Texas Parks and Wild Life releases fish habitats into Canyon Lake
Last January, Steve Magnelia, biologist for the Texas Parks and Wildlife, amazed members of the Water Oriented Recreational District (WORD) at a meeting with a proposal to deploy fish attractors into Canyon Lake in an effort to improve fishing around the Lake.
The fish attractors were the brain child of Josh Duty, also a worker for Texas Parks and Wildlife.
The idea came to Duty when they had to destrastisfy two smaller lakes in east Texas. The destratification involved three months of pulling up PVC water pipe from the two lakes.
Duty said he theorized the pipe could be cut into segments and affixed to concrete cinderblocks creating a make-shift habitat for fish.
The first time the attractors were tested, they would not sink, Duty said.
But after some more brainstorming, he figured that drilling holes into the pipe would release air and allow them to sink.
After a second successful test, the habitats were ready to go into the lake and over a three-day period ending last Wednesday, about 500 habitats were deployed and are now sitting at the bottom of the lake.
The process was scientific and GPS instruments were used to record the coordinates for the habitats.
A spokesperson for WORD said the fish in the lake are particular about where they hang out.
Because the lake is so deep, temperature levels can vary dramatically. Fish, like bass and crappie, don't like the change in temperature and like to stay in an area where the temperature is consistent.
Magnelia was sensitive to that fact and strategically placed the attractors in areas that would bring the fish up from the colder waters but not so high that the temperature level would deter the fish from making the move.
The next step is to monitor the fish at the coordinates for the habitats to see how effective they are.
Also, Magnelia said he would provide area fish shops with the coordinates for the attractors and WORD said they would post them on their website as soon as they became available to them.
WORD and Texas Parks and Wildlife said this is an unprecedented event that could serve as a model for similar projects at other lakes throughout Texas.
The organizations and businesses involved in the project were:
· Water Oriented Recreational District
· Texas Association of Bass Anglers
· Comal Bass Anglers
· Canyon Lake Bass Club
· Austin Bass Club
· ATX Bass Masters
· Texas Parks and Wildlife
· Fisherman's Corner.