Biologists, reservoir manager say Lake Fork in great shape

From Staff Reports

Oct 26, 2007 - Thanks in part to a long drink from spring and summer rains this year, Lake Fork is in excellent shape and should be able to withstand planned withdrawals of water by the city of Dallas beginning in 2009.

At an annual meeting this week at A.J.'s Fish House, Sabine River Authority Regional Manager Danny Choate said the lake is the highest it has ever been in October. 

He also said if the area receives its average annual rainfall of 44 inches, the impact on the lake level won't be significant when water starts being pumped to the Metroplex in two years.

�The amount of water Dallas can pump in a calendar year is 131,860 acre-feet, which would lower the lake level approximately 5 feet if there were no inflow from rainfall during the year,� he said. �That is less than the amount lost annually to evaporation, which is about 6.5 feet.�

Choate also addressed a rumor that just filling the pipeline between Lake Fork and Lake Tawakoni would drop the lake level by 5 feet. He said that most of the pipeline has already been filled and pressure tested with water from Lake Tawakoni.

�We are very aware of the value of this lake, not only to this community but to the nation, as the best bass fishing lake in the country, and we intend to do all we can to maintain it,� Choate said.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department fisheries biologists reported to the crowd of about 50 that the largemouth bass fishery in the lake remains  the best in the nation. TPWD surveys show the catch rate of largemouth bass weighing 7 pounds and more has remained steady for the past several years. Biologists expect good reproduction and growth with the high water levels.

TPWD biologists also presented information on how to recognize both native and invasive exotic aquatic plants and asked for help in keeping plants such as water hyacinth and giant salvinia from becoming a problem on Lake Fork. Suspected infestations should be reported to TPWD Aquatic Habitat Biologist Howard Elder at 409-384-9965 , or by e-mail at howard.elder@tpwd.state.tx.us 

Also speaking at the meeting was Lenny Francoeur of Rogers, Ark., an event manager for Octagon Worldwide, Inc., which handled the Toyota Texas Bass Classic held at Lake Fork in April. 

Also speaking at the meeting was Lenny Francoeur of Rogers, Arkansas, an event manager for Octagon Worldwide, Inc., which handled the Toyota Texas Bass Classic held at Lake Fork in April. Tournament officials announced in September that hte tournament would return to Lake Fork in 2008 and is scheduled for April 18-20.

The tournament features 100 professional anglers grouped in teams of four, with the winning team sharing a $250,000 top prize. TPWD also receives a $250,000 donation to benefit its youth fishing and outreach programs.

The Toyota Texas Bass Classic is unique in its "catch and release" format. All fish caught above 14 inches are weighed in the boat by an independent observer, then returned to the lake immediately. This promotes a higher survival rate for the fish by avoiding the stress of holding the catches in live wells for long periods of time. Contestants will be allowed to keep one fish larger than 24 inches, which will be weighed at the lake-side weigh-in scales, then turned over to TPWD for proper handling and release back to the lake. 

Francoeur said at Tuesday night's meeting that he would like to see the event remain at Lake Fork rather than move to other locations in Texas, but that community involvement and support for the tournament would be the key to making that happen.

From Staff Reports

Thanks in part to a long drink from spring and summer rains this year, Lake Fork is in excellent shape and should be able to withstand planned withdrawals of water by the city of Dallas beginning in 2009.

At an annual meeting this week at A.J.'s Fish House, Sabine River Authority Regional Manager Danny Choate said the lake is the highest it has ever been in October. 

He also said if the area receives its average annual rainfall of 44 inches, the impact on the lake level won't be significant when water starts being pumped to the Metroplex in two years.

�The amount of water Dallas can pump in a calendar year is 131,860 acre-feet, which would lower the lake level approximately 5 feet if there were no inflow from rainfall during the year,� he said. �That is less than the amount lost annually to evaporation, which is about 6.5 feet.�

Choate also addressed a rumor that just filling the pipeline between Lake Fork and Lake Tawakoni would drop the lake level by 5 feet. He said that most of the pipeline has already been filled and pressure tested with water from Lake Tawakoni.

�We are very aware of the value of this lake, not only to this community but to the nation, as the best bass fishing lake in the country, and we intend to do all we can to maintain it,� Choate said.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department fisheries biologists reported to the crowd of about 50 that the largemouth bass fishery in the lake remains  the best in the nation. TPWD surveys show the catch rate of largemouth bass weighing 7 pounds and more has remained steady for the past several years. Biologists expect good reproduction and growth with the high water levels.

TPWD biologists also presented information on how to recognize both native and invasive exotic aquatic plants and asked for help in keeping plants such as water hyacinth and giant salvinia from becoming a problem on Lake Fork. Suspected infestations should be reported to TPWD Aquatic Habitat Biologist Howard Elder at 409-384-9965 , or by e-mail at howard.elder@tpwd.state.tx.us 

Also speaking at the meeting was Lenny Francoeur of Rogers, Ark., an event manager for Octagon Worldwide, Inc., which handled the Toyota Texas Bass Classic held at Lake Fork in April. 

Also speaking at the meeting was Lenny Francoeur of Rogers, Arkansas, an event manager for Octagon Worldwide, Inc., which handled the Toyota Texas Bass Classic held at Lake Fork in April. Tournament officials announced in September that hte tournament would return to Lake Fork in 2008 and is scheduled for April 18-20.

The tournament features 100 professional anglers grouped in teams of four, with the winning team sharing a $250,000 top prize. TPWD also receives a $250,000 donation to benefit its youth fishing and outreach programs.

The Toyota Texas Bass Classic is unique in its "catch and release" format. All fish caught above 14 inches are weighed in the boat by an independent observer, then returned to the lake immediately. This promotes a higher survival rate for the fish by avoiding the stress of holding the catches in live wells for long periods of time. Contestants will be allowed to keep one fish larger than 24 inches, which will be weighed at the lake-side weigh-in scales, then turned over to TPWD for proper handling and release back to the lake. 

Francoeur said at Tuesday night's meeting that he would like to see the event remain at Lake Fork rather than move to other locations in Texas, but that community involvement and support for the tournament would be the key to making that happen.

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