Entry ID2764
Friends of Reservoirs Member/Group Sponsoring the ProjectDavid Terre/Texas B.A.S.S. Nation
Project Leader Contact InformationDavid Terre
Phone(903) 279-9155
EmailEmail hidden; Javascript is required.
Address6505 Freesia Ct
Austin, Texas 78739
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Project Information
Reservoir NameTown Center Pond
Google Maps Locationgoo.gl
Please describe the project objective(s).

The objectives of this project are 1) the completion of a renovation of Town Center Pond to include dredging, reshaping, contouring (Phase I), 2) installation of structural fish habitat, establishing native vegetation, adding an electric diffuse aeration system and fish attractors (Phase II).

This is a multi-phased project, which the efforts relevant to this proposal will focus on Phase II that includes the shoreline stabilization, erosion control, and subsequent fish habitat enhancement efforts.

The City of Early’s Town Center Pond renovation project will create a revitalized community resource that will offer a diverse, convenient fishing opportunity for families and other residents in West Texas where such fisheries are limited and scattered in the predominantly rural region of the state. Community fishing ponds are necessary for offering diverse, convenient fishing experiences for families, especially youth, and they are also important for recruiting, reactivating, and retaining anglers that support conservation and sales of fishing licenses. These waterbodies are less intimidating and more accessible for inexperienced anglers than larger reservoirs. City of Early is a small city and directly borders the larger City of Brownwood, Texas. Combined these communities are comprised of nearly 21,000 people. While these cities are within close proximity to the Pecan Bayou Texas State Paddling Trail and Brownwood Reservoir, there is not a community fishing pond within an approximate 45-min drive time. The renovation project of the Town Center Pond will offer a community fishery for the cities of Early, Brownwood, and other neighboring towns and will aid in diversifying fishing opportunities for constituents, increasing awareness of fisheries and wildlife conservation, and improving quality of life.

It’s important to note that this project is important for recruiting new anglers into the sport of fishing. Many young people do not have access to boats, or the vehicle transportation required, to fish major public reservoirs in Texas. Enhancing fish habitat and making quality fishing in small impoundments such as this helps further our sport and helps engage children into the outdoors.

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?

The renovation of Town Center Pond commenced as Phase I of this project. Dewatering was conducted by City of Early in fall 2021. A lake management contractor was hired to complete the fish relocation efforts in coordination with TPWD Inland Fisheries. Following the dewatering efforts, City of Early dredged and reshaped the pond, including a canal connecting the pond to a second retention basin created by earth-moving equipment. The pond was dredged to a maximum depth of 14-17 ft. (mean depth of 6-8 ft). Most of the fill was used in a pond reshaping process. An additional acre of pond was created by digging out a new section during the reshaping efforts. The final waterbody has a surface area of about 5 acres. The City of Early engineers worked with TPWD Inland Fisheries Division on the bathymetric and drainage design to ensure maximum fisheries benefit. The dredged canal portion has a minimum bank-full width of 6 ft with a toe slope to ensure that there is ample growing space for aquatic vegetation. The canal has meanders with ample sinuosity to ensure that there is proper drainage and will help minimize erosion at the site. Following contouring efforts, the City of Early had the dam and lake bottom inspected for leaking prior to the commencement habitat enhancements.

For Phase II, a variety of erosion control measures were used to stabilize shorelines in the pond and canal and to prevent erosion and sedimentation. Specifically, a living shoreline approach involving the installation of rocky substrate, coir logs, geotextile matting, and native plants was used to stabilize most of the existing shoreline and to create littoral habitat for fish (including gravel beds for fish spawning habitat). Once all structural erosion control measures are in place, the pond will be filled by City of Early.

As part of Phase II of this project, native planting efforts will be conducted by the TPWD, with support by other project partners. Native plants to be used in the littoral areas of the pond include waterwillow, delta arrowhead, pickerelweed, and waterstargrass. Native grasses (switchgrass, rice cutgrass, and sedges) will be used on the higher areas of the pond bank and canal to provide additional stabilization. Native trees will also be planted by City of Early and TPWD Inland Fisheries to provide shade to the pond over time as well as to better site aesthetics.

Mossback fish attractors will be deployed by TPWD Inland Fisheries, with assistance by the Texas B.A.S.S. Nation (using FOR small project grant funds, plus volunteer labor), following the pond refilling process. These additions to cover will help aggregate fish to improve angler catch rates and supplement existing fish habitats. The City of Early will purchase and install an electric diffuse aerator that will supply oxygen and assist with water circulation. The City of Early is also expected to install several ADA accessible T-head fishing piers.

In addition to adults in our Northwest Region, the Texas B.A.S.S. Nation will also seek out its youth division members (Lone Star Junior Bassmasters) and their families to assist in these habitat improvement efforts. (Construction and deployment of structures).

The efforts detailed in this proposal are supporting a multi-phased project. Phase I is being completely funded by City of Early. The TPWD’s and Texas B.A.S.S. Nation funding is only being requested for the completion of Phase II.

The project will be conducted on the following timeline:

August – September 2021: Phase I begins. Dewatering and fish relocation efforts will be conducted.

October 2021 – May 2022: Pond and drainage basin dredging, reshaping, and contouring will be completed.

June 2022 – July 2022: Pond lining assessment and repairs (if necessary) will be finished; End of Phase I.

August 2022 –August 2023: Phase II begins. Structural erosion control measures and artificial habitat installations. Aeration system and piers will be installed; native vegetation plantings will be accomplished. TPWD and City of Early will stock bluegill, fathead minnows, largemouth bass, and channel catfish.

August 2023 - June 2024: Anticipated project completion of Texas B.A.S.S. Nation activities in this project.

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?

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Inland Fisheries Division (Abilene Office, Mike Homer) is involved and is a project lead. They will coordinate all our activities.

The TPWD has been heavily involved in this project since its inception. They have also provided a HAAP grant to support this project, in partnership with the City of Early and others.

Attached is their original proposal/plan for this work with recommendations. This proposal was used to help create our proposal for this FOR small project grant request.

List the species that the project is expected to benefit:

Largemouth bass, sunfish species, and channel catfish

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

The Texas B.A.S.S. Nation will conduct outreach on its own website and social media platforms.

The Texas B.A.S.S. Nation will also work with all project partners and TPWD to publicize our work in press releases, videos, partner websites, partner newsletters, fishing forums, partner social media platforms and written/on-line publications.

The City of Early and TPWD intend to recruit and partner with local youth group volunteers (Scouts, local school groups and their families) to carry out the Phase II portion of this project. The Texas B.A.S.S. Nation will also seek out its youth division members (Lone Star Junior Bassmaster's) and their families to assist in these efforts.

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-Early-Town-Center-Project-Phase-II-2023.pdf