Entry ID2532
Friends of Reservoirs Member/Group Sponsoring the ProjectCanyon Bass Club of San Marcos
Project Leader Contact InformationDave Terre
Phone(903) 279-9155
EmailEmail hidden; Javascript is required.
Address6505 Freesia Ct
Austin, Texas 78739
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Project Information
Reservoir NameCanyon Reservoir
Google Maps Locationgoo.gl
Please describe the project objective(s).

Canyon Reservoir (29 52.074’N 98 11.893’W) is an 8,308-acre impoundment of the Guadalupe River located in Comal County. It was constructed in 1964 by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers for purposes of flood control, water conservation and recreation. The reservoir is open to the public without any discrimination

Canyon Reservoir lacks complex forms of fish cover. Woody types of habitats were limited at the time of impoundment. Furthermore, those have slowly degraded because of natural reservoir aging processes.

Fluctuating water levels, steep topography, and hard rock substrates limit aquatic plant growth in the main body of this reservoir, which make large-scale native aquatic vegetation planting projects both difficult and impractical. Rock habitats are abundant in this reservoir but do not provide adequate cover for largemouth bass, the most popular game fish species. Because of the fluctuating water levels, the habitat enhancements are placed in deep water (15-25 feet), so they are not exposed during drawdowns.

Since 2005, the addition of live cedar tree piles and artificial habitat structures have increased habitat availability for fish and greatly enhance fishing opportunities on the reservoir. The Reservoir Fisheries Habitat Partnership has identified the lack of structural habitat as a major impairment common to Texas reservoirs. The need for habitat improvement has also been emphasized in a 2019 Fisheries Management Survey prepared for Canyon Reservoir by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (see attached report).

The objectives of this project are to:

1) Combat losses of natural structural fish habitat by adding new artificial and/or natural woody structures at up to four (4) priority deployment sites, depending on funding and/or availability of natural woody habitat.

2) Maintain or enhance fishing opportunities for Canyon Reservoir anglers by providing locations that attract fish

3) Promote a long-term partnership between anglers, private industry, NGO’s, Friends of Reservoirs, and state/federal governmental agencies as a successful model to improve reservoir fish habitat and make fishing better in Texas.

Please describe the project methods. Will the product be used in conjunction with existing habitat restoration efforts on the reservoir? Will the product supplement natural brush, rock, or other materials being added to the reservoir?

Description of Methods:

This project has grown to more than 40 habitat placement sites on the reservoir. The effective area of these habitat sites is large, covering the entire length of the reservoir. Sites are easily located by anglers because each of them is geo-referenced and promoted to the public online (see Canyon Lake Fish Attractors on TPWD website)

Because of the difficulty in maintaining 44 fish habitat sites (given current levels of project funding and manpower) a decision was made to reduce our project scope and prioritize 10 of 44 existing sites for future growth and expansion. A survey of local anglers and project partners was conducted in 2021 and used to determine priority sites; four were enhanced with artificial structures in 2022. In 2023, we intend to continue our efforts to enhance these same sites using artificial and/or natural woody structures, depending on funding and availability.

Because cedar trees deteriorate every few years, our sites need to be supplemented annually to maintain suitable fish habitat. The advantage of the artificial structures is that it lasts much longer, so our current priorities will focus on the use of artificial habitat until our 10 priority sites become well established and a consistent source of live cedar trees can be identified. In the past, we’ve been able to get live cedar trees from public park land surrounding the reservoir, thanks to the USCOE. Current availability of those trees is unknown due to park closures and new park management entities. Ultimately, our desire is for each site to contain both a mixture of natural and artificial habitat structures to increase habitat complexity.

Given the experience that the Canyon Bass Club has working on this project, volunteers have become efficient and effective at building and placing large amounts of habitat in a very short time period. The current methodology represents a best management practice for this particular reservoir.

Grant funding from Friends of Reservoirs will be used to: 1) to purchase, construct and deploy artificial fish habitat structures and/or 2) provide materials necessary to purchase/assemble/gather and deploy live cedar trees, or other forms of natural woody structural habitat.

The expected outcomes would be to enhance/increase structural fish habitat (cover) available for fish and increase angler success at the reservoir. Another outcome would be to make our existing habitat sites larger, much more structurally complex, and easier to find/maintain in the future.

Will state fish and wildlife agency staff be directly involved in the project? How so (planning, site selection, participation in installation)? Is there an associated lake or habitat management plan that states the need for structural habitat enhancement?

Yes. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Departments Inland Fisheries Division will be involved in the project.

Please see their letter of support and the attached project partner list and budget chart below.

Also attached is the latest fisheries management plan and report for this reservoir.

List the species that the project is expected to benefit:

All cover seeking species, including: Largemouth bass, Guadalupe Bass, Smallmouth Bass, all species of sunfish (Bluegill, Redear, Redbreast, etc), White Crappie, Black Crappie, Channel Catfish, Blue Catfish, and Flathead Catfish. Other non-game species will use these habitats as well.

How do you plan to conduct outreach and advertise the project? (Examples: on-site signage, press releases, websites, message boards)

The CBCSM will work with all project partners and TPWD to publicize our work in press releases, partner websites, partner newsletters, fishing forums, partner social media platforms and written/on-line publications.

Coordinates for the improved habitat sites will be updated and posted on the TPWD website for use by the general public.

We know that good publicity encourages interest in new projects and additional volunteers to support habitat improvement objectives in other areas.

We can provide links (videos and press releases) showing promotions of the project in 2022. Please just email me as I couldn't find a way to link to those on this online form.

Upload at least one letter of support from a representative of the state fish and wildlife management agency:
Partnership and Budget
Does the project involve one or more youth groups?Yes
Partner List Upload (If you're having trouble with the table above)Project-Partners-and-Budget-Canyon-Reservoir-Project-20221.docx