Texas Parks and Wildlife Department biologist Wes Studder aids in transferring a net full of the more than 100,000 striper fingerlings stocked at Possum Kingdom Lake May 30. The stocking was done following a work project which sank cedars and brush piles to increase fish habitat in the lake. (Sarah Howard)
In an effort to continue to increase the fish population at Possum Kingdom Lake, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department stocked 100,000 striper fingerlings May 30.
The fish arrived from the new TPWD East Texas fish hatchery in Jasper. They were then transported by boat from North D&D to deeper water before being released into the lake.
"We use the deep water transfer to help avoid predators that are usually close to the shoreline," said Steven Hise, TPWD staff member charged with the job of transferring the fish.
According to Wes Studder, TPWD senior technician, the stocking was done following a work project which sank cedars and brush piles to increase fish habitat in the lake.
"The new brush piles will provide shelter for the new fish," he said. "It is great to have a group of people to work with on projects like this."
TPWD is working in conjunction with Hell's Gate Bass Club on projects to improve the lake. Plans to coordinate with the club were made after an April HGBC meeting where members voted to establish a chapter of Friends of Reservoirs. The program will enable the club to obtain grants and donations for projects done in conjunction with TPWD.
TWPD also plans to start 60 small colonies of American pond weed and water willow in the Cedar Creek area of the lake.
"We have plans to return to the lake in June to establish vegetation habitats," said Studder. "It will give us another chance to work with the Hell's Gate Bass Club.
Dropping water levels and the age of the reservoir have resulted in fewer habitats and less natural plant growth that acts as a refuge for younger fish. To battle this, TPWD began a habitat enhancement project. Its goal is to create natural and artificial habitats, as well as re-introduce aquatic vegetation into the lake creating safe places for young fish.