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Lake Wood

September 2, 2021

Lake Wood locally known as Guadalupe Reservoir H-5

Lake Wood also locally known as H-5 Reservoir or Guadalupe Reservoir H-5. This reservoir located 4 miles west of Gonzales off US 90A and on FM 2091 in Gonzales County, Texas to provide hydroelectric power to the area.

Constructed on the Guadalupe River and impounded in 1931. While the lake has a surface area of 229 acres and a maximum depth of 17 feet, the water is clear to slightly stained with a fluctuation of between 3 – 5 feet per annum.

The Park consists of 35 acres with a store and recreational opportunities including camping, canoeing, and fishing. Meanwhile the lake has been stocked with several species of fish to improve the recreational use of the reservoir. The Reservoir Controlling Authority, Guadalupe-Blanco may be contacted on (830) 379-5822 for any information.

Predominant Fish Species

Largemouth Bass Habitat

Largemouth Bass

Sunfish

Sunfish

White Crappie

Crappie

Blue Catfish

Blue Catfish

Channel Catfish in muddy water

Channel Catfish

Flathead Catfish

Flathead Catfish

Structure and Native Vegetation

Aquatic vegetation exists in abundance but restricted to shallow areas and the edges of river channels. Some of these species include cattail, pondweed, American lotus, spatterdock, and rushes.

However, the introduction of exotic plant species including water lettuce, water hyacinth, and hydrilla have caused several problems.

Apart from the aquatic vegetation, Lake Wood contains overhanging trees, submerged brush, steep drop-offs, deep holes, and boat docks providing excellent habitat for game fish.

Lake Wood Boat Ramps, Camping, Docks and Parking

Public access is limited at Lake Wood to the Lake Wood Recreation Area. However, when operating on or around water, please wear your Personal Flotation Device for your own safety.

Lake Wood Recreation Area x x x x x x x

Lake Wood Recreation Area

Lake Wood Recreation Area

The Lake Wood Recreation Area located four miles west of Gonzales in Texas affords the public access to the waters. To reach the facility from Gonzales take FM 2091 from US 90A.

This ADA-Accessible facility offers the public restrooms with showers, improved campsites, picnic areas, live bait facilities, and an improved, lighted concrete ramp with courtesy dock.

While charging a fee, the facility operated by Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority contactable on (830) 672-2779, is open all year round.

Fish and Fishing

The most popular sport fish in Lake Wood are Largemouth Bass and White Crappie. While Largemouth Bass are abundant, frequent reports are made of large fish being boated, making for excellent fishing opportunities.

Sunfish are abundant and provide excellent fishing opportunities for both young and old. White Crappie fishing varies from year to year with respectable catches no being uncommon especially in cooler months. Therefore, affording an angler good fishing opportunity.

Catfish are present in Lake Wood with Blue and Channel Catfish being the most abundant, Flathead Catfish are present in moderate numbers. However, for Largemouth Bass and Catfish, concentrate on the lower portion of the reservoir and river channels where drop-offs and deep holes prevail.

Largemouth Bass

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.

Largemouth Bass Fishing on Lake Wood

Lake Wood Largemouth Bass anglers have most success during the spring, fall and winter using spinnerbaits, buzzbaits, rattletraps, crankbaits, unweighted soft plastic worms or jerkbaits. While early morning and late evening anglers have most success using topwater baits such as buzzbaits, Zara Spooks or Pop-R’s. However, if all else fails try flipping a jig, plastic worm, or tube bait in shaded cover areas.

However, feel free to click and read more on our site about the Largemouth 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. Abundant Sunfish in Lake Wood include Bluegill and Redear and may be taken on worms or crickets under a bobber.

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.

Live minnows near submerged brush in the cooler months of the year are a sure-fire way to catch White Crappie in Lake Wood. However, some small jigs in white, pink, or black and chartreuse also produce nice catches especially when dabbled near submerged brush or vegetation.

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

White Crappie

Blue Catfish

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.

Blue Catfish can be found throughout Lake Wood and can be found in deep water or in relatively shallow areas near flooded terrestrial vegetation. Anglers mostly have success using baits like cheesebait, cutbait, live minnows, Bluegills, or shad.

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

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 can be found throughout Lake Wood and can be found in deep water or in relatively shallow areas near flooded terrestrial vegetation. Anglers mostly have success using baits like cheesebait, cutbait, live minnows, Bluegills, or shad.

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

Channel Catfish in muddy water

Flathead Catfish

Flathead 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.

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.

Meanwhile, ideal bait would include river herring, shad, sunfish, bluegill, suckers, carp, goldfish, drum, and bullheads. Furthermore, the current world record is 123 pound 9 ounces.

Flathead Catfish can be found throughout Lake Wood and can be found in deep water or in relatively shallow areas near flooded terrestrial vegetation. Anglers mostly have success using baits like cheesebait, cutbait, live minnows, Bluegills, or shad.

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

Lake Wood Alligator and Alligator Safety

Lake Wood 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 Wood offers plenty of fishing opportunities, canoeing, boating, camping, and picnicking. Impounded in 1931 to provide the Gonzales area with hydroelectric power, the reservoir has a surface area of 229 acres and a maximum depth of 17 feet.

While the water appears clear to slightly stained with a fluctuation between 3 and 5 feet. Ample aquatic vegetation exists consisting of cattail, pondweed, American lotus, spatterdock, rushes, water lettuce, water hyacinth, and hydrilla.

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 the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority on (830) 379-5822.

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Lake Wood

by Paula Goble time to read: 9 min
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