ATHENS—Fishing in Canyon Lake received a boost in May thanks to a habitat improvement project carried out by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) and local conservation groups.
Fish-attracting structures were placed into the lake by volunteers from the Canyon Bass Club chapter of Friends of Reservoirs along with staff from the Water Oriented Recreation District of Comal County (WORD), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and TPWD.
Largemouth bass tend to congregate around underwater structure such as rocks, brush and sunken objects that anglers can locate using fish finders. Where natural structure is scarce or does not exist, fish attractors made from brush or other materials can be placed into a lake to make fish easier to locate and fish for.
The fish attractor project in Canyon Lake was started in January 2005 to help concentrate cover-seeking species like largemouth bass and increase catch rates. Forty-three attractor locations have been installed and furnished with Ashe juniper (mountain cedar) bundles.
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department District Fisheries Supervisor Marcos De Jesus said, “These larger-scale conservation projects are made possible through partnerships and community commitment to conservation. When we get a large group formed, these projects become more efficient, and success is inevitable.”
Volunteers provided their labor and equipment. Funding for the building materials was provided by a $1,000 grant from Friends of Reservoirs. Lunch was provided by WORD and Canyon Bass Club. The trees and access to the work sites were provided by USACE.
Selected trees were cut from designated areas, loaded on trailers and hauled to the boat ramp at Canyon Park. The trees were arranged in bundles, zip-tied to cinder blocks and laid out on the boat ramp to be picked up by the boat crews, who deployed them at selected locations throughout the reservoir.
A total of 120 tree bundles were used to refurbish 10 existing sites and create one new one. De Jesus said, “These refurbished aquatic habitats will provide excellent fishing opportunities at Canyon Reservoir for everyone. If any person or group wants to participate in lake habitat restoration projects on local lakes, they are encouraged to become a member of Friends of Reservoirs.” The Canyon Bass Club is the local Friends of Reservoirs chapter. See www.waterhabitatlife.org for details.
An updated map and coordinates of the attractor locations will be posted on the TPWD web site: www.tpwd.state.tx.us/fishboat/fish/recreational/lakes/canyon/.
Canyon Reservoir is an 8,308-acre impoundment of the Guadalupe River in ComalCounty. It was constructed in 1964 by the USACE for flood control, water conservation and recreation.