By Emily Craig
BIG FISH like structure, and little fish need cover to protect them from the big fish. And crappie just like to hide in the brush.
To help make sure there is plenty of each for everyone, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department-Inland Fisheries spearheaded a conservation project for Lake Arlington to start the New Year off right. Partnering with the city of Arlington,
TPWD staff teamed up with volunteers from Fort Worth Fly Fishers, the Bass Fishing Club from Martin High School, and the Bass Fishing and Archery teams from Kennedale High School to construct a fleet of diverse multi-dimensional habitats. When the weather and water conditions are better, these fish-friendly structures will be placed at strategic locations underwater around Lake Arlington.
Two different types of structures were constructed. The so-called “Georgia Structures” consist of connected PVC pipes that form an open-sided box. Inside this box is tangle of corrugated drainage pipe. All of this is weighted with concrete blocks so it rests on the lake floor. The other structures are “crappie condos”. Long stalks of fresh bamboo were cut to about 12-foot lengths and multiple stems imbedded in 5-gallon buckets filled with concrete. These too, sink to the bottom and form long-lasting, tree-like structure even after the leaves decay.
There is no need to worry about accidentally running into one of these structures, because fish biology as well as boater safety were all a part of the plan. These structures are strategically placed so even at record low water levels they won’t impede boat traffic. The fishing fun can begin immediately because as soon as they are in place and stable, their exact locations will be released to the public. Stay tuned for that!
Funding for this project, and many others like it, comes from the sale of TPWD’s conservation license plates. To see the license plates and other projects the funds have supported, you can visit this link: https://conservationplate.org/. And don’t forget, the money from your hunting and fishing licenses allows Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to manage the natural resources of Texas.