Braunig Lake the former East Lake
Braunig Lake also known as Victor Braunig Lake and formerly called East Lake is a reservoir located 17 miles south of downtown San Antonio, Texas. Constructed on Chupaderas Creek and Calaveras Creek and impounded in 1946. Initially constructed as a cooling pond for a power plant and to supply additional electrical supply to the city of San Antonio.
The surface area of the lake is 1350 acres with a maximum depth of 50 feet. Braunig Lake is partly filled with wastewater that has undergone both primary and secondary treatment at the San Antonio Water System treatment plant. Generally, has a fluctuation of between 1 and 2 feet per annum. While the water is stained and only offers a visibility of 1 to 2 feet.
Braunig Lake also serves as a venue for recreation including fishing and boating. Thousand Trails Management Services operates the Camping and Recreational Facilities and may be contacted at (210) 635-8289. While CPS Energy is the Reservoir Controlling Authority and may contacted at (210) 353-2158 for any information.
Predominant Fish Species in Braunig Lake
Structure and Native Vegetation
The main vegetation occurring in and around Braunig Lake consists of bulrush and cattails which mainly occur along the shoreline. However, some rock rip rap does occur along the dam and peninsulas.
Braunig Lake Boat Ramps, Camping, Docks & Parking
Braunig Lake offers limited access to the public. While there may be several private locations on the lake, one public access exists, that is Braunig Park. However, when operating on or around water, please wear your Personal Flotation Device for your own safety.
Braunig Park located on Braunig Lake is in Bexar County approximately 17 miles south of San Antonio. Therefore, from Interstate 37 take exit 130 to the park.
This ADA-Accessible facility offers the public restrooms, cleaning stations, live bait facilities, picnic areas, and a good shoreline. While also offering camping and two paved boat ramps with courtesy docks. A few RV sites with hookups are available for rent.
However, please call (210) 635-8359 for reservations. Braunig Park is open from 6am to 10pm March 15 to September 15 and from 6am to 8pm from September 16 to March 14.
While they do charge camping and day use fees. However, a fee receipts for Braunig Lake also provides access to Calaveras Lake. Operated by Thousand Trails Management Services who may be contacted on (210) 635-8289.
Fish and Fishing
Red Drum and Hybrid Striped Bass are popular sport fish in Braunig Lake with excellent fishing opportunities. While good fishing opportunities exist for Channel and Blue Catfish and fair fishing opportunities for Largemouth Bass.
The Red Drum (Sciaenops ocellatus) is a game fish native to North America. Generally found in the Atlantic Ocean from Massachusetts to Florida and in the Gulf of Mexico from Florida to northern Mexico. The only species in the genus pool Sciaenops and closely related to the Black Drum.
The Red Drum has dark red backs fading along the sides to a white belly. A streamlined fish with a characteristic eyespot near their tail.
The male drums create a knocking or drumming sound during spawning by vibrating their swim bladders.
Generally, feed on crabs, shrimp, and smaller fish including mullet, menhaden, pinfish, lizardfish, spot, Atlantic croaker and mudminnows.
While spawning from August to October near shorelines. Red Drum fishing in Braunig Lake is good from March through August with fish exceeding 20 pounds.
Watch for activity from birds especially seagulls and pelicans to find out where the fish may be. In winter, the Red Drum may be found near heated discharges and good baits include crawfish and tilapia. As well as gold and silver spoons, rattle traps and trolled deep-diving crankbaits.
However, feel free to click and read more on our site about the Drum.
Hybrid Striped Bass
Further, distinguished from the Striped Bass by broken rather than solid horizontal stripes on the body. While, resilient to extremes of temperature and to low dissolved oxygen. However, both a game fish and a food fish.
Moreover, the Hybrid Striped Bass has aggressive feeding habits which makes them a highly sought-after fish for anglers. Reproduce in two ways, either taking the white bass eggs and fertilizing with the striped bass sperm or using the striped bass’ eggs and fertilizing with the white bass sperm.
While the preferred method is using the female striped bass eggs and fertilizing with the white bass sperm creating the palmetto bass. Therefore, increasing the number of offspring.
While schooling by the thousands. Generally, these stocked fish surface feed on bait fish such as shad, bluegill, sunfish, fathead minnows, white and black crappie.
Moreover, their surface feeding habits make the fish visible and easy to catch on a wide array of lures and baits including casting spoons, buck-tail jigs, soft-body plastic fish replicas and inline spinners.
Meanwhile, their quality as a high-fighting game fish is closely followed by their delicious firm, white and flake meat. Generally, these fish are used to control bait fish populations and provide sport for anglers.
Hybrid Striped Bass fishing in Braunig Lake peaks in spring from January through August and are mostly found in the heated discharge areas. Good baits include chicken livers, spoons, and rattle trap lures.
However, feel free to click and read more on our site about Hybrid Striped Bass.
The Channel Catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) is the most abundant type of catfish species in North America. While being the official fish of Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, and Tennessee.
The Channel Cat is popular for food. Therefore, there has been a rapid expansion of aquaculture of the species in the United States. Cavity nesters laying eggs in crevices, hollows, or debris to protect them from swift currents.
Have a keen sense of smell and taste. With taste buds distributed over the surface of their entire bodies and their nostrils. Further, the fish has four pairs of barbels surrounding the mouth allowing the catfish to find food in dark, stained or muddy water with relative ease.
Generally, are omnivores and feed on a variety of natural and prepared baits including crickets, nightcrawlers, minnows, shad, freshwater drum, crawfish, frogs, bullheads, sunfish, chicken livers and suckers. While they are even known to take Ivory soap as bait and even raw steak.
Meanwhile, popular fishing methods include juglines, trotlines, limb lines and bank lines in addition to the traditional rod-and-reel fishing techniques. While another method of fishing for the catfish includes noodling or hand fishing.
The best fishing for Channel Catfish in Braunig Lake is spring. Good baits for the catfish include cheese, liver, shad and cut tilapia.
However, feel free to click and read more on our site about the Channel Catfish.
The Blue Catfish (Ictalurus furcatus) is the largest species of freshwater catfish in North America. While, reaching up to 65 inches in length and weighing 150 pounds. Generally, they are 25 – 46 inches in length. While these catfish live up to 20 years.
Tolerate brackish water. The Blue Catfish can be misidentified as a Channel Catfish. However, Blue Catfish are heavy bodied, blueish grey fish that have a dorsal hump.
While the best way to tell it apart from the Channel Cat is to count the number of rays on the anal fin. The Blue has 30 – 36 rays and the Channel Cat has 25 – 29 rays. Meanwhile, the Blue also has barbels, a deeply forked tail and a protruding upper jaw.
Furthermore, the Blue is an opportunistic predator feeding on crawfish, mussels, frogs, and other aquatic food sources. Generally, catching wounded or dead prey.
These fish feed beneath marauding schools of striped bass in open water reservoirs or feeding on baitfish washed through dam spillways.
The best fishing for Blue Catfish in Braunig Lake is spring. Good baits for the catfish include cheese, liver, shad and cut tilapia.
However, feel free to click and read more on our site about the Blue Catfish.
Largemouth Bass In Braunig Lake
The Largemouth Bass (Micropterus salmoides) is a carnivorous species of freshwater game fish. Has an olive green to greenish grey body with dark, sometimes black blotches forming a jagged horizontal stripe along each flank.
Meanwhile, the upper jaw extends beyond the rear margin of the orbit. Reach lengths of 29.5 inches weighing around 25 pounds.
Feed on snails, crawfish, crayfish, frogs, snakes, salamanders, bats, shrimps, insects, small water birds, mammals, baby alligators and small fish. Including bluegill, banded killifish, shad, yellow perch, ciscoes, shiners, sunfish, catfish, walleye, bass, and trout.
Larger bass occupy deeper water and prey items may be as large as 50% of the bass’s body length or larger. While they prefer open areas with little or no cover.
Meanwhile, in areas with overhead cover such as overhanging banks, brush, or submerged structures, they use their sense of hearing, sight, vibration, and smell to attack and seize their prey.
Generally, spawning occurs in spring from March until early July. Sought after by anglers for their exciting fight. Often caught on Spinnerbait, plastic worms, jigs, crankbaits, and live baits such as worms, frogs, crawfish, shiners, and minnows.
While there is a strong cultural pressure among largemouth bass anglers encouraging catch and release practices of larger specimens. Furthermore, bass have a white, slightly mushy meat which is of a lower quality than that of the smallmouth bass, bluegill, yellow perch, walleye, or crappie.
The best fishing for Largemouth Bass in Braunig Lake is from January through April on Carolina rigged plastic worms, spinner baits, crank baits, and grubs.
However, feel free to click and read more on our site about Largemouth Bass.
Braunig Lake Alligator and Alligator Safety
Braunig Lake is a water source within Texas. As we are aware, there are alligators in Texas. Let us not fret over whether there are or are not alligators. Rather, take necessary precautions and always be on the lookout. Alligator safety does not take much time and it may save your life or the life of someone else around you.
Should you detect an alligator, regardless of size, do not feed them to allow them to get food as they will become a problem to everybody. Alligator safety is covered in our article Alligator Safety, but here is a quick breakdown.
If the gator hisses, you are too close, move away! In encounters, back away slowly.
Report the alligator to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Do not attempt to remove it.
If you have a pet with you, place it on a leash and keep it under control.
Do not swim in the water where there are alligators.
Killing or harassing or attempting to move an alligator is prohibited by state law.
In short, Braunig Lake offers plenty of fishing opportunities, swimming, jet skiing, boating, camping, and picnicking. This 1350-acre lake with a maximum depth of 50 feet has a fluctuation between 1 and 2 feet per annum. While the water is stained and only offers a visibility of between 1 and 2 feet.
Originally constructed as a cooling pond and to supply additional electricity to the city of San Antonio. But now also serves as a recreational facility. There is aquatic vegetation consisting of Bulrush and Cattails along the shoreline. While some rock rip rap occurs along the dam and peninsulas.
Thousand Trails Management Services operates the Camping and Recreational Facilities and may be contacted at (210) 635-8289. While CPS Energy is the Reservoir Controlling Authority and may contacted at (210) 353-2158 for any information.