lines are prohibited. Only nylon, cotton, or other non-floating lines are allowed.
  • Floats are to be checked and re-dated a minimum of every 30 days. Any jug left more than 30 days without re-dating will be removed.
  • They cannot cause a hazard to navigation.
  • The entire mooring assembly, from anchor to jug, is easily removable from the water.
  • Placing of a jug does not confer exclusive right of owner to use the area, i.e., fishing areas will be used on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Mooring jugs are allowed by State law and are a traditional use for this area.

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(a) Recreation fees shall be established

The Recreation Fee Demonstration Program, Public Law 104-134 (and as later amended by other public laws), authorizes Amistad NRA to collect recreation fees. Amistad has established recreation fees for front country camping, hunting, and lake use (boating).

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(3)(i) Alcoholic beverage closures

The following areas are closed to the possession of any open alcoholic beverage container or the consumption of any alcoholic beverage:

  • Within the park administrative buildings, ranger stations, and visitor centers.
  • By hunters in a designated hunt area while in possession of a weapon.

The use or possession of alcoholic beverages is inappropriate in government administrative facilities. The restriction on hunters is to provide for hunter and visitor safety.

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(c)(2) Designated available park areas

The following locations are available for demonstrations and the sale or distribution of printed matter (for maps, see Appendix A).

  • Diablo East Area - picnic area near DE restrooms, adjacent to DE Trail head.
  • Rough Canyon Area - dirt area south of the parking Jot adjacent to the Rough Canyon Ranger Station.
  • Pecos Area-The parking area west of the comfort station, adjacent to the flagpole.

These areas provide a location near high visitor use areas for public assemblies, while allowing for safety of demonstrators.

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(b) Scattering of human ashes

The scattering of human ashes from the ground or air is allowed provided the ashes fall at least 100 yards from any developed area and archeological site. A permit is not needed for scattering of ashes at this time.
Such activity is minimal and would not cause negative impacts on resources or visitor activities.

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(b)(a) Vessels and their operation on all waters subject to NPS jurisdiction are governed by non­ conflicting boating safety laws and regulations of the State within whose interior boundaries a park area or portion thereof is located.

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All motorboats of any size and all sailboats 14 feet in length or longer must have displayed a valid Amistad National Recreation Area lake use fee permit. The following conditions of the annual lake use permit apply:

  • An annual Lake Use Pass fee machine receipt must be exchanged for an annual decal within 14 days.
  • The annual decal must be affixed to the port side of the vessel 6 inches aft of the registration.
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(a) An authorized person may at any time stop and/or board a vessel to examine documents, licenses or permits relating to operation of the vessel and to inspect the vessel to determine compliance with regulations pertaining to safety equipment, vessel capacity, marine sanitation devices, and other pollution and noise abatement requirements.

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  • Operating at a rate of speed greater than is reasonable and prudent or greater than will permit the driver to stop the vessel within the assured clear distance ahead.
  • Operating in a manner to cause a hazardous wake or wash.
  • Operating in a circular course around another vessel, PWC, or individual engaged in water activities unless retrieving a downed or fallen water skier or a person engaged in similar activity.
  • Mooring or attaching to any buoy, beacon, light marker, stake, flag or other aid to safe operation, or moving, removing, displacing, tampering with, damaging or destroying the same.
  • Anchoring in the traveled portion of a river or channel so as to prevent, impede, or interfere with safe passage of any other boat through the same area.
  • Operating within an area designated as fishing, swimming, or otherwise restricted.
  • Operating within a designated "no wake" area except at headway speed without creating a swell or wake.
  • Engaging in water skiing, surfboarding or other similar activity between 1/2 hour after sunset to 1/2 hour before sunrise. This shall not apply to vessels used in recognized water ski tournaments, competitions, exhibitions or trials, provided that the water area is adequately lighted.
  • Operating while intoxicated (loss of mental or physical faculties or blood alcohol content of .08 or higher). First conviction punishable by a fine not to exceed $2,000, confinement in jail not to exceed 180 days, or both; second conviction punishable by a fine not to exceed $4,000, confinement not to exceed one year, or both; third conviction punishable by a fine not to exceed $10,000 and imprisonment for not more than 10 years or less than 2 years.

**Failure to submit a specimen to determine blood alcohol content may result in suspension of your driver license.

  • Operating any vessel or manipulate any water skis, aquaplane or similar device, in a willful or wanton disregard of the rights or safety of others and at a speed or in a manner to endanger or likely to endanger any person or property. (Conviction punishable by a fine of not less than $200 nor more than $2,000 or by confinement in jail not to exceed 180 days or both.)
  • Swimming or diving within 200 yards of any sigp.t-seeing or excursion boat except for maintenance purposes or unless within an enclosed area.
  • Operating within 50 feet of a "Diver Down Flag" or operate a boat within 150 feet of a "Diver Down Flag11 except at headway/steerage speed.
  • Failing to comply with the USCG Inland Rules of the Road.

The engine cut-off switch must be worn by the operator on any vessel under 26 feet in length that is equipped with the ECOS and operated at greater-than headway speed.

(a)(2) Designated launch ramps

The boat ramps in the following locations are designated vessel launching and recovery sites and will be signed as Open or Closed depending on useable water levels:

  • Blackbrush Point concrete boat ramps.
  • Box Canyon concrete boat ramp.
  • Diablo East concrete boat ramp.
  • 277 North Campground concrete boat ramps (2).
  • Pecos River concrete boat ramp.
  • Rough Canyon concrete boat ramps (2).
  • Air Force (Southwinds Marina) concrete boat ramp.
  • Spur 406 Campground concrete boat ramps (2).
  • Spur 454 concrete boat ramp.
  • Amistad Acres concrete boat ramp.

The park maintains temporary low-water boat ramps that will be designated as boat launching sites depending on water levels and safe launching conditions. Approved ramps will be designated on site with an official NPS sign.
Fluctuating water levels may require closure of some of the developed launches. The temporary ramps may be suitable for launching and retrieving vessels depending on water levels, while not adversely impacting natural and cultural resources and other visitor activities.

(b)(3) Designated flat wake speed areas

Operating a vessel in excess of flat wake speed is prohibited in the following areas:

  • Within harbors, including Diablo East, Rough Canyon, Box Canyon, and Southwinds.
  • Mooring areas.
  • Any "No Wake" buoyed area.
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(a) The towing of a person by a vessel is allowed only in designated waters

Lake Amistad is open to the towing of persons by vessels except in the following areas:

  • That portion of the upper Devils River above Indian Springs.
  • Those areas marked by a regulatory marker.
  • The entire Pecos River arm of the reservoir.
  • The arm of the Rio Grande upriver from Seminole Canyon.
  • Within "no wake" areas.
  • Within harbors.

These areas present safety hazards to persons being towed by vessels.

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Swimming and wading are allowed except in the following areas:

  • Mooring areas.
  • Harbors.
  • Within 200 feet of fishing docks.
  • Any other area posted as closed to swimming or visitor use.

These are unsafe areas for swimmers where vessel concentrations and fishing hooks and lines might cause injuries.

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(a) Snorkeling and underwater diving closures and restrictions

⦁ SCUBA diving is allowed throughout the park except at those locations closed under §1.5.

⦁ Spear guns are prohibited in the designated Scuba Cove.

The SCUBA cove draws many divers in training, who need a safe environment free of projectiles for learning.

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(b) Off-road motor vehicle use

Amistad has not implemented special regulations for off-road motor vehicle use, therefore all off road travel is prohibited.

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(a) Vehicle load, weight, and size limits established

Individual motor vehicles or trailers in excess of 28-feet in length are prohibited within Governors Landing Campground.

Physical design limitations of the campground prohibit safe operation of vehicles over 28 feet long.

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(b) Designated speed limits

The speed limit in the following areas is 35 mph:

  • Governors Landing Road to the first entrance to the upper(west) parking lot.

  • Spur 454 access road, from the posted speed limit sign near the park boundary to the congested area beginning near the "cliffs."

The speed limit in the following areas is 30 mph:

  • The Air Force (Southwinds) Marina access road, from Spur 349 to the recreation center grounds
  • Blackbrush Point access road
  • Spur 406 access road, from the park boundary to within 100 feet of campsite #1 Diablo East access Road, to the first entrance to the upper (West) parking lot
  • Spur 406, 100 feet beyond the last campsite to the lake shore.

These roadways pass through heavy vegetation and wildlife crossing areas. These roads are also shared with pedestrians and bicyclists. Curves, blind hills, and uneven road surfaces necessitate slower speeds on these roads.

The speed limits in the following areas are 15 mph:

  • Southwinds recreation center grounds and campground.
  • Spur 406 Campground.
  • Diablo East access road from the upper (west) parking lot to the lake, marina, and throughout the parking lots.
  • The Pecos ranger station road, from the park boundary to the boat ramp.
  • Spur 454 from the posted sign near the congested cliff and boat ramp areas.
  • All unpaved roads within the park.

These paved roads are in congested areas with numerous pedestrians and other traffic. Unpaved roads have numerous dips, bumps and pass by heavy roadside vegetation and wildlife crossing areas.

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§ 4.30 BICYCLES (including e-bikes)

(a) Park Roads

The use of bicycles (including e-bikes) is permitted on park roads and in parking areas that are otherwise open for motor vehicle use by the general public.

(b) Designated bicycle areas

The following areas are designated for bicycle use (and e-bikes in pedal-assist mode):

  • The existing old dirt roads within Hunt Areas 2, and 5 are open to recreational bicycling with the following exceptions:

    • During the hunting season, only hunters with hunting permits are authorized to use bicycles in support of hunting activities.These hunt areas have old fire and ranch roads that can be used for recreational bicycling without resource degradation.

Description of the dirt roads in Hunt Area 2 and Hunt Area 5: The road in Hunt Area 5 is approximately 1.5 miles long, the road system in Hunt Area 2 is approximately 2.5 miles long (see Appendix B for map of hunt areas).
Most existing bicycle use is related to hunters scouting the hunt areas or expediting their access to preferred locations within the hunt areas.

  • Bicycles (and e-bikes in pedal-assist mode) are also allowed on the northern section of paved road Spur 454 beyond the gate, when it is closed to motor vehicles because of higher reservoir levels (see attached map). This stretch of paved road, from the gate to where the road meets the water, varies with lake level from O to 2.25 miles in length.

The gate prevents motor vehicles from accidentally driving into the lake when the reservoir is high. This is not a concern with cyclists.

(i) E-Bike policy

  • The term "e-bike" means a two- or three-wheeled cycle with fully operable pedals, and an electric motor of less than 750 watts (1h.p.).
  • Class 1, 2 and 3 e-bikes are allowed in Amistad National Recreation Area where traditional bicycles are allowed.
  • A Class 1 e-bike is a low-speed pedal-assisted electric bicycle equipped with a motor that only provides assistance when the rider is pedaling. It ceases to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 20 miles per hour.
  • A Class 2 e-bike is a low-speed throttle assisted electrical bicycle equipped with a motor that may be used exclusively to propel the bicycle. It ceases to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 20 miles per hour.
  • A Class 3 e-bike is a speed pedal-assisted electric bicycle equipped with a motor that only provides assistance when the rider is pedaling. It ceases to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 28 miles per hour.
  • E-bikes are prohibited where traditional bicycles are prohibited.
  • A person operating an e-bike is subject to 36 CFR 1.4 and 36 CFR 4.30(i), and the following sections of 36 CFR part 4 that apply to the use of traditional bicycles: sections 4.12, 4.13, 4.20, 4.21, 4.22, 4.23, and 4.30(h).
  • Except where use of motor vehicles by the public is allowed, using the electric motor to move an e-bik.e without pedaling is prohibited.
  • E-bikes are also permitted on paved/unpaved roads and/or parking lots that are currently open to public vehicular traffic.
  • Except as specified in this Compendium, the use of an e-bike within Amistad National Recreation Area is governed by State law, which is adopted and made a part of this Compendium. Any violation of State law adopted by this paragraph is prohibited.
  • The park will monitor reported accidents and user conflicts of e-bikes and other users.
  • Should future unanticipated impacts to public health and safety, natural and cultural resources, and operational activities occur, park management will reevaluate use and/ or activity restrictions and update the decision accordingly.
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(a)(l) Hunting times and locations designated

  • Hunting is allowed in the areas generally described below and specifically detailed on NPS maps. See AppendixB.
  • Hunt Area 1 -Adjacent to and southwest of US Highway 90
  • Hunt Area 2-Adjacent to the Evans Creek area of the lake
  • Hunt Area 3-Northeast of US Highway 90
  • Hunt Area 4 - On the Devils River, north of San Pedro Canyon
  • Hunt Area 5 - Adjacent to US Highway 277 and south of San Pedro Canyon

(a)(2) Hunting season and species allowed

Hunting will be allowed during the listed seasons designated by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department for the following species:

  • White-tailed Deer - using archery, may be hunted during the archery and general deer season.

  • Axis Deer- using archery, may be hunted during archery, general deer, and quail seasons.
  • Javelina - using archery, may be hunted during archery, general deer, and quail seasons.
  • Turkey- using archery, may be hunted only during the Fall turkey season.
  • Rabbit - using archery, may be hunted during archery, general deer, and quail seasons.
  • Rabbit - using a shotgun, may be hunted during dove, quail and waterfowl seasons.
  • Mouflon sheep (exotic)- using archery, may be hunted during archery, general deer, and quail seasons.
  • Aoudad sheep (exotic) - using archery, may be hunted during archery, general deer, and quail seasons.
  • Black buck (exotic) - using archery, may be hunted during archery, general deer, and quail seasons.
  • Feral hog (exotic) - using archery, may be hunted during archery, general deer, and quail seasons.
  • Dove - using shotgun, may be hunted during the Central Zone dove season.
  • Quail - using shotgun, may be hunted during quail season.
  • Teal - using shotgun, may be hunted during the September teal only season.
  • Ducks - using shotgun, may be hunted during the late migratory game bird season.

The taking of any other wildlife not specifically listed above is prohibited.

Conditions of hunting permit (reference 36 CRF §1.6)

As a condition of the hunting permit, hunters are required to:

  • Carry a valid NPS hunting permit on their person while hunting in the NPS hunt areas.
  • If field dressing a deer, sheep, black buck, javelina, or feral hog, do so in the hunt area. Field dressing in the hunt area parking areas is prohibited.
  • If hunting ducks from a boat, you must be within 100 yards of the exterior shoreline boundary of an approved hunt area. Shooting from the boat must be directed towards the hunt area shoreline.

As a condition of the hunting permit, the following are prohibited:

  • Consuming or possessing alcoholic beverages in the hunt areas.
  • Hunting over a baited area.
  • Possession of baiting material. Baiting material is defined as minerals, vegetative material, or any other food substance placed to lure any wildlife resource.
  • Using dogs to hunt except for bird dogs trained to retrieve dove, quail or waterfowl.
  • Constructing stands or other structures is prohibited. The use of portable hunting stands is allowed.
  • Attaching stands to trees by penetrating the bark is prohibited.
  • Leaving stands unattended without marking the hunters' permit number
  • Leaving stands unattended for longer than 24 hours.
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APPENDIX A: Demonstration and Printed Material Distribution Areas

The following maps show, outlined in red, the areas designated for public demonstrations and for the sale or distribution of printed material pursuant to 36 CFR §2.51 and 36 CFR §2.52:

Aerial photo of Diablo East parking areas with designated demonstration area outlined in red. It is above the largest parking area.
Aerial photo of Diablo East parking areas with designated demonstration area outlined in red.

Credit: Google Earth

Figure 1- Diablo East Demonstration Area
Aerial photo of Rough Canyon parking areas with designated demonstration area outlined in red. It is below the first parking area.
Aerial photo of Rough Canyon parking areas with designated demonstration area outlined in red.

Credit: Google Earth

Figure 2-Rough Canyon Demonstration Area
Aerial photo of Pecos parking areas with designated demonstration area outlined in red. It is between the parking areas.
Aerial photo of Pecos parking areas with designated demonstration area outlined in red.

Credit: Google Earth

Figure 3-Pecos Demonstration Area

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APPENDIX B: Designated Hunting Areas

All Hunt Areas
There are five designated hunt areas outlined in red. Three are to the west and two to the east.

Credit: NPS

Figure 4-Hunt Areas

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Last updated: October 5, 2021

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Mailing Address:

10477 Highway 90 West
Del Rio, TX 78840



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