Fall ’17 Fisheries Update – Jimbo Roberts
Another Hot Texas Summer has come and gone.
To tell you the truth things looked bad. On May 15th, the lake was two feet below pool and it never got back to 909’msl all summer. We missed having the GBRA Flow Agreement kick in for this past summer once again and I was looking at another year with the possibility of very little holdover. The flows were about 180cfs until the end of June when they dropped to 100cfs. That meant we were going to lose most of the fish below Little Ponderosa. Then the other shoe dropped and flows fell to around 50cfs the first week in September. That couldn’t have come at a worse time as September is still a hot month and water temperatures soared throughout the system. Now we were losing fish below Maricopa. Then we received some much needed rain and late September the releases went back up to 100cfs. Just in time to save some of those trout in the upper river.
Now the good news. I was on the Guadalupe 10/2/17 looking the leases over. We still have trout down to Whitewater. I think John DeLoach’s daily feedings helped get many trout in the Tuber’s Loop through to this fall. TPWD will be doing some shocking surveys before our first stockings this season. When the results are known, I will pass them along to our membership.
For the 2017-18 season, we will be increasing our brown trout stocking to 2,000lbs with fish averaging 16-18″. This is 1,000lbs more than we have ever stocked, plus they will be delivered before mid-December. This, along with the 12,000lbs of rainbows, means that we will have more trout to fish for than ever before. We will also be planting leftover eyed rainbow trout eggs in Whitlock/Vibert Boxes in January, and fingerlings from “Trout in the Classroom” in late spring. With last season’s holdover and all of these new fish, trout fishing this season should be outstanding.
Other good news, the Lease Access Program is expanding this year to 18 sites. We will be making other improvements to the LAP to make it easier to understand all the program rules and those associated with each individual site. We will also be shooting some videos to explain the rules and philosophy of the LAP, along with a virtual tour of every LAP site soon. As always the Lease Access Pictures sticky on the Lease Members Forum will be your “go to” reference to each site and their own rules. The LAP packet will continue to include a map of all these sites and their basic rules, including GPS coordinates. Please keep all this information confidential to limit trespass and make continued lease renewal easier.
I am hoping that this will be the summer when we see a return of cold high summer flows, last seen in 2010. If this happens, those who have not fished these sustaining flows will see the true potential of the Guadalupe fishery. I have seen it, fished it, and it can be amazing. NOAA is predicting a return of La Nina conditions in the pacific starting this fall and continuing through winter. This means a likelihood of lower than average rainfalls in Central Texas. Predictions for the coming summer have not been formulated as of yet. Let’s pray for rain and hope for the best.
Jimbo Roberts | GRTU VP of Fisheries