Champion Creek Reservoir Mitchell County Texas
Champion Creek Reservoir located in Mitchell County, Texas and a mere seven miles south of Colorado City on Texas 208. Constructed and impounded on Champion Creek in 1959. Generally, serves for industrial, recreational, and municipal purposes.
With a surface area around 1577 acres and a maximum depth of twenty-eight feet. However, as fluctuation levels may be extremely high, sometimes up to ten feet annually, some of the boat ramps may be closed due to low levels.
Furthermore, the reservoir has clear water near the dam getting very turbid upstream. Operated by Luminant Energy. However, for all gate access please contact the City Hall in Colorado City on (325) 728-3463.
Predominant Fish Species
Structure and Native Vegetation
While no aquatic vegetation exists, structure within the reservoir include deep rocky drop-offs, ledges, rip rap, underwater humps, and a few old tank dams. While some additional fish attracting structures have been added.
Champion Creek Reservoir Boat Ramps, Camping, and Parking
One public access point located on the southwest shore of the reservoir is Fisher Park. On Texas Highway 208 go seven miles south of Colorado City and turn west for two miles at the road sign.
This facility which opens all year round offers the public restrooms, live bait facilities, parking, picnic areas, campgrounds, and a paved boat ramp with courtesy dock.
However, the boat ramp may be closed due to low water levels. However, shoreline launching remains possible below the ramp.
This facility charges a day use fee or annual permits. While visitors under 12 or over 65 enter free. Meanwhile the facility remains operated by Fisher Park LLC who may be contacted at (325) 242-2093 for information and reservations.
Fish and Fishing
Champion Creek was hit hard by an extensive golden algae bloom in 2014 and are currently still recovering and rebuilding fishing opportunity. However, the reservoir provides fair fishing opportunity for Largemouth Bass, Channel Catfish, Flathead Catfish and White Crappie. While White Bass and Sunfish are present their numbers are lower providing poor fishing opportunities.
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. Champion Creek Reservoir Largemouth Bass can be caught fishing with live or artificial baits along riprap, flooded terrestrial vegetation, drop-offs, and ledges.
However, feel free to click and read more on our site about Largemouth 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 Catfish remains a popular food source. 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, 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 in Champion Creek Reservoir can be caught using live or prepared baits especially when fished along the ledges and drop-offs along the river channel.
However, feel free to click and read more on our site about the Channel Catfish.
The Flathead Catfish (Pylodictis olivaris) also known as the Mudcat or Shovelhead Cat is the second largest species of North American freshwater catfish, reaching lengths of up to 61 inches and weighing around 123 pounds.
While the maximum lifespan is 24 years. They mature at about 4 – 5 years. Generally, voracious carnivores feeding on fish, insects, annelid worms, and crustaceans. However, they also feed on almost anything that moves and makes vibration.
Generally, spawning occurs in late June and early July. Furthermore, sport fishing for the mudcat is either by rod-and-reel, limb lines or noodling.
With the common elements for the location of flatheads seek submerged wood cover such as logs and roots especially at bends in rivers.
Furthermore, a good spot for flathead includes an area which is relatively deep with moderate currents with access to plentiful bait fish such as carp, drum, panfish or suckers.
Flathead Catfish in Champion Creek Reservoir can be caught using live or prepared baits especially when fished along the ledges and drop-offs along the river channel.
However, feel free to click and read more on our site about Flathead Catfish.
The Crappie is a freshwater fish in the Pomoxis genus. A North American fish in the sunfish or Centrarchidae family. A species of popular pan fish. Other names for Crappie include Papermouths, Strawberry Bass, Speckled Bass, Speckled Perch, Crappie Bass or Calico Bass.
Further, the crappie is divided into the White Crappie (Pomoxis annularis) and the Black Crappie (Pomoxis nigromaculatus). Both species feed on small fish including the Northern Pike, Muskellunge, Walleye and Crappies. While, farther feeding on zooplankton, insects, and crustaceans.
They are less active during the day and will concentrate around weed beds or submerged objects such as logs and boulders. Meanwhile, they feed during dawn and dusk, moving in open waters, or approaching the shore. Considered among the best tasting freshwater fish due to their diverse diets.
While, crappie can be caught on many different lures and baits including light jigs, plastic jigs, lead jig heads, crankbaits, trolling with live minnows and small spinnerbaits. As well as spider rigging. While some anglers even chum or dump live bait into the water to attract the fish to bite their bait.
Generally, crappie is targeted and caught during the spawning period from May to June. The current world record for black crappie is five pounds and for white crappie is 5.2 pounds. Champion Creek Reservoir anglers can catch White Crappie using minnows and jigs along ledges and underwater humps.
However, feel free to click and read more on our site about the Crappie.
The White Bass (Morone chrysops) is a freshwater fish in the Moronidae family of temperate basses. While the state fish of Oklahoma. Meanwhile, other names include the Silver Bass or Sand Bass.
Further, the fish is silver, white to pale green in color. While, the back is dark, and the sides and belly are white with narrow dark stripes running lengthwise on the sides.
Furthermore, has large rough scales and two dorsal fins. While the more anterior dorsal fin is much harder and appears to have spines on them. Meanwhile, the more posterior dorsal fin is much softer.
While the body is deep and laterally compressed. Moreover, the bass tends to grow to 10 – 12 inches but may reach up to 17 inches in length.
Furthermore, as the vertebrae do not extend into the tail, the white bass has a homocercal tail. While the dorsal and ventral portion of the tail angle inward toward a point, creating a clear angle.
Furthermore, has a notched tail. While a carnivorous fish eating calanoida, cyclopoida, daphnia and leptodora. However, when not frightened, they will easily bite at live bait such as worms and minnows. While larger fish may feed on other fish.
Generally, spawning occurs from mid-March to late May. Furthermore, young fish live in the shallows as adults move to deeper waters. Generally, the current world record on fishing tackle for the White Bass is 6 pounds 13 ounces.
Anglers at Champion Creek Reservoir often can catch White Bass by trolling and rattling baits in the main lake near humps and drop-offs.
However, feel free to click and read more on our site about the White Bass.
The sunfish is a species of freshwater fish in the Centrarchid family, order Perciformes and genus Centrarchus. A ray-finned fish comprising of thirty-four different living species. Native to North America. Mostly valued for sport fishing and have been introduced in many waterways.
Generally, they have laterally compressed body shapes with 3 – 8 anal spines and two fused dorsal fins. However, there are two main groups, the Lepomis and the Micropterus. The Lepomis are defined by a deep rounder body shape, smaller mouth that obtain food by suction feeding.
While, the Micropterus have more streamlined body shapes, larger mouths and primarily consume prey by ram feeding methods. They prefer clear, warm, slow-moving water. Preferring to live in and around aquatic vegetation. Further, found in various water columns within a body of water.
Spawning occurs in spring and juveniles emerge in the late spring to early summer. Their diets consist primarily of insects, snails, and small invertebrates.
Champion Creek Reservoir anglers catch Sunfish on nightcrawlers, crickets, grasshoppers, waxworms, or mealworms. As well as small flies and lures on light spinning tackle.
However, feel free to click and read more on our site about the Sunfish.
Champion Creek Reservoir Alligator and Alligator Safety
Champion Creek Reservoir 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, Champion Creek Reservoir offers plenty of fishing opportunities, boating, camping, and picnicking. However, as per city ordinance no jet skis, jet boats or water skiing is permitted on the lake. With a surface area of 1577 acres and a maximum depth of twenty-eight feet, the fluctuation levels remain high, reaching up to ten feet per annum. While water clarity remains clear near the dam, it becomes very turbid upstream.
No aquatic vegetation exists, and natural structures include deep rocky drop-offs, ledges, rip rap, underwater humps, and a few old tank dams. Should you have any queries or need information feel free to contact Luminant Energy the Reservoir Controlling Authority. However, for all gate access please contact the City Hall in Colorado City on (325) 728-3463.