One of Texas’ best little lakes for whopper bass recently got a whole lot smaller.
Lake Dunlap, a 410-acre reservoir built on the Guadalupe River just south of New Braunfels, drained on May 14 as the result of a spillway gate failure, according to reports from the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority.
The GBRA said water rushed downstream at about 11,000 cubic feet-per second. There were no evacuations orders issued.
Built in 1928, Dunlap is one in a series of very old reservoirs that form the Guadalupe chain of lakes, including McQueeney, Placid, Meadow, Gonzales and Wood.
Officials say the gate failure at Dunlap appears to be similar the one that drained 229-acre lake Wood near Gonzales three years ago. Impounded in 1931, Lake Wood remains empty today except for the Guadalupe River channel, according to TPWD fisheries biologist Greg Binion of Mathis.
The GBRA says it could cost millions of dollars to perform updates to the six dams along the river system.
Binion said the recent draining of Dunlap is disheartening on several fronts.
“It’s pretty sad, really disappointing,” he said. “Dunlap was a gem of a bass lake. It produced some really good quality and trophy bass over the years.
“It was also good for catfish and several other species. I suspect some of the fish may have dropped off into river channel but most of them probably got flushed downstream to Lake McQueeney.”
Dunlap produced a 13.34-pound Toyota Legacy Lunker in 2012 and a lake record 14.94-pounder in May 1997.
TPWD inland fisheries director Craig Bonds says anecdotal reports from anglers suggest that catches of bass upwards of 8 pounds were fairly common at Dunlap. The lake produced a 9.76-pounder in January 2018 that was the first Toyota ShareLunker under the program’s expanded format.
Bonds added that TPWD’s Corpus Christi District fisheries management team was in the process of conducting a six-month angler creel survey when the dam broke and drained the lake.
Several fish weighing 7-plus pounds were documented as caught during that survey,” Bonds said.
Prince takes home $5,000 Bass Pro shopping spree
Lindale bass angler Barry Prince can shop until he drops.
Prince was recently selected as the winner of a $5,000 Bass Pro Shops shopping spree by the Toyota ShareLunker program. He was among four anglers who earned eligibility for the prize by turning over Legacy Lunkers to the state-run spawning and genetics research program.
Legacy Lunkers must weigh 13 pounds or more and be caught during the program’s designated spawning phase, Jan. 1 -March 31. Prince caught his 13.73-pound Legacy Lunker on March 8 at Lake Fork.
The random drawing for the shopping spree was held during the Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest held at Fork earlier this month.
ShareLunker will give away a second shopping spree at the end of the 2019 ShareLunker program season. Anyone who enters a fish in other ShareLunker categories between now and Dec. 31, 2019, is eligible.
Categories for the competition include:
Lunker Class: For bass that measure at least 24 inches or weigh 8 to 9.99 pounds.
Lunker Elite Class: For bass weighing 10 to 12.99 pounds.
Lunker Legend: For bass weighing 13 or more pounds caught outside the Jan. 1- March 31 spawning window.
For more information on the event, go to texassharelunker.com.