Fish-Attracting Brush Installed in Lake Austin to Enhance Bass Habitat

June 11, 2015by Brian Talley

Lake Austin viewTexas Parks and Wildlife Department, along with Texas Tournament Zone and the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department and Watershed Protection, recently installed fish habitat structures on Lake Austin. The new brush structures made from Ashe juniper (mountain cedar) tree cuttings were bundled and sunk at strategic fishing hotspots in order to help boost the bass population on Austin’s popular, constant level lake.

The action was taken after previous years’ droughts took their toll on fish habitats, both through the growth of hydrilla and through the side effects of efforts countering the hydrilla growth. The diminished aquatic vegetation within the lake threatens Lake Austin’s place as one of the most popular trophy largemouth bass destinations in Texas.

“Unfortunately the aquatic vegetation community has been impacted beyond our expectations,” said TPWD district fisheries supervisor Marcos De Jesús. “Right now we are committed to restoring the balance that has made this lake so special over the years. Aquatic vegetation is essential for a healthy bass fishery in Lake Austin.”

De Jesús said the brush pile structures “will serve as fish habitat and will attract cover-seeking game fish like bass where anglers can target them for increased success.”

One of Lake Austin’s most popular recreational draws is fishing, which is why TTZ, a Friends of Reservoirs chapter member, led fundraising efforts and volunteer recruitment for the project. TTZ’s John Ward said, “Anglers come to Lake Austin looking for the fish of a lifetime, and we want to ensure that the lake sustains the quality fishing opportunities it has offered for years.” Lake Austin was named the eighth best bass location in the nation by the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society in 2014.

GPS coordinates for fish habitat sites will be available through the TPWD website.