ATHENS—Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) partnered with Austin Fly Fishers (AFF) and the City of Cedar Park Parks and Recreation Department to conduct native aquatic vegetation plantings at Brushy Creek Reservoir on June 21.
AFF, a charter club of the International Federation of Fly Fishers and pending Friends of Reservoirs chapter, gathered 22 volunteers to join TPWD Inland Fisheries management staff to plant 144 colonizing plants to help establish fish habitat, as recommended in the lake’s management plan. Four species of plants were used in this effort: American water-willow, arrowhead, square-stem spikerush and flat-stem spikerush. TPWD district fisheries supervisor Marcos De Jesús said “These individual plants will serve as colonizers. Under proper conditions, they may expand into lush stands that will provide excellent fish habitat, help stabilize sediment and improve water quality.”
Brushy Creek Reservoir, in Cedar Park, is one of five small urban impoundments in the greater Austin area that is intensively managed to provide diverse, high-quality fishing opportunities close to where people live.
“We need to make fishing relevant in cities for future generations, and TPWD is committed to this challenge,” said De Jesús. “The Neighborhood Fishin’ Program has already had a positive impact in urban areas, but lakes like Brushy Creek will provide a new level of fishing experiences for anglers seeking more fishing opportunities close to home.”
TPWD is seeking local partners to help intensively manage lakes such as Brushy Creek and make them sustainable fisheries. Organizations like AFF have made significant economic and hands-on contributions to help develop quality fisheries in the Austin Area. Future work with AFF will focus on Lake Kyle, a 12-acre impoundment in the City of Kyle.
Jim Gray, AFF President, said “Part of the Austin Fly Fishers’ mission is conservation through projects that benefit our members and the community. Our partnership with Texas Parks and Wildlife allows us to have an even greater impact by combining our resources on projects where the benefits are significant and long lasting. We see our efforts with the Brushy Creek Reservoir plantings and the improvements at Kyle Lake as examples of good stewardship that can be replicated on other water bodies.”
Any person or group wanting to participate in these types of reservoir habitat restoration projects on local lakes is encouraged to become a member of Friends of Reservoirs. See www.waterhabitatlife.org for details or contact your local district fisheries management office.
For more information on TPWD fishing programs, visit www.tpwd.state.tx.us/fishboat/fish/.