Fall Fishing: New Regs, East Texas Lake, Fishing Opportunities

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Fish Texas E-Newsletter

In this issue: Emergency Order at Lakes Ray Roberts, Lewisville | Fishing Regs Effective September 1 | What Makes Falcon Lake Tick | Where to Wade Fish | Try Landing Other Fish in the Sea | Thanks: 75 Years of Great Angling, Hunting, Boating | Bands, BBQ, and Some Really Big Bass | Lake Naconiche Open for Angling Sept 15

Emergency Order at Lakes Ray Roberts, Lewisville 

zebra mussels on machinery
An emergency order adding Lake Ray Roberts and Lake Lewisville to the list of water bodies under special regulations was signed by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Executive Director Carter Smith on July 31. The regulations are intended to control zebra mussels after the destructive invasive species was found in Lake Ray Roberts north of Denton in mid-July. These two lakes now join Lake Texoma and Lake Lavon on the list of lakes governed by amended regulations passed earlier this year by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission. Read more about the recent discovery in this story.

Boaters are asked to drain all bait buckets, live wells, bilges and any other systems or receptacles that could contain water before leaving the lake. This is to prevent accidental transport of zebra mussel larvae, which are too small to be seen without a microscope. This video demonstrates the "clean, drain, and dry" process.

Zebra mussels are economic and environmental bad news. They clog public-water intake pipes, damage boat hulls, motors and water-cooling systems, and their razor-sharp edges make water recreation hazardous. As filter feeders, they compete with baitfish and affect game fish such as bass, striped bass and catfish. Zebra mussels colonize the shells of native mussel and essentially suffocate them.

Thank you. Your help is crucial to protecting Texas waters.
boat illustration with zebra mussel sites

Fishing Regs Effective September 1

illustration bass jumping
We want to be sure you know that some bag limits and gear tag requirements have changed for the license year that began September 1.

On Possum Kingdom Reservoir, the bag limit for striped bass increased from 2 fish per day to the statewide standard of 5 per day. Minimum length is still 18 inches. On Aquilla, Proctor and Fort Phantom Hill, minimum length on largemouth bass reverted to the statewide standard of 14 inches. For trotline and jug fishers, the gear tag on your device is good for 10 days instead of 30. Throw lines and freshwater minnow traps will also need gear tags.

Read a quick summary of the 2012-2013 fishing regulation changes. You can find all fishing regs and hunting regs in the 2012-2013 Outdoor Annual.

P.S. If you don’t have your license for the new year yet, buy one now online, by phone (800-895-4248) or at a retailer near you to get the most use out of it!

What Makes Falcon Lake Tick

lake shore, scrub brush in shallows
Falcon Lake is considered by many to be the current top trophy bass lake in the country, according to Randy Myers, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department fisheries biologist in charge of managing the lake’s fishery. What leads to such a phenomenon?

Part of the lake’s success is due to its location in deep South Texas where there is a long growing season. In that environment, the tough brush country plant life follows the rise and fall of lake levels, creating great underwater habitat.

Read about the happy water-plant-bass-angler interaction in “Big Bass On The Border,” by Larry Hodge in the August/September issue of Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine.

Where to Wade Fish

monther two sons wade fishing knee deep  
Wade into some prime fishing spots along the Texas coast where the redfish, seatrout and coastal beauty are as good as it gets. This video shows where to go and how to land ‘em. To insure a great day, check the red tide status for your fishing destination.

Try Landing Other Fish in the Sea

smiling angler woman, beach, cloudy day
Spotted seatrout (speckled trout), red drum (redfish) and flounder. Ho hum! Try fishing out of the box. Surf fishing is the ultimate place to find satisfying alternatives such as  ladyfish, black drum, croaker and sand trout.

Many angling delights are in ample numbers along the Texas coastline and can be caught without fancy gear or years of experience, according to Larry Bozka from “There are Other Fish in the Sea”  in the 2012-2013 Outdoor Annual. Get the scoop on the possibilities and expand your angling horizons.

Thanks: 75 Years of Great Angling, Boating, Hunting

father and son fishing
For the last 75 years, anglers, hunters, boaters, and affiliated businesses have made Texas conservation happen. Without you and the Wildlife and Sport Fishing Restoration Program, our rivers, lakes, and bays would not support world class fishing, and our woods, waters, and grasslands would not bear such an abundance of deer, doves, turkeys, waterfowl, and other game.

In 1937, after years of urging from sportsmen concerned about diminishing habitats and declining game, Congress passed the Pittman-Robertson Act. The law levies an 11% excise tax on rifles, shotguns, ammunition and archery equipment, and a 10 % tax on handguns. Texas has since received over $300 million for wildlife research, wildlife management areas, hunter education, and shooting ranges.

In 1950, Congress passed the related Dingell-Johnson Act, creating a similar tax on fishing equipment, later amended to include motorboat fuel. This has generated nearly $350 million for Texas fisheries research, hatcheries, lake and bay stocking, boater and angler education, boat ramps and water access.

Happy anniversary to all of you as we celebrate 75 years of great hunting and fishing and the people who made it so. Thank you for helping to keep Texas fishing great.

Read Carter Smith’s complete letter in the 2012-2013 Outdoor Annual.

Bands, BBQ, and Some Really Big Bass

photo collage anglers, crowds, kids
Don’t miss the Toyota Texas Bass Classic September 28-30 at the Lone Star Convention & Expo Center’s festival grounds in Conroe.

First it’s about big bass. This is a true bass fishing world championship. A 50-angler field will assemble from the top professional leagues in the world, including the PAA Bass Pro Shops Tournament Series, Bassmaster Elite Series and the Walmart FLW Tour. The first 15 qualifiers were announced at the end of August.

Love music? Dip your toes into concerts headlined by country music’s biggest artists – Dierks Bentley on Friday, Sept. 28, Gary Allan on Saturday, Sept. 29 and Jake Owen on Sunday, Sept. 30.

Love BBQ? A world class BBQ cook-off is also on tap.

Want to entertain the kids outdoors? At the Outdoor Adventure Area hosted by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, kids can try a hand at archery, rock climbing, and fishing, and then learn all about wildlife, state parks and more.

Ticket information is available online. Limited quantities of free tickets are available. The daily tickets are valid for admission into the festival grounds for angler weigh-ins and the concert on that particular day.

Not able to get there? Catch the tournament action from your favorite fishing hole or easy chair via Facebook  and Twitter.
Toyota Texas Bass Classic 2012 promo

Lake Naconiche Open for Angling Sept 15

sunset on lake, angler on shore
Beginning September 15, east Texas anglers will have a new fishing hole in their neighborhood: Lake Naconiche. The 692-acre reservoir, built on Naconiche and Telesco creeks, is 14 miles northeast of Nacogdoches off State Highway 59 and will be open to public fishing.

Waiting for lucky anglers will be more than 400,000 fish, including Florida largemouth bass, crappie, and channel catfish stocked by Texas Parks and Wildlife. Largemouth bass 15 to 20 inches in length are present with some exceeding 6 pounds. Bass grow fast, so the population will continue to improve and abundance of fish over 4 pounds will increase over the next few years. Lake Naconiche is operated by Nacogdoches County for recreation and flood control. The lakeside park includes a boat ramp and fishing pier.

Only 30 boats per day will be allowed in the first 14 days of September, with permits issued according to a lottery conducted in August. The lake opens with an 18-inch minimum length on largemouth bass. All other fishes are subject to standard harvest regulations. For more information, visit the county website.
ad buy a bass conservation license plate
2012-2013 Outdoor Annual