Welcome to our new blog. We plan to feature articles by Texas fishermen who are skilled in the art of catching sunfish. If you would like to join our group please feel welcome. If you would like to post on this site please contact me at lilburn@uwmail.com. I have contacted many of you, and I await hearing from you and receiving your first article. Please limit your posts to how-to articles and stories about your fishing experiences. The more pictures the better. Controversial items, criticism of TPWD, and such should best be posted on the TFF or other forum. If you decide to post on a regular basis I will need a picture of you, your real name and your website if you have one. You will be added to the sidebar as one of our fishermen. No handles or avatars, please.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Our Tax Money Well Spent

I do not always agree with government personnel who manage or mismanage our tax money. My battles with TPWD, the City of Weatherford Utility Board and the Somervell County Water District are epic.

However, one agency commands my utmost respect: the City of Weatherford Parks and Recreation Department. Our acquaintance goes back many years, starting when I was chairman of the Field Day program of the local Amateur Radio club. I have found that this agency actually wants to serve the public.

The Parks and Recreation Department owns three lakes within city parks: Sunshine Lake in Cartwright Park, Holland Lake Park Pond and Love Street Park Pond. Sunshine Lake is an old 30-acre lake originally built to supply water to steam locomotives. It has a good population of bass, crappie, catfish and carp.

Holland Lake Park Pond is the location of two youth fishing events every year, one in the spring and one in the fall. Holland Lake is also stocked several times a year. Fish commonly caught in the lake include Blue Catfish, Channel Catfish, Bass, Sunfish, and Trout.

Love Street Park Pond is the latest acquisition and the subject of our blog today.

Love Street Park is the newest of the parks with ponds. The pond was built in 2009 and stocked with exactly 10 adult largemouth bass, 30 adult bluegill and 804 fingerling channel catfish. In 2011 612 more fingerling channel catfish were added.

The 30 bluegill have been busy. They spawned in 2010 and 2011. And the pond is now wall to wall with small bluegill. I have been able to identify two distinct populations. One group is roughly 4-5 inches long and the other is roughly 5-6 inches long. I assume that corresponds with the two spawns. Both groups are fat and healthy.

Now comes a puzzle. I also caught several yellow bullhead catfish. Neither the city nor TPWD stocked the pond with yellow bullheads. They got in the lake as passengers on birds or someone dumped them there. They were all alike: roughly 8 inches long.

The city built a really nice fishing pier and a bridge over the small creek. Both were built of cedar and looked to be of quality construction. They provided the best access to the deep water for fishing. Then came a problem: the pier and bridge were condemned as unsafe, although to my eye they were built like a battleship. The Parks people had to barricade them in February 2011 and secure funds to rebuild them. The pier reopened last week sporting a composition floor and welded iron railings. The bridge is still closed.

This picture shows the bridge. Notice the wooden rail.
 Now notice the snazzy welded rail on the pier.

I look forward to watching the bluegill grow long and feisty and catching the channel cats for the skillet. And I am grateful to the folks at the Parks and Recreation Department for their services to children and old retired folks.

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