It is highly doubtful that there were much if any fish still alive early this spring before Ballinger Lake started catching run-off from the significant rain storms that have passed through this year. Winters-Elm Creek Reservoir fared slightly better and had enough water to be on the delivery schedule for some sport fish this year.
Not since 2013 had Ballinger received any deliveries of fish due to the diminishing water available. Then Ballinger received 54,503 Florida Largemouth Bass,15,720 bluegill and another 50 thousand channel catfish. Even though Ballinger was not on the delivery schedule they received a shipment of extra channel cat after lake levels were on the rise in the early part of the year.
Winters was able to make it onto the delivery schedule this year and received a shipment of 44,658 Florida Largemouth Bass to go along with an unscheduled delivery of channel cat as well.
As far as local lakes go none are as concerning as OH Ivie Reservoir. Currently 8 feet higher than it was at this time last year Lake Ivie has a long way to go. Area lakes filling up will only continue to help with the water supply issues. Earlier this year OH Ivie received a delivery of 193,113 Florida Largemouth Bass which brought the total delivered since 2010 up to 843,797. If you want to fish for bass in the San Angelo and Abilene areas you could do a lot worse than fishing at Ivie.
Stocking requests have not yet been planned out, but due to the years missed at the New Ballinger Lake it will be a priority stocking for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Currently being considered for stocking are Largemouth Bass, Bluegill and Channel Catfish to help rebuild the population after the years of low water. Fish populations will also be surveyed and the results will show whether or not crappie will be stocked as well. The crappie in this instance would be a management stocking that would bring several hundred adult crappie from another lake and place them in the New Ballinger Lake.
The district biologist, after completing surveys, will request the stockings that will provide the most public benefit.