By DAN EAKIN
The flooding has done little to change the amount of fish one may catch on any given day. A greater challenge for many is finding an open boat ramp.
Many boat ramps on area lakes are closed, due to flooding and construction. However, some are open.
“Anyone taking a boat to a lake should check first to make sure the boat ramp they are headed for is open,” said Clay Church, public information officer for the U.S. Corps of Engineers Fort Worth District.
He said most boat ramps offered by the U.S. Corps of Engineers are closed. However, several boat ramps are operated by cities and other entities and some of them may be open.
On Lewisville Lake, the Lewisville Parks and Leisure Services has only one boat ramp open.
Tower Bay, located just off of Garden Ridge Road in North Lewisville, is open.
However, Bob Monaghan, director, said, “Parking is limited and the demand is great.”
He said he hopes to open one more boat ramp, inside Lake Park, in June if there is not too much more rain between now and then.
Lake Park and Copperas Branch Park had been two of the busiest boat ramps on Lewisville Lake until last year. Lake Park is closed due to flooding and road construction underway in and around the park, and Copperas Branch Park is closed due to the I-35 construction.
In addition to Tower Bay, another boat ramp on Lewisville Lake which is definitely open is at the Doe Branch Access a few miles south of U.S. Highway 380. Also, Pilot Knoll Park in Highland Village is open. To see if boat ramps are open at parks on Lewisville Lake operated by cities, contact the cities of The Colony, Lake Dallas, Oak Point and Highland Village.
On Grapevine Lake, all U.S. Army Corps of Engineers ramps except for Silver Lake and Murrell Park are closed due to high water. And all ramps are closed on Lake Lavon.
Once the boaters get their boats in the water, they soon find that fishing on a flooded lake is little different than fishing when water levels are more normal.
Rudy Almendarez, an avid fisherman, said, “As always, there are good days and bad days when fishing, but the flooding has had little affect on it.”
He said the flooding sometimes causes fish to go deeper into the water, while others tend to go toward the shores.
There have been reports of more fish than ever being seen and caught in shallow water near the shorelines than before. One fisherman reported seeing a large fish jump up out of the water only a few feet from the shore.
Grady Williams, who knows a lot about fish and the area lakes, said the flooding has not immediately affected fishing. However, he said when the lake is flooded, female fish tend to “hold their eggs” and buck fish are not as active in the reproductive process.
He said that could have an effect on the fish population in Lewisville Lake in the future.
However, he said there was a good spawning season last year which may offset the present situation.
People who don’t own boats but just like to fish may find fishing from the bank to be better now during the flooding period.
Many just like to go down to the Lewisville Fishing Barge, located about a 100 yards or so out on the lake just off of far north Mill Street in Lewisville. The barge, which is privately owned, charges an entry fee. People may bring their own poles or rent one inside. Bait is also available for purchase.
“We don’t allow any alcohol in here,” said Almendarez, who with Williams volunteers to help run the barge. “We have children and grandmas in here.”
He said anyone who wants to fish should make sure they have a fishing license.
A fishing license is required in the state of Texas for anyone fishing who is 17 years old or older. No fishing license is required for those who are fishing from a bank in a state park or in waters completely enclosed by a state park.
The barge is not located in a state park.
Reprinted with permission from North Texas Best Times.