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Catfishing’s Hot at Squaw Creek Reservoir
ATHENS—Fishing at Squaw Creek is generally synonymous with largemouth bass fishing—and rightly so, since the reservoir has plenty of good-sized largemouth bass for the taking. However, catfish anglers might be unaware of the tremendous opportunity this reservoir provides during the cooler autumn and winter months.
Squaw Creek Reservoir is a 3,272-acre impoundment located in Hood and Somervell counties just off Highway 144 between Glenrose and Granbury. Squaw Creek is owned and operated by Luminant Power and serves as a cooling reservoir for the Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Station.
The reservoir was closed for security reasons on September 12, 2001, following the 9/11 attacks on the United States and re-opened to the public in May 2010.
Fish habitat consists mainly of rocky shorelines and flooded timber. Aquatic vegetation is scarce due to artificially high water temperatures maintained year-round by the power station. Angler access to the reservoir is limited from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Thursday through Sunday for bank fishing within the park and Friday through Sunday for boat fishing.
According to spring 2011 survey data, the channel catfish population in Squaw Creek is one of the best in Central Texas, boasting the highest catch rate in survey history for its district. The Squaw Creek catfish population is balanced, with consistent recruitment of young fish, good numbers of larger fish and good-to-excellent body conditions. Ninety-nine percent of sampled individuals were legal size (12 inches) or larger, and individuals up to 28 inches were observed.
Although channels are the dominant catfish species in Squaw Creek, an occasional flathead catfish might also be caught. The current record flathead catfish for the reservoir is 52.5 pounds, and no record exists for channel catfish, meaning no angler has ever turned a channel cat in for the record! So, whether you’re trying to fill your freezer with delicious catfish fillets or trying to become the new Squaw Creek channel catfish water body record holder, the catfishing is sure to be hot this coming winter at Squaw Creek.
Contact the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Inland Fisheries office in Waco at (254) 666-5190 for questions or comments regarding fishing regulations. For information on facilities and access, contact Squaw Creek Park at (817) 573-7053.
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