Wait over, TPWD restocking

June 22, 2013

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Essentially the entire Brazos River chain of lakes has been waiting three years to get restocked with striped bass and it has finally happened.

Though it may take a couple of years to get these fish to keeper size, it is a great move in the right direction.

Golden algae, as we have talked about on too many occasions, has killed the striped bass fishery on Granbury, Possum Kingdom and Lake Whitney. The deadly algae likes to show its ugly face in the winter and kills any gill-breathing animal caught in its bloom.

Hopefully this dreaded golden algae will stay at bay and allow our newly stocked fish to thrive.

The Brazos River system added striped bass decades ago to help control the population of bait fish in our man-made lakes. Overpopulation of bait fish can affect all species of game fish and by controlling the bait population.

The striped bass actually help all these species flourish. Striped bass can consume large amounts of shad and can consume really large gizzard shad where most species cannot.

Striped bass do not normally spawn successfully in the Brazos. There has been a documented spawn on Lake Whitney in the past however the success of the spawn is not sufficient to maintain the population.

Striped bass have to be stocked periodically to maintain population in all three of the Brazos lakes. No striped bass stocking is required on Texoma.

Granbury was stocked this year with 400,000 striped bass fry and 66,462 striped bass fingerlings. The fingerlings have a much better chance of survival.

However, when they have an overage at the hatchery and no space to grow the fingerlings, they will put the smaller fry right into the lake. With the abundance of white bass in our lake, the fry will have a tough time surviving, but hopefully many will.

Whitney was stocked with 177,052 fingerlings and 614,994 fry. Possum Kingdom was stocked with 100,958 striped bass fingerlings and 944,540 fry. Don’t ask me how they count these fish to those exact numbers, but that is what is listed on the TPWD website.

If you remember the last two springs we did not get our annual stocking of striped bass, which makes it three years since our last stocking. Two years back the golden algae killed all the hatchery fish at Wichita Falls, and fires at Possum Kingdom killed the striped bass at that hatchery.

Last year the Texas Parks and Wildlife actually missed the spawn and were not able to get brood fish to harvest the eggs and silt. This “missed effort” was due to the warm winter before last summer where the striped bass spawned early and they were not able to get those brood fish they needed below Lake Livingston. Apparently that was the first time in over 30 years that the TPWD missed getting their brood striped bass.

The TPWD was not to miss this year for those lakes needing full-blooded striped bass. In fact, the TPWD stocked nearly six million striped bass this year in Buchanan, Buffalo Springs, Canyon, Livingston, Tawakoni, Travis and our three Brazos lakes mentioned above.

It is really good news that the TPWD is committed to restoring the striped bass fishery in the Brazos. Now if we could get some needed run-off to fill the lake! See you on the water.

HOOD COUNTY FISHING REPORT

Granbury water temperatures are around the 83-to-84-degree range on the main lake and continue to rise. Water levels continue to fall to below 7 feet low. Access is still available at Rough Creek Park and at the Hilton.

I have not heard if they are to open the launch at the dam (they have poured new concrete ramps, however they have been closed for a while).

Granbury fishing for sand bass is excellent. Limits of fish are easily taken at several areas of the lake on slabs. Stripers are slow. However, there a few to catch as I caught a 20-inch striper mixed in with the sand bass this past Sunday. Black bass anglers continue to catch good fish to 6 pounds on Granbury on soft plastics.

Squaw Creek action has slowed some for catfish and black bass. However, a few anglers are finding the black bass schooled up near deep pockets where shad are holding. Deep-diving crank baits and soft plastics rigged Texas style are producing the best on Squaw Creek. Tilapias continue to be caught using cast nets near the launch/dock.

Benbrook hybrid action is good on live shad and slabs fished in 15 to 25 feet of water. Bridgeport and Proctor have similar reports on flutter spoons and live shad.

[email protected] |817-578-0023

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Category: Sports Archived