Archive for August 14th, 2015

Drought Improves Fishing. What?

Friday, August 14th, 2015
Lake Travis at 46.52 feet below normal.

Lake Travis at 46.52 feet below normal.

This is Passport to Texas

By 2011, Texas was in a record drought. And just when we were about to cry “uncle”…we got rain… lots of rain.

05— In Texas we talk about a state of constant drought periodically broken by floods.

Cindy Loeffler is water resources branch chief at TPW. The Memorial Day storms caused flooding, but they also brought lakes back to life.

09— This recent heavy rainfall really revitalized many lakes across the state. Not only the lakes themselves and the fisheries, but also access to our lakes.

Dave Terre, with Inland fisheries, says most boat ramps are accessible again, and stocking is back on track.

15— As a matter of fact, in 2011 at the peak of the drought, about 35% of Texas reservoirs, large reservoirs, in the state had little to no boat access. Now, today, we’ve regained most of that boat access back, so people can not only get on the water, we’re also going to have great fish populations in a couple of years.

Ironically, fishing will be great because of the drought.

30— When lake levels get really low, generally lakes lose habitat. And what we need is—we need habitat in the lakes to ensure fish that are spawned every year survive to a larger size to eventually be caught by anglers one day. TPW actually did some plantings of terrestrial plants in the dry lakebeds in anticipation of these lakes coming up to provide fish habitat. So when lakes rise, they inundate all sorts of terrestrial vegetation that grew in the lakebed when the lake was dry; when the lake comes up, we have an abundance of fish habitat.

Thanks drought!

The Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife, I’m Cecilia Nasti.