SAN ANTONIO – Nearly 20,000 fish were stocked in two bodies of water in San Antonio Wednesday as part of an ongoing proactive ecological restoration by the San Antonio River Authority (SARA).
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Inland Fisheries Division stocked approximately 15,500 adult Bluegill in the Mission Reach section of the San Antonio River Walk and 4,000 Bluegill in Elmendorf Lake, according to Shaun Donovan, the environmental sciences department manager for SARA.
“The stocking of this species provides increased angling opportunities by increasing the number of fish in these urban water bodies and supporting the growth of trophy species like Largemouth Bass and catfish,” Donovan said in a statement sent to KSAT.
Mitchell Nisbet of the Inland Fisheries Division said the decision to stock the fish came from the result of a survey that showed the number of Bluegill in the area “was lower than what TPWD and SARA were comfortable with.”
“The stocking was done to both provide opportunities for anglers to catch Bluegill, an important recreational species, and to also provide forage opportunity for Guadalupe Bass, Largemouth Bass and other fish species,” Nisbet said.
More than 100,000 fish, including Guadalupe Bass, Channel catfish and Bluegill, have been stocked along the Mission Reach since the completion of an ecosystem restoration project in 2013, according to Donovan. He also noted that “Mission Reach has become a hotspot for birding; a three-year avian study resulted in the observation of more than 200 species.”
Donovan pointed out that instream ecosystems are slower to recover despite the success with the reintroduction of plants and birds.
“River Authority staff will continue with additional fish stockings and reintroductions and are exploring a reintroduction of freshwater mussels that could begin as early as 2021,” Donovan said.
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Earlier today, River Authority staff helped @texasparkswildlife stock 15,500 adult Bluegill as part of proactive ecological restoration efforts along the #MissionReach. The bluegill are good feeder fish for native species & a popular fish for anglers! #protectingourriver #NationalRiversMonth #BeRiverProud