Where's The Beef? Not At Lake Kirby
Galen Jons, Fisheries Biologist
Fishing at local lakes is picking up. Since some our lakes have caught significant water, we've noticed many more people using the lakes. In particular, we see quite a few more people using lakes Ft. Phantom Hill and Kirby. It's amazing how the addition of some water can popularize a lake. We hope that people will continue with water conservation, so that our lakes will be around a little longer.
Lake Kirby is now full for the first time since 1997. We've noticed people fishing out there quite a bit ever since water ran over the spillway on July 6. We just hope those folks are aware of the fishing regulations at the lake, as most fish in Lake Kirby are still below the legal size limit.
We began stocking Lake Kirby in the spring of 2001 and have continued stocking it this year. Most fish haven't had enough time to reach legal size, though there are a few legal blue and channel catfish (12 inches or longer). Some have washed in from upstream, and others are fish we stocked last year that have grown extra-fast.
Largemouth bass in Lake Kirby probably won't be legal (14+ inches long) until spring 2004, while the saugeye may reach legal length (18+ inches long) by sometime this winter or early next spring. Most of the catfish and crappie should be legal size by next spring. So, if you want to harvest fish for the table, Lake Kirby probably is not the place to go to, at least until next spring.
There are a lot more keeper fish available at Lake Ft. Phantom Hill and other area lakes. Remember that largemouth bass need to be 16 inches or longer before you can harvest them from Lake Ft. Phantom Hill, unlike most other area lakes.
Lake Coleman is full for the first time in five years, and that lake is looking GREAT! The water is unbelievably clear, considering the amount of water that flowed through it just a few weeks ago. It's looking very fishy, and we can't wait to wet a line there!
Other lakes that have filled are Brownwood, Proctor, Leon, Baird, Texas & Pacific (T&P, near Baird), and Scarborough (near Coleman). These lakes all have statewide fish regulations, except Lake Proctor will have a new 16-inch minimum length limit on largemouth bass beginning September 1, 2002.
Some of our other lakes are still in dire need of water. Lakes such as Clyde, Hords Creek and Sweetwater all need a good dose of water to return to their former glory.
Family Fishing Event
Don't forget that we are holding a family fishing event on Saturday, August 3rd. Parents, bring your kids out to Nelson Park and catch some fish! We encourage you to bring fishing rods if you have them; however, we will have some on hand if you need them. We will also have bait, so come on out and join the fun!
Texas Parks and Wildlife Dept.
5325 N. 3rd
Abilene, TX 79603
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