Whiskers, fins, gills and all, 10,000 catfish plunged into two lakes that have long served as fishing and recreational hot spots in San Antonio. CPS Energy recently partnered with Texas Parks and Wildlife to release the channel catfish into Braunig and Calaveras lakes to supplement the fish populations within the lakes.
“To sustain these popular fisheries, it is important to regularly supplement the fish population,” said Gregg Tieken, Sr. Manager of Environmental Operations at CPS Energy.
The catfish came from an Arkansas-based fish farm. Their average length was 10 and three quarter inches. A semi-truck transported the slippery, whiskered creatures. They made the 630-mile journey in 20 fish-efficient containers that provided refrigerated liquid oxygen to ensure they arrived in good health.
Before introducing the catfish into the water, Texas Parks and Wildlife staff transitioned them using an acclimation process. By pumping lake water into the fish containers, their bodies were prepared to take their first plunge without an intense state of shock as they took a water slide ride into the lakes. A large tube connected to each container served as a chute to introduce the fish into their new lake homes.
Some of the larger released catfish could be ready to catch and eat in the fall of 2022. They have to grow to a minimum length limit of 14 inches or be released if caught. Anglers can check out the fishing rules here on the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission website.
Keith Gordon, an Idaho native and fisherman, had two fishing poles cast out waiting for a bite at Braunig Lake. He witnessed the fish release and shared his thoughts about the lake.
“I think it’s a pretty nice lake with plenty of fish. I am used to fly fishing, and I’m trying this new way of fishing,” said Gordon. “I haven’t caught a catfish out here but I’m looking forward to it.”
San Antonio residents and visitors enjoy these beautiful lakes with ample fish for their tranquil and recreational environments. Every year more than 250,000 visitors enjoy the lakes and their surrounding parks, seeking the perfect camping spot or a great big catch fish tale.
To find out more information about Braunig and Calaveras Lake Parks, click here.