Hell’s Gate Bass Club Meeting April 8th, 2013

Hell’s Gate Bass Club met April 8, 2013 at P. K. Industries with 13 members and 4 guests present.  Guests were Tom Lang and Wes Dutter from Texas Parks and Wildlife.  Robert Box from Brazos River Authority and Sarah  Howard from Lake Country Sun newspaper.


Eddie McCracken, acting president, called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. and introduced the guests.


Tom Lang, District Fisheries Supervisor, and Wes Dutter, T P & W biologists for district 2E (which includes Possum Kingdom Lake), and the project coordinators, presented a power point program on what TP & W intends to do at Possum Kingdom Lake.

  • Data from Electroshock count in 2010 and 2012 showed the size of largemouth bass up to 14”still not sufficient to promote good spawns; consequently they will keep the 16” minimum length limit on our lake.
  • This year they intend to stock the lake with almost 400,000 bass fingerlings after they introduce more fish habitat to sustain the fingerlings.
  • Older reservoirs loose habitat over time.  The life of a reservoir is 100 years and our lake is at 60 years.
  • The lack of structure, woody debris, and aquatic structure hampers fisheries and angling quality.  Habitat enhancement anywhere in ageing reservoirs is positive for the fishery. Cedar Creek arm of PK is the most promising area of the lake to start the enhancement of habitat.
  • The biologists have received a little over $11,953.00 from KAST to increase the habitat at PK.
  • Their approach would include planting and protection of native aquatic plants, construction and placement of artificial fish habitat, collection of cedar and placement into brush piles, restocking of Florida largemouth bass, and education, promotion, and outreach of these projects.  The rest of the fingerling stocking will be in other parts of the lake deemed the most productive for them.
  • The biologists have selected 31 sites in Cedar Creek to start founder colonies for American Pond Weed and 60 founder colony sites of water willow.
  • The timeline for the habitat restoration is August 31, 2013.  In 2014 after assessment of the initial work on habitat they will conduct genetics, and age and growth analysis, and expand the project to other areas of PK.

The guidelines for use of KAST funds for this project for Use of Civil Restitution Funds include:

1.      Restore, enhance, replace and/or acquiring habitats that will ensure the replacement, restoration, or recovery of the fish and wildlife resources injured;

2.      Construction/maintenance of artificial habitat enhancement;

3.      Education/public outreach/awareness training/promotion of natural resources and their protection;

4.      In-Kind services (volunteer efforts) to enhance protection and mitigation efforts.

Ultimately this project should increase fisheries quality in PK, angler success and usage in PK, PK state Park visitation, lessen fire danger in the area, aid in developing partnerships that could lead to additional habitat projects, provide TPWD positive publicity and increase public awareness and understanding of the importance of aquatic habitat.

·         Mr. Lang and Mr. Dutter would like Hell’s Gate Bass Club to become members of the Friends of Reservoirs.  The Friends of Reservoirs was founded to form a partnership with TPW to fight degradation of habitat in your reservoir. The Friends of Reservoirs was established in 2009 with its focus to improve fish habitat.  It is a 501 c3 and all donations are tax deductible.  All the money that we raise at PK  Lake will stay at PK Lake and we can get matching funds from grants that will stay at the lake.

·         The web page for Friends of Reservoirs is www.waterhabitatlife.org.  and TPW Facebook site is Texas Parks and Wildlife Wichita Falls.  These sites have a lot of information.


There was an informal discussion with Tom Lang and Wes Dutter and Robert Box.  Robert Box said we could use the old barge yard as a site to put together the habitat and load to boats to be carried to locations.  TPW intends to get started immediately on the project and they need all our help.  They have asked that we keep record of man hours and material put into the project.


Eddie called the meeting back to order and Mike Hallford moved we start with the Friends of Reservoirs.  Bruce seconded the motion.  Voted and all carried.  TPW gave us all the paperwork we needed to get filled out and get started.


Eddie reminded the members that the 6 pound pot was won at the March tournament and it is now at 7 pounds.


Nominations for the May tournament lake was P.K. Lake (6 votes) and Hubbard (4 votes) The May tournament will be at P. K. Lake, hours from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m.  May is also the tournament for Champion of Champion tournament and the top – 10 tournament.


Steve McCain moved we adjourn at 8:40 p.m.  Bruce Ray seconded the motion. Voted and passed.


The raffle was held, 117.00 was earned.  Mike Hallford won the raffle and Barry Smith won the raffle for a club hat.


Members present:

  • Robert Baldwin
  • Bud Boenisch                      
  • Mike Hallford
  • Ric Hayward                       
  • Bobby Koncak
  • Al Maag
  • Rich Martin                        
  • Steve McCain
  • Eddie McCracken
  • John McCracken
  • Bruce Ray                           
  • Barry Smith
  • Don Welch

Bruce Ray