Colorado River is the 18th longest river in the
States and the longest river with both its source and mouth within Texas; however its
drainage basin and some of its
usually dry tributaries do extend into
Mexico. The long river flows generally southeast from
County through Marble Falls, Austin, Bastrop, Smithville, La
Grange, Columbus, Wharton, and
City before emptying into the Gulf of Mexico at Matagorda
Colorado River originates south of Lubbock, Texas, on the Llano Estacado, near Lamesa, Texas.
It flows generally southeast, out of the
Llano Estacado and through the Texas
, through several reservoirs including Lake J.B.
Thomas, E.V. Spence Reservoir, and Lake O.H. Ivie. The river flows
through several more reservoirs before reaching Austin, including Lake Buchanan, Lake Lyndon B.
Johnson, and Lake Travis. The Llano River joins the Colorado south of Lake Buchanan.
passing through Austin, the Colorado River continues flowing
southeast until emptying into Matagorda Bay on the Gulf of Mexico, near Matagorda.
The Colorado River, which means "colored red", was frequently
confused by Spanish explorers with the Brazos River
to the north. It is this confusion
as well as an alleged mapping error that is believed to have led to
The upper Colorado River was controlled by Comanches
from the early 1700s to the late 1800s.
Spanish Texas attempted to establish an outlying mission on the
River, near its confluence with the Colorado
Nearly defenseless and viewed by the Comanche as a
territorial invasion, the mission was sacked in 1758 by about 2,000
Comanches and their allies. The Comanche were not effectively
challenged on the upper Colorado River for nearly a century.
The river is an important source of water for farming, cities, and
electrical power production. Major man-made reservoirs on the river include Lake
LBJ, Lake Marble Falls, Lake
Austin, and Lady Bird Lake in Austin.
Collectively, these lakes are
known as the Highland Lakes
addition to power plants operating on each of the major lakes,
waters of the Colorado are used for cooling the South Texas
Nuclear Project, near Bay City.
The Colorado River Municipal
Water District owns and operates three reservoirs upstream of the
Highland Lakes, Lake J. B. Thomas near Snyder, E. V. Spence
Reservoir near Robert Lee, and O. H. Ivie Reservoir near
Flood control and use of the Colorado River is managed by two
agencies established by the Texas
, the Upper Colorado River
, and the Lower Colorado River
. There are 11 major reservoirs along the Colorado
Colorado River also has made many geographic landmarks such as
Pool in Austin, Texas.
File:Colorado River of Texas IMG
0784.JPG|Beginning portion of the Colorado River of Texas under the
Suspension Bridge on the
border of Mills and San Saba counties.File:Colorado River under bridge in Wharton,
TX IMG 1056.JPG|Scenic view of Colorado River meandering under a
bridge overpass under Texas State
Highway 60 in Wharton.File:PennybackerBridge.jpg|Pennybacker
Bridge crossing the Colorado River or Lake
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