A group of kayakers had been talking about this trip for a while on TKF. A day or so before trip several inches of rain fell in Lake Livingston and further north. We were all going to meet at Browder's Marina Sat morning for the trip.
I got off work around noon on Fri and loaded my yak and camping gear and headed towards Lake Livingston. I had not checked the forum for any updates as it had not rained much in the Beaumont/Pt Arthur area. I had previously corresponded with another yaker about sharing costs for a campsite at Lake Livingston State Park. I arrived first and because of the rain original campsite was not available. I got to go and check out what was available and was soon setting up my tent and getting my supper ready. Other yaker showed up later and that is when I found out she didn't bring a yak as one of the others that was camping at Browders was going to have one for her to use.
Anyway next morning we were ready to go. Stopped at Browders, but no other yakers were there. That is when we found out that Lake Livingston Dam was releasing water at about 26,000 cfs. We discussed the options and decided to check out put in and take out points. I called one of the other yakers that I knew and that is when we found out others had cancelled.
I told him river conditions and asked if he was going to attend the event or not? He said he could be there in 2 hours and would bring a spare yak. I told him to come on and I would give him a trip report and be ready to go again by the time he got there.
We went back to put in point at dam and I paddled up to dam as close as I felt comfortable and was surprised at the waves forming at the dam. On the trip down river to Hwy 59 bridge I was moving at about 3.1 mph just floating. I was able to achieve about 8.2 mph paddling in the fastest current.
Most of the trip was lined with egrets, herons and loons fishing for lunch. I did see a pair of eagles near the take out point. When I was approaching take out point I could see my fellow yakers on the bridge watching my approach.
Total trip was about 9.5 miles. Since there was really no fishing opportunities in river, we decided to head back to Lake Livingston and fish in the park area. Finished the day fishing at Lake Livingston State Park.
For supper we went up to Livingston and ate at a restaurant called Florida's. Kind of off the beaten path and not much to look at, but the food is awesome. I learned a long time ago it is not what the place looks like on the outside, but how many cars are in the parking lot.
Went back to Lake Livingston State Park for night and next morning I headed to High Island for a trip BTB (Beyond the Breakers) for an afternoon of catching bull reds. "That is another story"
Author's Note: Only experienced paddlers should attempt this river at 26K cfs. Usual flow is about 1200 cfs.
Livingston State Park and Browders Marina have camping with public restrooms. Both also have RV sites.
I used the National Geographic TOPO software to check out area.