Even though a good portion of Texas is slowly pulling out of drought conditions, low water remains a concern in some areas. Unfortunately, one of those areas is around Wichita Falls and Lake Kemp.
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department officials announced that operations at the Dundee State Fish Hatchery near Wichita Falls will be suspended effective immediately due to a lack of sufficient water.
“Although many parts of the state recently received good rains, the area west of Wichita Falls around Lakes Kemp and Diversion did not,” said Todd Engeling, director of hatchery operations for TPWD. “Lake Kemp remains at an elevation of approximately 1,126 feet, only one foot above the level at which the hatchery is not authorized to use water from the lake. As a result, operations at the Dundee Fish Hatchery will be temporarily suspended until conditions in Lake Kemp improve.”
The Dundee hatchery is one of the state’s primary producers of striped bass and hybrid striped bass fingerlings for stocking into Texas public waters.
“Production of striped bass and hybrid striped bass fingerlings remains a high priority, because they support valuable and popular sport fisheries throughout the state,” said Engeling. “We will be adjusting normal production plans and shift efforts at other facilities away from largemouth bass to produce striped bass and hybrid striped bass fingerlings. Our goal is to balance the priorities and needs for both species in supporting fisheries management efforts with available hatchery space.”