Canadian River

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Canadian River Municiple Water Authority 
PanhandleNation.ComLake Meredith
National Recreation AreaPalo Duro


The Canadian river is the northern most major river in Texas, crossing the Panhandle from Logan, New Mexico to Durham, Oklahoma. The headwaters of the Canadian River are in northeastern New Mexico. The Canadian River is a tributary to the Arkansas River, which eventually flows into the Mississippi River.There are three major reservoirs in the Texas portion of the Canadian River Basin are Lake Meredith and the Palo Duro and Rita Blanca reservoirs. The reservoirs are used for recreation and conservation, including municipal purposes. Other permitted purposes include flood and sediment control.  Lake Meredith is located north of Amarillo. The Rita Blanca is located on the south boarder of Dalhart and is connected to the Canadian by Rita Blanca Creek.  The Palo Duro is located just west of Spearman and is connected to the Canadian by Palo Duro Creek.

The Canadian flows from the Texas-New Mexico state line eastward crossing a relatively flat prairie with a gradual slope to an elevation of 2,870 feet at the Texas-Oklahoma border. Land use in the Texas Canadian watershed is predominantly irrigated, dry land farming, and cattle ranching. The basin contains parts of two ecoregions: the Western High Plains and Southwestern Tablelands. The entire Canadian River Basin is sparsely populated; only three cities have populations exceeding 25,000.

Fishing opportunites extend the entire length of the Canadian and into many of the creeks that are tributary to the river. Pheasant and other bird hunting opportunities abound in this area.  Though sparsley populated, there are many good facilities for visitors. Float trips, houseboat rentals, campgrounds and resorts are available in most areas but tend to be concentrated at Lake Meredith.

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