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Lake Athens Freshwater to Henderson County

Lake Athens

Lake Athens is a freshwater reservoir located 5 miles east of Athens, Texas. South of FM 317 in Henderson County. While, having a surface area of 1799 acres and a maximum depth of 50 feet. Constructed in 1962 to supply Athens and the greater Henderson County with water.

Further, has a fluctuation of 2 feet and moderately clear water clarity. Furthermore, controlled by Athens Municipal Water Authority who may be contacted on (903) 804-8501 for any information. While, there are many different types of fish in the reservoir, the predominant fish species include.

Structure and Native Vegetation

Lake Athens has ample emergent aquatic vegetation especially in the upper end of the reservoir above the 2495 bridge with shoreline beds of coontail, pondweed, lilies and alligator weed. While, there is still some inundate timber standing at mid-lake with riprap along the face and submerged structures surround Goat Island.

Lake Athens Boat Ramp, Dock and Parking Facility

There is one marina operate by a private concession located on Lake Athens. From Texas 31 in Athens take FM 2495 across from Super Wal-Mart. Continue east for a mile and the Lake Athens Marina ramp, restaurant and store are on the right at the far end of the bridge.

While, the facility offers restrooms, parking for 30 vehicles, live bait and boat gas facilities they also offer a free courtesy dock with a two-lane paved ramp. Further, the marina is open all year. Moreover, contact (903) 677-7490 for information and reservations. However, when operating boats and water craft there is a real danger of drowning. Therefore, wear your Personal Flotation Device and save a life.

Fish and Fishing

Largemouth Bass fishing is excellent producing 3 – 8-pound specimens. While, White Bass fishing is good with specimens 16-18 inches no being unusual. Sunfish fishing is good with Redear Sunfish being the most common. Generally, fly fishing anglers enjoy catches of sunfish up to 10 inches.

However, there are not many crappie present in Lake Athens, but the sizes are generally good. Therefore, making for fair Crappie fishing. Meanwhile, some catfish do occur in the reservoir, however, their numbers are extremely low.

Largemouth Bass

Largemouth Bass Habitat

The Largemouth Bass (Micropterus salmoides) is a carnivorous species of freshwater game fish. Has an olive green to greenish grey body with dark, 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, when the water temperature first holds steady above 60°F. Sought after by anglers for their exciting fight Often caught on Spinnerbait, plastic worms, jigs, crankbaits and live baits.

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. Largemouth Bass fishing in Lake Athens is best in spring using typical east Texas patterns.

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

White Bass

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 when water temperatures are 54°F to 68°F. 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. White Bass in Lake Athens are most active from February through May.

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

White Bass

Sunfish

Sunfish

The sunfish is a species of freshwater fish in the Centrarchid family, order Perciformes and genus Centrarchus. A ray-finned fish comprising of 34 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 2 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. Generally, spawning occurs in spring and juveniles emerge in the late spring to early summer.

Their diets consist primarily of insects, snails and small invertebrates. Therefore, they can be caught on nightcrawlers, crickets, grasshoppers, waxworms or mealworms. As well as, small flies and lures on light spinning tackle.

Sunfish activity in Lake Athens increases as water temperatures warm and they are often found around stands of native vegetation. The redear sunfish is the most abundant in Lake Athens. A very popular fish among fly fishing anglers on float tubes or floating platforms.

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

Crappie

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 predominately 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 5 pounds and for white crappie is 5.2 pounds. Activity of the Crappie in Lake Athens runs from February to May.

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

White Crappie

Lake Athens Alligator and Alligator Safety

Lake Athens 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, Lake Athens offers plenty of fishing opportunities, swimming, jet skiing, boating and picnicking. Has a moderate fluctuation and a moderately clear water clarity. While, constructed in 1962 to supply Henderson County with water. Have an ample emergent aquatic vegetation consisting of coontail, pondweed, lilies and alligator weed. Should you have any queries or need information feel free to contact the Athens Municipal Water Authority on (903) 804-8501.

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