I made it over this morning for my first excursion on the Ascend H12 and first time at the Nature Center. I can't compare it to other times of the year or conditions, but will do my best to explain the conditions. The water seemed cool and fairly murky- without a thermometer, I would say mid-50's with about 14 inches of visibility. I didn't catch anything, but I didn't spend a lot of time fishing, since I was mostly checking out the new ride and the Nature Center. The scenery was typical mid-winter brown. The reeds are green and the coots are starting to pair and make nests. I was there between 9:30 and 12:30 and saw one power boat and one guy rowing a little zodiac. Here are a few pics:
I didn't see any alligators, but saw plenty of ducks, coots, white pelicans, a kingfisher, and one carp rolling on the surface. I imaging once the temperatures rise and things green up, it will be a very scenic place to paddle. I will definitely go back. I ended up going south from the launch points. I will probably explore north toward Eagle Mountain next time. Per Google maps I covered just over 2 miles.
As for the maiden voyage of the Ascend H12, I would describe the ride as very stable canoe with slightly better tracking, slightly less maneuverability, and all of the storage space. The only thing I didn't do in it was stand up. The seat is a tad too low for me (I am 6' tall, weigh 275 pounds, and shaped like a linebacker), and I didn't have an assist strap. Next time I will bring a strap to hoist me up and practice standing and casting. I am very pleased with it, as it seams well made, plenty sturdy, but not too heavy. Transporting it for me is a snap, since I have a full sized pickup truck bed. I throw it in the back, strap it in, and away I go.