Aaron Mercer Reservoir update

troutdude

troutdude

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Was it a good fish day then? Sun and water look fine!
My memory ain't what it used to be. But that was either a day that I caught a bunch of small bass. Or it was a day that I landed a few nice cutties. Little Cleo spoons did the trick on the bass. The trout liked my Thomas Buoyants.
 
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What area did you catch the trout, right by the dam or up further?
 
troutdude

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What area did you catch the trout, right by the dam or up further?
I think that I've fished by the dam twice. But didn't catch squat. Tried floating various kinds of bait OFF of the bottom; slip bobber and various baits at various depths; and tried light spinners and spoons to work the surface as well as heavier ones to sink deeper. Nada.

The cutties that I caught were in front of the boat launch/ramp. In fact that's the only place that I've nailed any trout. The bass were up the road from the ramp; about 100 yards or so.
 
brandon4455

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I have caught trout on every part of the reservoir. I won’t give away exact keys on where and when and what time because that comes with time on the water and is part of the fun, but I will say the fish are present on every part of the lake and can be caught on every part of the lake. Some more than others depending on what time of year and the water levels/temperature. These are highly active and diverse fish (2 different strains of cutthroats) that have different habits and spawn times
 
troutdude

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But you were mostly in a float tube, right @brandon4455? Because that lake has very LIMITED bank access. At least to those of us that have legs older than 15 years--and can't work through heavy vegetation. (I remember watching you really work the brush all of those years ago...LOL)
 
brandon4455

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But you were mostly in a float tube, right @brandon4455? Because that lake has very LIMITED bank access. At least to those of us that have legs older than 15 years--and can't work through heavy vegetation. (I remember watching you really work the brush all of those years ago...LOL)
The last 5 or 6 years I fished there, I was mostly in a float tube. However, I am speaking in general. Before I started fly fishing I mostly fished lures or bobber fished bait/jigs from the bank. The dam, boat ramp, upper end by the log boom, and then the 3 or 4 somewhat steep spots on the lower end of the reservoir I have caught fish from, but those like you say are not easy to access. So basically anywhere that is physically possible to cast from you can catch fish.

It just depends on the time of year because they congregate in certain areas before spawn, when the water blows out and gets murky, and when the water is really low. Once you figure out the cycles and habits of these fish they are easier to catch consistently.

In the month of November when the lake is usually open to motor vehicles, you could probably guess where most of the big fish are based upon the life history of the two strains of cutthroats we spoke about in that PM, and where you’d always see me fishing from my tube. Which unfortunately is hard to fish from the bank unless the water is up from rains, much like it will be for the rest of the month ;)
 
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BeyondBlessed

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I think that I've fished by the dam twice. But didn't catch squat. Tried floating various kinds of bait OFF of the bottom; slip bobber and various baits at various depths; and tried light spinners and spoons to work the surface as well as heavier ones to sink deeper. Nada.

The cutties that I caught were in front of the boat launch/ramp. In fact that's the only place that I've nailed any trout. The bass were up the road from the ramp; about 100 yards or so.
that's interesting, because last Sat and today I got 2 trout fishing near the dam, all on spinners. I also caught several coho using spinners (all released, but a great fight on ultra-light)
 
troutdude

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that's interesting, because last Sat and today I got 2 trout fishing near the dam, all on spinners. I also caught several coho using spinners (all released, but a great fight on ultra-light)
I need to get up there, before the month is over!
 
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Caught my first bass ever at mercer on Saturday. Wasn't even trying for bass but hey..
mercer bass.jpg
 
brandon4455

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I hope that fish made it home for dinner! Bass from Mercer are delicious. Maybe I’m partial to the taste because I don’t like them there with native trout and that makes it even better haha
 
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I didn't eat it. Conflicting reports from friends like "gross I can't believe you took that thing home" to "don't cook that in the house, itll stink the whole place up" :unsure: lead me to bury it in the garden lol.
 
DOKF

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I'd check your friends ... Cold water bass is very tasty.
 
brandon4455

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I didn't eat it. Conflicting reports from friends like "gross I can't believe you took that thing home" to "don't cook that in the house, itll stink the whole place up" :unsure: lead me to bury it in the garden lol.
Well, at least it was used for something. One year I caught many juveniles and I twisted their heads off and took them home for fertilizer because they were too small to eat.

bass are actually good table fare and from a lake with water as clean as that, all the better. When I was a kid my dad use to make patties out of them and make bass burgers. Delicious!
 
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Talon

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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!
BeyondBlessed,
I know this is an old message, but thought I might chime in. The walk or bike ride is about 6 miles to the lake and I've done both. Parking right off of Martin Rd, then walk about a mile, past some home to your left, then up to the gravel pit, the gate is just beyond. There are trees next to the gravel road showing the mile markers every half mile. Several hours to walk or about 45 minute bike ride, depending on your speed and ability of course. This is an excellent adventure if you have most of the day ahead of you.
Fishing is great if you are spinning a few Rooster tails or Panther Martins. I've never caught anything on bottom lines or bobbers. But, that was only in November when you can drive in. What is really nice is you can see fish in the water from the edge most of the time.
 
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This old dinosaur couldn't resist my spinner Sunday evening! haha
mercer dinosaur.jpg

On the last day of the last open weekend no less. That was a pretty neat way to end a month of fishing weekends at this beautiful reservoir. can't wait till next year!
 
brandon4455

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Hate to beat a dead horse here.. but try to treat those fish with more care if you happen to catch one while trout fishing and don’t put them on the bank or dirt please.more so if you catch juveniles over a spawner because those fish still have to reach the ocean and come back .. and ontop of that coho salmon have a very high mortality rate compared to other fish. This has been an unresolved issue since the trap and haul program started in 2009, Polk soil and water did not foresee the juveniles spending much time in the reservoir like they do, and they did not figure the adults would sometimes drop down and hold for a bit before going up tributaries and are therefore caught commonly every year .
respect for a place and fish that special if you see it as such. 🤘🏻

I would also like to let you all know I will not be presenting this proposal to the city council for a while, at least Until there are actual in person town hall meetings, because there are currently only virtual meetings due to covid. I feel like this would have a much better chance on a personal level with supporters showing up to speak and give their input.

currently the main emphasis of the draft plan is to allow boats on weekends only, so there can be someone that is either paid, or volunteers to do an invasive species check and permit check (this is one of the main concerns for the city) boaters would be required to purchase a boating permit from the city that would bring a revenue stream and could possibly fund the boat inspection station, and maybe improvements/ habitat restoration.

if any of you have input toward this draft because it is not final please let me know what you think. I’d love to get some other perspective on this because it isn’t just about me but everyone who enjoys this great resource.
 
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Eazy-E

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getting that gate open id think would be first over anything to do with boats. with so many bicyclists up there a fee station could generate money pretty quick. there had to be 25 rigs parked up there in that lot with many more lined up along the road. $3 access/parking fee doesn't seem out of line to me. if that gets them to open the gate we can complain about the price later ;)
 
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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
Just stumbled across this lake playing around on maps(strange hobby I know), I have grown up in the beuna vista area, and love finding new fishing places, I’d love to check this place out and help in any way I can getting it opened up a bit more!
 
brandon4455

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Just stumbled across this lake playing around on maps(strange hobby I know), I have grown up in the beuna vista area, and love finding new fishing places, I’d love to check this place out and help in any way I can getting it opened up a bit more!
Hi cedar, my mom lived in the Buena vista area as a child and I spent a lot of time fishing farm ponds out there when I was a kid. I lived in independence until age 10 I moved to Dallas. The old yellow house that was abandoned for years was my moms childhood home. Not sure if it’s still there or not.
Thank you for being willing to help! Just make sure to check in here for updates until the time comes I can have people show up to either sign a piece of paper or electronically sign, and have you all possible come voice your support at a town hall meeting, when covid becomes less of a concern.
 

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