Note: This item is more than a year old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references.
Nov. 9, 2012
Drought Slowly Taking Toll on Lakes Brownwood and Coleman
ATHENS—Lakes Brownwood and Coleman are historically known for consistent and decent largemouth bass fishing, where anglers could expect to catch a bunch of small bass with a few keepers along the way and even an occasional big bass. But the current downhill slide of water level, dating back to 2007, is beginning to take a toll on these bass populations based on recent electrofishing surveys, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s standard method of collecting information on numbers and sizes of largemouth bass in a lake.
The electrofishing catch of small adult bass (8 to 13 inches long) at Lake Brownwood this fall tumbled to 31 bass in one hour of sampling—less than half the average catch of fish this size at Brownwood. For comparison, in 2006 the catch was 108.
As water level declines, so does the quality and quantity of habitat, leading to poor spawning success and exposure of more little bass to hungry predators. The good news is numbers of 14-inch and larger bass have been consistent since 2008 and, and based on this fall’s survey, an angler may catch two “keepers” for every 11 fish caught.
Lake Coleman has a bass population mirroring Brownwood’s. TPWD had the lowest catch of young-of-the-year bass (bass from the spring spawn) since 1997, crashing to 29 bass in one hour this fall. This was down from 150 in 2008, and catch of 8- to 13-inch bass was half what it was in 2008.
However, there is good news at Coleman, at least for now. In one hour of electrofishing TPWD caught 21 bass that were at least 14 inches long. Most were 14 and 15 inches and the biggest was 17 inches. “This was the highest catch for keeper-sized bass since 1997 and almost double what we normally see at Coleman,” said Spencer Dumont, fisheries biologist and program director for TPWD. “Many of these fish likely originated from spawns in the good ole’ days of 2007 and 2008, when water was as plentiful as Texas sunshine. For sure, without significant rain this winter or spring, bass populations—and bass fishing—at Brownwood and Coleman will decline as older and bigger bass die and fewer ‘replacement’ bass are available to take their place.”
For more information on area reservoirs and fish populations, contact the Abilene inland fisheries district office at (325) 692-0921, send an email to email@example.com or visit our Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/tpwdifabilene.
Publication — Permission is granted to publish, in whole or in part, any news releases on this page.
Print — A print-friendly version of the news release shows only the release with font sizes set to the browser default.
Plain Text — Plain text versions of TPWD news releases are provided for copying and pasting into editing software.
To copy text into an editing software:
- Click a Plain Text link to display the plain text page in your browser.
- Select all.
- Paste in a document in your editing program.
Permalink — This is a direct link to the news release, omitting the navigation context from the URI.
English/Spanish — News releases posted in both English and Spanish have one of these links.
If you have any suggestions for improving these pages, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and mention Plain Text Pages.