Lake Conroe has seen its share of ups and downs since it was impounded in the 1970s. Initially the bass fishing was outstanding, which helped to start careers in the class of the Rick Clunn’s and the Zell Rowland’s. Hydrilla management in the early 1980s created a downtrend in the bass fishery, but restocking of native aquatic plants helped the fishery rebound. More hydrilla in 2007 forced more management to be implemented in the lake, with more replanting of “natives” that soon followed. To help protect the fishery, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) instituted a 16-inch minimum length for largemouth bass in the lake. This protection, along with the habitat reintroductions, has helped to bring back the quality of bass fishing on Lake Conroe, which has evolved from a numbers lake, to a big bass lake. It is not rare for local bass tournaments to see three-fish limits weighing more than 20 pounds throughout the year.
Lake Conroe produced three “Share Lunker” bass over 13 pounds between 2005-2007, and just saw another 13-plus donated to the program on March 9 of this year. The reputation of Lake Conroe has drawn the Toyota Texas Bass Classic, the B.A.S.S. Nation National Championship, the Bassmaster Classic and numerous other professional circuits to its waters.
There is currently a proposal from the TPWD to reduce the minimum size regulation for largemouth bass on Lake Conroe from 16 inches down to 14 inches. Tournament anglers are fearful that this change could harm Conroe’s newly earned “big bass” reputation. “We have been through many wars to protect the bass fishery on Lake Conroe” said Ron Gunter with the Seven Coves Bass Club. “We lost quite a bit of the habitat in the lake, which gave us concern on the recruitment end, but we’ve learned to accept it. Now that we are seeing big fish come out of the lake, we are very fearful that reducing the minimum size for largemouth down to 14 inches could have yet one more negative impact to the overall fishery”
The Seven Coves Bass Club has been involved with the plantings of native aquatics since 2007, and the club has agreed to take a stance to try to keep the current 16 inch minimum length limit for largemouth in place.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is currently taking everyone’s thoughts on the proposed changes to the Conroe regulation. The deadline for submittals is March 19, 2019. The results will be presented to their board of Commissioners on March 20, 2019. Submittals will be accepted nationwide. Anyone wishing to include their opinions on this proposed change can submit them by the following ways: