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Location: West Fork of San Jacinto River in Montgomery and Walker Counties
Surface area: 20,118 acres
Conservation Pool Elevation: 201 ft. msl
Fluctuation: 1-3 feet
Normal Clarity: Slight to moderate algal staining
Reservoir Controlling Authority
San Jacinto River Authority
Conroe Project Office
PO Box 329
Conroe, Texas 77305
Largemouth bass are the most sought after species in Lake Conroe. Catch rates are very good and the opportunity to catch a trophy bass is very high at Lake Conroe. In 1998, the biggest largemouth bass ever collected by TPWD in an electrofishing survey was taken from beneath a boat dock and weighed in at 14.1 pounds. The standing lake record caught in 2009 by angler Ricky Bearden weighed 15.93 pounds.
Channel catfish are by far the most abundant sportfish in the lake, offering most any angler a good opportunity for good catches. Bluegill on Lake Conroe grow to enormous sizes. We have interviewed anglers with 12-inch bluegills in their creels. Crappie are also very popular and offer good opportunity for anglers seeking table fare. Black and white crappie made a comeback in the lake with the efforts of the Lake Conroe Restocking Association’s spring stockings of advance juvenile crappie. Good catches of crappie can be had in early spring and in the fall. The introduction of hybrid striped bass in 1995 has added another dimension to the sport fishery, offering open-water opportunities for anglers who enjoy going after these hefty fighters. Lake Conroe is dominated by open water in the lower two-thirds of the reservoir, with some standing timber still present along the river channel in the upper reaches. Most of the standing timber is slightly submerged when the lake is at conservation pool, making navigation hazardous in these areas. Bulkheads with boat docks dominate the shore in the lower reservoir; the upper reservoir (the portion lying within the Sam Houston National Forest) is primarily featureless shoreline. Substrates range from sandy to silty. A few aquatic plants dot shoreline areas, primarily in areas being planted by TPWD and the US Army Corps of Engineers as part of an ongoing Aquatic Habitat Enhancement Initiative. The lake has had past heavy infestations of hydrilla, but vegetation is not currently present in quantities that would be considered a nuisance. The only fish-attracting structures in the reservoir are rip rap along bridge approaches and the dam, as well as submersed Christmas tree reefs.
Largemouth bass anglers can expect to take bass in shallow water, particularly around marinas and boat docks, in the early spring and mid- to late fall. In other seasons, bass are taken around deeper cover. Anglers are most successful with a variety of shad imitation lures or soft plastic baits. Hybrid striped bass are growing in popularity among Lake Conroe anglers and can be caught most any time of year. Most are taken by anglers trolling in open water areas or vertically jigging spoons or live shad. They are occasionally found running up the river channel during the early spring spawning run or foraging beneath schools of white bass in summer.
As part of an ongoing Habitat Enhancement Program for Lake Conroe, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the San Jacinto River Authority have partnered with other local entities to place over 500 fish attractors in Lake Conroe.
Partners in the program include the US Army Corp of Engineers, Texas Black Bass Unlimited, Seven Coves Bass Club, and the Bass Anglers Sportsman’s Society.