What Wildlife Lives In and Along the Guadalupe River

When you put the city in your review mirror to visit the Guadalupe, you are in for a nature treat. There’s something special about the Guadalupe River that runs from Central Texas to the Gulf of Mexico. Fish, waterfowl, fox, birds, and a host of other species hang out by the river. It’s nearly impossible to go and NOT get a glimpse of wildlife in the area.

Squirrel red fur with nuts and summer forest on background wild nature animal thematic (Sciurus vulgaris rodent)

The Guadalupe River nurtures abundant life and energy. It’s one of the premiere river destinations in the great state of Texas, and it starts and ends there. When visiting this beautiful river, take a good look around – chances are, you will spot some non-human neighbors in the area.

Tour The Area

You can explore by foot, by boat, or on top of a big, comfy inflatable tube. You don’t need to bring one from home. Rent one from one of the favorite “put in” spots, toss the tube in the water, plop yourself on top and just float. You don’t need any special skills to enjoy the sun and energy of the river.

Thousands of people visit just so they can float for hours while enjoying the scenic beauty with friends and their favorite beverage. While relaxing on the water, don’t forget to look up. Check out the towering Cypress trees that line the banks. Upon closer inspection you may see a water moccasin snake up on the tree. Or several! Rest assured, they see you too. While water moccasins are venomous and naturally excellent swimmers, they won’t jump out of the tree to attack.

Land Animals

There are plenty of trails around the river and many have educational postings about the local wildlife. While walking along, you may notice a gray mouse or an Eastern Fox Squirrel. Sounds funny right? A “fox squirrel?”

This animal really is a squirrel with some of the reddish coloring of the red fox. As sunset approaches, watch for Mexican brown bats on their evening hunt. Don’t worry, they aren’t interested in you. They’re too busy scooping up flying bugs for dinner.

Away from the water, but still in the area, are a variety of creatures. Mourning doves, opossums, several species of skunks, coyotes, raccoons and white-tailed deer are all likely to be around. If the dirt’s flying, there’s probably a banded armadillo nearby. Who knows what else lurks in the green lush grasses along the banks? If you happen to be near in parts of the river that pass along exposed limestone cliffs, you may get a glimpse of a bobcat or a long-tailed weasel!


Many a visitor comes for the river fun, but there’s something for the birders too! The ecosystem surrounding the Guadalupe is home to the endangered Golden-cheeked warbler and the Black-capped vireo. Watch for the Belted Kingfisher, the American Kestrel, and the American Goldfinch, too.

On the highest perches, it’s possible to spot a Cooper’s Hawk, watching over the territory. Toss in the usual assortment of grackles, redbirds, blue jays and finches and there’s plenty in the mix to keep the binoculars busy.

Water Animals

The Guadalupe is such a treasure and it’s full of fish! There is an abundance of healthy rainbow trout, big striped bass, small-mouth bass, large-mouth bass and Guadalupe Bass, the State Fish of Texas. There are carp, crappie, catfish, alligator gar, perch and, cichlids and sunfish too. Chances are, you’ll get the chance to make a new fish friend (or find a fish dinner).

When the day is over and you’ve floated until you just can’t float anymore, time to grab the shuttle and head back to your put-in spot. Just remember, the river goes on and so does the life around it. Come be a part of it!