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TPWD News Release — Feb. 21, 2012
ATHENS—The lake known as “the Big Friendly” got a little friendlier to fish recently.
As a result of a cooperative effort among Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the Del Rio Home Depot and the National Park Service (NPS), fish-attracting structure was placed into Amistad International Reservoir near the Governor’s Landing camping area.
“The drought of 2011 had a devastating impact on most Texas reservoirs, including Lake Amistad,” said Randy Myers, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) Inland Fisheries biologist. “The lake is currently about 15 feet low, and projections have it going as much as 25 or 30 feet low in the next couple of months.”
“We’re happy to be working with Texas Parks and Wildlife to improve habitat for the fish and at the same time improve the fishing,” said Jack Johnson, resource program manager for Amistad National Recreation Area. “Home Depot provided about 160 unsold Christmas trees, and National Park Service staff bundled them together and constructed concrete anchors. TPWD provided the expertise to identify the location to sink the trees.”
“Good habitat is key for good fish production,” Myers said. “We selected a small hump off a point between the Diablo East boat ramp and the Highway 90 bridge. The hump is small enough that the trees cover the entire top of that hump. We expect many species to be attracted to the area—largemouth bass, baitfish, sunfish and catfish. There were some fish on the hump before we placed the fish attractor, so we expect it to attract more fish. We will provide the waypoint for the attractor on the TPWD web site so anglers can find it and fish it.”
As Myers motored slowly over the hump, the newly planted “forest” of five- to six-foot Douglas firs lit up on the sonar like a Christmas tree, surrounded by a shimmering cloud of needles floating up off the trees. Compared to the bare lake bottom around it, the hump is a paradise for fish—and anglers.
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