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Lake Bryan

October 21, 2021

Lake Bryan Robertson County

Lake Bryan, a lake located on the northwest border of Brazos County in Texas. While bordered by Bryan County on the southeast and by Robertson County on the northwest. The lake has a surface area of 829 acres and a maximum depth of 45 feet.

Impounded in 1974 to begin catching water to ultimately serve as a cooling reservoir for the natural gas-powered steam unit at Roland C. Dansby Power Plant. While the lake has low fluctuation levels the water remains moderately stained.

The Reservoir Controlling Authority remains Bryan Texas Utilities who may be contacted on (979) 361-0861 for any information. Currently this lake serves as a recreational facility with the predominant fish species including.

Predominant Fish Species

Structure and Native Vegetation

Very little natural native emergent vegetation exists in Lake Bryan. While the most common fish cover consists of rip rap rock around both sides of the extensive dam structure. However, be advised that five Mossback fish habitat structures have been installed in the lake.

Lake Bryan Boat Ramps, Camping, Docks and Parking

Lake Bryan offers limited access to the public. However, the Recreational Area provides to the public’s need. Meanwhile, when operating on or around water, please wear your Personal Flotation Device for your own safety.

Recreation Area

Lake Bryan

For the Recreation Area, located at 8200 Sandy Point Road (FM 1687), from FM 2818 take FM 1687 west. Continue for four miles to the park entrance located on the right.

This facility which offers the public ADA-Accessible restrooms, parking, picnic areas, camping and RV sites. Also offers a two-lane ramp accommodating most boat types and a courtesy dock.

However, be advised that a daily use fee gets charged if no annual permit exists. Furthermore, from December to February the facility operates between 9am and 8pm and from March to November from 9am to 10pm.

Operated by Bryan Texas Utilities who may be contacted at (979) 361-0861. Please make reservations online or contact (979) 775-7800.

Fish and Fishing

Lake Bryan has good fishing opportunities for Channel Catfish and Sunfish. While Largemouth Bass and Crappie fishing opportunities are fair due to lack of suitable habitat limiting spawning and recruitment success.

Channel Catfish

The Channel Catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) remains 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 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, omnivores that 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 may even 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 are abundant in Lake Bryan and are easily caught on natural baits from either the bank or a boat. Generally, most success is had using smelly baits fished near the bottom. However, most of the Channel Catfish caught are rather small there are ample fish ranging between 12 and 14 inches.

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

Channel Catfish in muddy water

Sunfish

Sunfish

The sunfish, 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, the two main groups include, 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 abound in Lake Bryan and can be caught around rip rap using live worms and crickets under a float. While fly rod anglers have huge success popping bugs and insect imitation flies on the surface.

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

Largemouth Bass

The Largemouth Bass (Micropterus salmoides) remains 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 twenty-five 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 world record largemouth bass weighed in at 22 pounds four ounces.

Lake Bryan offers the angler fair Largemouth Bass fishing opportunities especially around rip rap shorelines and at the end of discharge canal during early spring and fall. Some good baits include imitating crank baits and soft plastics.

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

Largemouth Bass Habitat

Crappie

White 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. Crappie angling is fair in early spring in shallow water and from the floating courtesy dock using live minnows and jigs.

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

Lake Bryan Alligator and Alligator Safety

Lake Bryan 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, harassing, or attempting to move an alligator is prohibited by state law.

Conclusion

In short, Lake Bryan offers plenty of fishing opportunities, swimming, jet skiing, boating, camping, and picnicking. Has a low fluctuation. While the water remains moderately stained. While ultimately serving as a cooling reservoir for the natural gas-powered steam unit at Roland C. Dansby Power Plant. Meanwhile Lake Bryan has very low natural native aquatic vegetation, and cover consists mostly of rip rap rock around both sides of the lake.

While there is an influx of zebra mussels, and the reservoir is contaminated. Therefore, clean, drain and dry your boat, trailer, live well, buckets and gears before going to another body of water. Moreover, drain all water and do not transport zebra mussels, as this is illegal. Please see our article related to Zebra Mussels as Invasive Species. Should you have any queries or need information feel free to contact Bryan Texas Utilities the Reservoir Controlling Authority on (979) 361-0861.

 

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