Diving in Texas
The great state of Texas isn’t always the first location that comes to mind when you think of all the scuba diving opportunities the United States has to offer, but Texas is actually rich in many different types of diving. The most obvious is diving the Gulf of Mexico in places like South Padre Island and further offshore at the famous Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary where you can see beautiful coral reef formations and abundant marine life. The lesser known, but very unique diving opportunities Texas has to offer include springs and spring fed lakes like San Solomon Springs and Spring Lake where crystal clear blue water can be found year-round. Other locations have fun wrecks to dive like Lake Travis and the popular Athens Scuba Park, both boasting a diver’s playground full of sunken barges, airplanes, boats, and even construction materials. The water temperature in the spring fed diving locations is a consistent 72 degrees F, and the ocean temperatures fluctuate between 76 degrees in the winter and up to 88 degrees in the summer. Diving the Gulf of Mexico from May to October may want to be avoided due to hurricane season, plus visibility tends to be better in the winter months when the water is cooler. Depending on where you want to dive in Texas, there are multiple international airports to choose from. Both the Dallas and Houston airports are hubs for many of the largest airlines and offer direct flights from all over the world. From either of these airports you can catch smaller flights into any of the other areas in Texas.
Aquatic Life in Texas
The Gulf of Mexico is home to a wide variety of marine species most notable being manatees, dolphins, sharks, and lots of sea turtles. In fact, five sea turtle species can be found within the Gulf including hawksbill, leatherback, green, loggerhead, and Kemp’s ridley sea turtles, all of which will come up onto the beaches between July and October to lay their eggs. The reefs are also full of colorful hard coral species as well as Caribbean reef fish like queen, gray, and French angelfish, triggerfish, trumpet fish, snapper, parrotfish, moray eels, and many more! Diving in the freshwater springs, lakes, and rivers offers a totally different experience where divers will encounter many typical freshwater fish species such as yellow spotted and channel catfish, perch, bass, tilapia, gar, and crappies.