Texas anglers can be excused if they get a little giddy when thinking about the rain that has fallen across parts of the state over the past month or so and how that precious precipitation stands to benefit freshwater fisheries blistered by the most severe single-year drought in at least a century.
Yes, the rain has helped — considerably, in some places.
It stands to improve habitat conditions in reservoirs that have seen water levels rise in the wake of rains and could help trigger a boom in fish reproduction during the coming spawning season. Also, that rising water has improved anglers’ access to some reservoirs, which shriveled so much under the drought that, for months, made boat ramps nothing more than angled slabs of concrete stranded in a middle of dry land.
But while there is cause for optimism among Texas’ inland anglers, it is far too early to consider the 2011 drought in the past tense. Much of the state, and most of the reservoirs sprinkled across it, have enjoyed relatively little benefit from recent rains. And there is no guarantee that coming weeks and months will see normal or above-average rainfall.