Testing New Water

Testing New Water

Bois d’Arc opens quietly; anglers reeling in a few whoppers from vibrant new fishery.

Story and photography by Matt Williams

For those who may not have heard, Texas’ newest recreational fishing lake — Bois d’Arc Lake — quietly opened for business on the morning of April 17, 2024.

Not surprisingly, some anglers who learned about the party in advance enjoyed some pretty good fishing. The thousands who didn’t know about the opening had no time to plan and missed out on the rare opportunity to be among the first to visit a brand new lake on opening day.

New lakes are special, and they don’t come along very often. The water is extremely fertile, and the fish are vastly uneducated. That’s the way it usually goes, anyway.

Most Texas anglers had no idea the gates to the three boat ramps around Bois d’Arc were about to swing open when they did. The governing authority over the reservoir — the North Texas Municipal Water District — planned it that way.

The NTMWD announced the opening in a short press release that went out the same morning the gates were unlocked. The release was placed on the Bois d’Arc website (boisdarclake.org) and distributed to local media.

Like many, I learned about the lake’s opening that morning when photos of anglers fishing started popping up on social media. This may be the first Texas public reservoir to open at a time that was not disclosed to the masses until the last minute.

Bois d’Arc Lake operations manager Jennifer Montgomery says the  NTMWD chose to keep the day and time of the opening quiet due to safety concerns, and to reduce the potential of overcrowding at boat ramps where parking is limited.

She added the agency operated closely with the Fannin County Sherriff’s office and TPWD game wardens when coordinating the timing of the opening.

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