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Calaveras Lake

Bexar County Calaveras Lake

Calaveras Lake, located in Bexar County, 20 miles southeast of San Antonio, Texas. The reservoir was formed in 1969 by constructing a dam to act as a cooling pond for several power plants, called Calaveras Power Station.

While further supplying electricity to the city of San Antonio. Meanwhile this reservoir is partly filled with wastewater that has undergone primary and secondary treatment from the San Antonio Water System Treatment plant.

While serving as a venue for recreation including fishing and boating. With a surface area of 3624 acres and a maximum depth of 45 feet this moderately stained lake has an annual fluctuation of between 1 and 2 feet. The lakes Reservoir Controlling Authority is CPS Energy who may be contacted on (210) 353-2158.

However, should you wish to camp at Calaveras Lake the Thousand Trails Management Services should be contacted on (210) 635-8359. Furthermore, some predominant fish species that may be caught while angling in the lake include.

Structure and Native Vegetation

The main cover in Calaveras Lake occurs along the shoreline and consists of cattails and bulrushes. Furthermore, the lake has some rock rip rap along the dam, especially at the intake canal and other stretches of shoreline.

Calaveras Lake Boat Ramps, Camping, Docks & Parking

There are not many access points at Calaveras Lake, however, Calaveras Park is one public access park available to the public. However, when operating on or around water, please wear your Personal Flotation Device for your own safety.

Calaveras Park at Calaveras Lake

Calaveras Park

Calaveras Park located off Stuart Road, approximately 20 miles southeast of San Antonio. Therefore, from Highway 181 take 1604 east.

The facility offers the public restrooms, cleaning stations, live bait facilities, picnic areas and campsites while being ADA-Accessible.

Further, the facility provides good shoreline access, parking and two four-lane paved boat ramps with courtesy docks located approximately ¼ mile apart.

Calaveras Park charges a camping and day fee. However, a fee receipt from Braunig Lake provides admittance to Calaveras.

A few RV sites with hookups are available for rental. Operated by Thousand Trails Management Services contactable on (210) 635-8359.

While gate hours do change, from March 15 to September 15 they open from 6am to 10pm and from 16 September to 14 March they open from 6am to 8pm.

Fish and Fishing

Calaveras Lake Channel Catfish are the most sought-after species making for excellent catches. Along with Red Drum, Blue Catfish, and Hybrid Striped Bass that also provide excellent fishing opportunities to anglers. While Largemouth Bass exist and provide the angler fair fishing opportunities.

Channel Catfish

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.

Channel Catfish fishing in Calaveras Lake peaks from March through May but these fish may be caught year-round. Good baits include Stinkbaits, Tilapia, Chicken Liver and Shad.

However, feel free to click and read more on our site about the Channel Catfish.

Channel Catfish in muddy water

Red Drum

Red Drum Fish scavanging substrate for food

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.

Red Drum fishing is best from March through August using Crawfish and Tilapia as bait. However, artificial baits may also be used, the most popular being gold and silver spoons and rattletraps.

However, feel free to click and read more on our site about the Drum.

Blue 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. Furthermore, these fish feed beneath marauding schools of striped bass in open water reservoirs or feeding on baitfish washed through dam spillways.

The current world record Blue Catfish weighs 130 pounds, has a length of 57 inches and is 45 inches around. Blue Catfish fishing in Calaveras Lake peaks from March through May but these fish may be caught year-round. Good baits include Stinkbaits, Tilapia, Chicken Liver and Shad.

However, feel free to click and read more on our site about the Blue Catfish.

Blue Catfish

Hybrid Striped Bass

Hybrid Striped Bass

The Hybrid Striped Bass is a hybrid between the Striped Bass (Morone saxatilis) and the White Bass (Morone chrysops). Also known as the Wiper or Whiterock 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 amount 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 is best from January to August in Calaveras Lake, peaking from March to May. While anglers prefer using natural baits included chicken liver, sunfish, and shad. As well as artificial baits such as spoons and rattle traps.

However, feel free to click and read more on our site about Hybrid Striped Bass.

Largemouth Bass of Cavaleras 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.

Largemouth Bass Habitat

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 world record largemouth bass weighed in at 22 pounds 4 ounces. Calaveras Lake Largemouth Bass anglers have most success from March through May in bulrush clumps and along the rip rap found at the dam and intake points using plastic worms, crank baits, and spinner baits.

However, feel free to click and read more on our site about the Largemouth Bass. 

Calaveras Lake Alligator and Alligator Safety

Calaveras 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.

Conclusion

In short, Calaveras Lake offers plenty of fishing opportunities, swimming, jet skiing, boating, camping, and picnicking. Has a fluctuation of between 1 and 2 feet per annum. While the water is moderately stained. While, constructed as a cooling point for the Calaveras Power Station, it serves to supply San Antonio area with water.

With a surface area of 3624 acres and a maximum depth of 45 feet, cattails and bulrushes along the shoreline provide fish with cover. However, please be advised that sailboats are prohibited on the lake. However, should you have any queries or need information feel free to contact CPS Energy the Reservoir Controlling Authority on (210) 353-2158.

 

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