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|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2013-11-12                                    |
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[ Note: This item is more than eight months old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ General Media Contact: Business Hours, 512-389-4406 ]
[ Additional Contacts: Rafe Brock, (817) 732-0761; raphael.brock@tpwd.texas.gov ]
Nov. 12, 2013
TPWD Shocks Up Big Bass at Lake Ray Hubbard
Recent electrofishing surveys conducted by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) Inland Fisheries biologists turned up a surprising number of big largemouth bass in Lake Ray Hubbard.
TPWD's Inland Fisheries district office in Fort Worth is responsible for managing and monitoring Lake Ray Hubbard's fishery. Each fall they conduct a nighttime electrofishing survey on Lake Ray Hubbard. Electrofishing, commonly known as "shocking," uses electricity to temporarily stun fish, which are then collected using dipnets, measured and weighed.
The two-night survey consisted of 24 randomly selected stations around the shoreline of the lake. Each area was electrofished for five minutes and all target species, which included shad, sunfish and black bass, were collected.
Despite low water levels, this year's survey revealed record catch rates for largemouth bass over 14 inches. Incredibly, the best five fish weighed 34.62 lbs. That is not bad for a lake within easy driving distance for many DFW area anglers.
Most big fish were collected along the many areas of riprap found around the lake. The two biggest fish were each 23 inches long and weighed 8.1 and 7.2 pounds.
Ray Hubbard continues to be a great spot for sportfishing and has produced two Toyota ShareLunkers, fish weighing 13 pounds or more. The most recent ShareLunker entry was in 2003.
Because of its big fish history and good habitat, Ray Hubbard has been stocked annually with Florida largemouth bass since 2010. This year TPWD added another 502,264 fingerlings with expectations that the Florida influence will produce even more big fish.
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[ Note: This item is more than eight months old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ General Media Contact: Business Hours, 512-389-4406 ]
[ Additional Contacts: Craig Brooks, (903) 670-2222, craig.brooks@tpwd.texas.gov ]
Nov. 12, 2013
Fly-Fishing Classes Coming Up at Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center
ATHENS--Master fly-fisher Bob Cappallo of Corsicana will teach fly-fishing for beginners at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens January 4, 2014; January 18, 2014; January 25, 2014; and February 15, 2014, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
The classes are open to adults 18 and older. No fly-fishing experience is required. Equipment will be provided, but students may bring their own. The $50 fee for the class includes entrance to TFFC for the day of the class, lunch and a season pass to TFFC so students can return for more fishing as often as they like.
Instruction will focus on equipment selection, knot tying, casting and fishing for rainbow trout in TFFC's 1.5-acre casting pond. Catch-and-release fishing is free, but anglers may pay $5 for the opportunity to catch and keep up to five fish.
Cappallo is a member of the Brazos Valley Fly Fishers and lives on Richland-Chambers Reservoir. He fly-fishes for trout in New Mexico and redfish and tarpon on the Texas coast. Cappallo also builds handmade fly rods and ties flies.
Reservations are required, and each class is limited to 20 persons. Checks should be made payable to "Friends of TFFC" and may be mailed to Craig Brooks at 5550 F.M. 2495, Athens, TX 75752. For more information or to register by telephone for the class, call Brooks at (903) 670-2222.
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[ Note: This item is more than eight months old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ General Media Contact: Business Hours, 512-389-4406 ]
[ Additional Contacts: Michael Baird, (254) 666-5190; michael.baird@tpwd.texas.gov ]
Nov. 12, 2013
Fishing Great in Central Texas Reservoirs Despite Drought
ATHENS--Low water levels at some Central Texas reservoirs have seemed to improve anglers' chances of catching fish.
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) inland fisheries biologists conducting fish population surveys at Lakes Pat Cleburne and Mexia report particularly high numbers of quality channel catfish.
Lake Pat Cleburne is a 1,568-acre reservoir located approximately four miles southwest of the town of Cleburne. The sportfish assemblage at Pat Cleburne consists of largemouth bass, white bass, white crappie and three species of catfishes (channels, blues and flatheads).
Lake Mexia is a 1,009-acre reservoir located approximately six miles west of the town of Mexia. Mexia contains largemouth bass, white bass, white crappie and channel, blue and flathead catfish.
Like many larger reservoirs in the area, both these smaller reservoirs have been plagued with drought conditions for several years, and much of the reservoirs' natural fish habitat, such as shoreline structure, aquatic vegetation, coves and points, has been dry for some time. This can frustrate some anglers as their "go-to" sites are unrecognizable or worse, no longer wet!
Monitoring fish populations over time can be similarly frustrating for TPWD, as some standardized gears and techniques are also less efficient than they would be during periods of normal water levels.
Despite tough conditions, TPWD observed some unusually high catches of popular sportfish during recent surveys. At Pat Cleburne, the 2012 channel catfish catch rate was the second highest on record for the reservoir, second only to the 1997 survey. In addition to large numbers of channels, individual condition, or plumpness, was good and improved with increasing length.
Most of the channel catfish observed during this survey were perfect eating size, two to four pounds. Populations of blues and flathead catfish can also be found in the reservoir, but are in much lower densities. There are currently no water body records for any of the catfishes in Pat Cleburne, because anglers have never brought these species in for certification.
Largemouth bass anglers should also be happy to learn the fall 2011 survey of Pat Cleburne observed the second highest catch rate of this species in nearly 20 years. Although the catch was dominated by 10-inch fish at the time, these fish are a harvestable size now and should offer black-bass anglers some good sport for the foreseeable future. The current water body record for largemouth bass in Pat Cleburne is 11 pounds.
Survey results for Lake Mexia were even more promising. The 2012 channel catfish catch rate was the highest on record for the reservoir. Large numbers of fish in excellent body condition were collected. Most of the channel catfish observed during this survey were in the two- to four-pound range. The current water body record for channel catfish in Lake Mexia is 7.4 pounds. Blues and flatheads can also be found in the reservoir, but in much lower densities. The water body record for blue catfish is over 25 pounds, while no record exists for flathead catfish.
So the next time you're wondering where to fish, consider Lakes Pat Cleburne and Mexia. For more information on water body records, visit www.tpwd.state.tx.us/fishboat/fish/programs/fishrecords/. If you think you have a record fish, please contact the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Inland Fisheries Management office in Waco at (254) 666-5190.
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On the Net:
http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/fishboat/fish/programs/fishrecords/
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