TPWD Collaborates with Major League Fishing on Habitat Restoration Project at Lake Bryan

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BRYAN – The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) Inland Fisheries Division, local anglers and the Bryan Texas Utilities Department (BTUD) collaborated with Major League Fishing (MLF) on a recent project to install new fish habitat in Lake Bryan.

MLF Fisheries Management Division, in partnership with Berkley Labs, spearheaded the initiative to improve catfish, crappie, largemouth bass and bluegill spawning survival, adult population density and catchability. TPWD’s Inland Fisheries Division deployed its brand-new habitat barge to aid in the installation of the new habitat structures, assembled by TPWD, MLF and BTUD staff along with local volunteers. The two-day project showcased how the agency, industry and anglers can work together to enhance Texas fisheries.

“We were excited when we were contacted by Steven Bardin (MLF Fisheries Management Biologist) about this project,” said Niki Ragan-Harbison, Fisheries Biologist for the College Station — Houston Inland Fisheries Division District. “BTUD has been a tremendous asset as well by not only allowing the project to take place, but also by providing their equipment, facilities, and manpower, as well as contributing to the habitat additions. Exciting things are happening at Lake Bryan and we all look forward to seeing how the fishery responds in the coming years.”

The structures deployed included 14, 40-inch MossBack Fish Habitat Conservation Cubes, 12 Spawning Beds, 21 Trophy Tree XLs and 21 Safe Haven XLs. In addition, BTUD provided 33 concrete trash receptacle enclosures for use as catfish spawning habitat. Lowe’s of Bryan donated 100 cinder blocks for the MossBack structures and pea gravel to fill the spawning beds.

Within the next few weeks, TPWD will post GPS coordinates for the new fishing structures on the Lake Bryan fish habitat structures website. Coordinates will also be available in downloadable files.

For more information and photos of the project, visit the Inland Fisheries Division College Station-Houston District Facebook page and the MLF website.