Aaron Mercer Reservoir update

brandon4455

brandon4455

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Hi all, it’s been a long time since I’ve posted much on my hometown body of water that I’ve always been so passionate about

As noted several years ago, the reservoir became bank fishing only, as people refused to obey the no motor rules, and in addition, the city of Dallas purchased the land surrounding the reservoir and became more strict with it. The loophole of float tubes and such is also now null and void.

it has been a few years since I have been involved (work, hyper 2 year old,etc)

but I am in the middle of trying to plan a proposal to the city council, to maybe get some of our local recreation back, and even stimulate the local economy.

myself and a collective group of folks who live in Dallas are planning to submit a plan to allow boats once again at Aaron Mercer, and add more fishing time than just
.

In short, the gate would be open select times of year (more than just November like in years past) and a permit purchased from the city would be required to access the reservoir and use a boat.

this permit would fund a boat check station during open fishing times, to give the city piece of mind on its no motor and invasive specie concerns. And also bring funds for further restoration and enhancement in the general area to improve the fishery and maybe even access.



I’m hoping those of you on here who fish there and have enjoyed it in the past, will either call,email, or sign your support when a final draft is complete and we submit it. That information will be available in this thread as soon as I get it, but there is no timeframe for this especially with covid-19 going on.

in addition, if anyone has anything to say about this whether they support it or not, I will be happy to listen and answer any questions.

I hope to hear back from many of you and what you think about this planned proposal to revive one of our few coast range wild trout reservoirs

-brandon
 
troutdude

troutdude

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Great to hear from you Brandon! I still vividly recall fishing with you, when I think you were just 15, and your pops at Mercer. That place truly is special.

I'm looking forward to seeing your conservation draft. Thank you for caring and for working on such a project. Especially with your hands so full with other responsibilities.

All the best, TD
 
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brandon4455

brandon4455

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hi jay, it’s good to hear from you. Time flies doesn’t it? That was 10-11 years ago I believe, which is hard to believe. This forum and all of you anglers taught me a lot, and helped me come out of my shell through fishing and friends, being someone who had suffered from social anxiety and awkwardness as a child and teenager.
I remember it like it was yesterday. I’ve always been thankful for your support and enthusiasm when it comes to this body of water, and I am glad you enjoy it like I do.

I will gladly put updates up when available. I hope to see more folks chime in on this. There are a few issues such as the low access and extremely unmaintained boat launch that need addressing before much else can be done on a draft. Financially and property wise once those things are figured out, I think there’s a good shot to get the ball rolling with the city on this. There isn’t too much room for improved access, but there can be improvements made to the access that is already there such as the boat launch area and the upper parking by the log boom being extended and flattened out and debris removed. Some volunteer work will likely need to be done which I will reach out for as well at some point if we are granted the request.

I know someone who fished up there this spring and caught several well conditioned wild cutties, so the fish are still there just waiting to be caught!
 
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brandon4455

brandon4455

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Good luck with the city :rolleyes:
when can I sign?
Right?? Nothing is a guarantee, but I do have a lot of inside input. I’m hoping The guy who use to coordinate the fish trap and spawn survey programs I volunteered for through Polk soil and water is going to help with this as well. He has always been our main connection to the city when it comes to these things.

with all points considered it could go either way. But I believe with a well written and thought out plan that is legitimate and gets plenty of local sportsman support has a very good chance. I will have something concrete to both read and sign sometime near the holidays, it definitely won’t happen for this November access season. But it might not just be for November if this goes well. I’ll have another update at the end of this month.

Your support is much appreciated!
 
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BeyondBlessed

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Brandon, let me know if I can help. I would be happy to volunteer and enable us to increase the access.

How far is it to walk in now during November? I can't seem to get a definitive answer when i call the city.

Thanks!
 
brandon4455

brandon4455

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Brandon, let me know if I can help. I would be happy to volunteer and enable us to increase the access.

How far is it to walk in now during November? I can't seem to get a definitive answer when i call the city.

Thanks!
I appreciate your support and will let you know here in the next 3-4 weeks along with others who have asked, the draft is almost complete, I’m just going to have it read for approval by someone I use to work with who knows this sort of stuff better than me.

Unless something has changed, the road should be open to motor vehicles all of the way up at the moment like always. It is approximately 7.2 miles from where the gravel begins to Aaron Mercer dam.
 
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BeyondBlessed

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so we don't have to hike in, we can drive to the lake itself?
 
brandon4455

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so we don't have to hike in, we can drive to the lake itself?
It’s always been that way. every November access is allowed for anglers and hunters all of the way up, the rest of the year it is non motorized vehicles only. As far as I am aware no changes have been made to that. We just can’t use floatation devices and have limited access/parking.
 
troutdude

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It’s always been that way. every November access is allowed for anglers and hunters all of the way up, the rest of the year it is non motorized vehicles only. As far as I am aware no changes have been made to that. We just can’t use floatation devices and have limited access/parking.
Some boob started a forest fire up there many years ago. So that's why it's OFF limits, to motor vehicles, except for the month of November (from the 1st to the 30th). The property owners are VERY adamant about NON MOTORIZED vehicles for the other 11 months of the year.

And NO FIRES are allowed; of any kind! No cook stoves or anything else with an open flame. NO fires PERIOD.
 
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I drove up to the reservoir Saturday afternoon after salmon fishing in the morning. Promptly got pulled over and checked by the local tobacco spitting cowboy LEO on patrol :cool: He was cool though, said watch out for cohos in the res and that this year the gate will be closed during the week and only open on the weekends..

mercer.jpg


no boats allowed

beautiful area. will be back next weekend with a line in the water
 
brandon4455

brandon4455

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Thanks for the update. Weekends only has happened in the past but they don’t do a good job of posting that so people are aware. Mainly when there is a lot of active logging so there is no Chance of Of a crash.
Good he said to watch out for cohos. It wasn’t 5 years ago that nobody knew or just didn’t care about those fish
 
troutdude

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Thanks for the report @Easy-E.

It is indeed a very beautiful lake! I love it up there. I heard about it for decades; and finally went about 11 years ago. Once with @brandon4455 and his pops. :)

Yes the Coho are protected; and must be safely released back into the water. And please keep all of the smallmouth bass that you catch. They were introduced illegally and will munch on the Native Cutties and Coho fry!
 
troutdude

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P.S. I truly LIKE the fact that OFFicer's are on duty up there. Several years ago I was makin' a bee line up the road. With the hopes of getting to the lake in time, to dunk my lines at first legal light (an hour before sunrise). But I was stopped by a friendly State Trooper. Who then sent me back to the gate and wait until that point in time. So my lines weren't in the water until 45 minutes later. I was a tad perturbed. But I understood what they were doing.
 
brandon4455

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I believe there are actually largemouth bass in the reservoir, but either way, keep every one you catch for sure. Their population fluctuates yearly it seems but isn’t as bad as it was about 10-15 years ago. There are some really big trout eating bass in that reservoir.
 
troutdude

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What a coincidence. This pic just popped up in my Facebook feed. I was there 7 years ago today.

1605021017366.png
 
DOKF

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Was it a good fish day then? Sun and water look fine!
 
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