Army Corps of Engineers reservoir formed on the Guadalupe River in Comal County by Canyon Dam, which is located about sixteen miles northwest of New Braunfels. The dam, lake, and all adjacent property are managed by the U.S. Army Corps Of Engineers. Water rights, waste water treatment, and hydroelectric generating facilities are managed by the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority. Construction of the dam began in 1958 and was completed in 1964. C The reservoir serves to provide flood control and water conservation for the communities downstream from the dam. The lake is also a popular recreational destination.
Canyon Lake is located at 29°52′53″N 98°14′24″W / 29.88139, -98.24. It is located in northern Comal County, Texas, about 35 mi (56 km) northeast of San Antonio and 40 mi (64 km) southwest of Austin. Towns in the immediate vicinity of the lake include former city Canyon City, Hancock, Fischer, Sattler, Startzville and a census-designated place known as Canyon Lake, Texas. Larger towns nearby include New Braunfels and San Marcos.
Canyon Lake is a center for recreation in the area. The Corps of Engineers built and maintains eight park areas around the lake for camping, swimming, boating and picnicking. Comal County also provides several boat ramps for access to the lake. Hike, bike and equestrian trails are available, as is limited hunting. Bank fishing is available in all park areas, and a 24 hour fishing dock can be found in Cranes Mill Park on the south side of the lake.
The Canyon Lake Gorge is a beautiful and natural insight into the geology and hydrologic dynamics of Glen Rose limestone in Comal County near Canyon Lake. The Gorge was created, or “cut” when floodwaters escaped over the Spillway at Canyon Lake during the Flood Event of 2002.
The Gorge Preservation Society (GPS) is a local citizen’s group who have partnered with the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. This organization is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and is dedicated to developing long-term plans for the Gorge. The National Association of Recreation Resource Planners (NARRP) has awarded its 2008 “Excellence in Planning Award” to the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority (GBRA), Halff Associates Inc., and the Gorge Preservation Society for the Canyon Lake Gorge Master Plan for this unique area.
Canyon Lake, Texas
Sits conveniently between Austin and San Antonio and just minutes from New Braunfels, Gruene, Bulverde, and Spring Branch. On the rim of the beautiful Texas Hill Country, Canyon Lake has a shoreline of 80 miles.
Canyon Lake is known as the Water Recreation Capital of Texas. Canyon Lake has beautiful clear water, a variety of bass, camping and day parks, hiking trails, and lots of room for recreation. 22 boat ramps provide easy access. Canyon Lake welcomes the Upper Guadalupe River from the west while the Canyon Lake Dam provides a controlled release of cool waters into the Lower Guadalupe River, temperate enough to sustain rainbow trout life throughout the summer.
Canyon Lake is a unique community among rolling hills in the midst of lake and river waters. Day trips to heritage-rich central Texas towns, such as Fredericksburg, Kerrville, Johnson City and Bandera, make us a top location for lodging. Water activities are abundant. The cedar and oak woods are saturated with wildlife. Neighborhoods are shared with pet-like deer. It’s calming and natural. Photographers will be exhilarated. Enjoy local hangouts and concerts on the river. Take a helicopter ride for a bird’s eye view.
Central Texas Hill Country
Canyon Lake Texas is a true hidden treasure of the Central Texas Hill Country. With breathtaking waterfront and lake views; this is the place where many are starting to call home. White tailed deer, foxes, roadrunners, and other wildlife are in abundance in the Texas Hill Country and especially at Canyon Lake. The Texas Hill Country is famous for its hilly terrain, live oak trees, limestone rocks, native animals, and clean fresh air.
Canyon Lake has so much to offer: Boating/Sailing, Water Skiing, Kayaking, Fishing, Scuba Diving, Parasailing, Hiking, Dining, Shopping, and much more. Canyon Lake is located just forty miles north of San Antonio and twenty-five miles west of New Braunfels and San Marcos.
Canyon Lake has eight Corps of Engineer Public Parks, 23 boat ramps, two marinas, campgrounds, golf course, country club, and yacht club. The lake has a surface area of 8,230 acres and 80 miles of shoreline. Canyon Lake releases water down stream into the famous Guadalupe River.
Largemouth bass is the most popular and most abundant sportfish in the reservoir. White bass and striped bass also provide an excellent fishery. Stripers provide excellent angling because of their growth potential and strong fighting characteristics. An annual TPWD stocking program maintains the fishery because striped bass do not successfully reproduce in this reservoir. Crappie fishing is generally poor, although occasionally good catches can be made, especially along standing timber in the river. Angling for redbreast sunfish can provide an excellent fishing experience for the family. Channel, blue, and flathead catfish are present in good numbers. Smallmouth bass are also present in small numbers. They tend to prefer rocky habitat found in main lake areas.
Canyon Lake is dominated by steep rocky banks, isolated flooded timber, and clear water typical of a highland reservoir. The water becomes stained as one moves up the reservoir and into the river. In most of the lake rock ledges, rock piles, steep drop-offs, flooded timber, and a few marinas provide cover for game fish. The river portion of the reservoir is dominated by flooded timber, rock ledges, and laydowns. When the water level is high, largemouth bass anglers should concentrate on the flooded terrestrial vegetation.
Tips & Tactics
Largemouth bass anglers are most successful on Canyon Lake during the spring, fall, and winter months. Bass fishing in summer on this highland reservoir can be difficult even for the most experienced anglers. Topwater baits such as buzzbaits, Zara Spooks, and Pop-R’s are popular in the early morning and evening hours. On cloudy days consistent topwater action can occur all day. Crankbaits are also very popular fished along main-lake points, rocky shorelines, and flooded timber. Popular soft plastic baits include worms, spider grubs, grubs, and soft-jerkbaits. Try spinning gear and light line (6-10 lb.) in main-lake clear water situations.
For white and striped bass in the summer and early fall, look for schooling activity around main-lake points and humps. These fish can be caught using topwater baits, jigging spoons, grubs, and rattletraps. Popular techniques for striped bass are trolling with in-line spinners and crankbaits and vertically jigging white bucktail jigs. Live bait presentations for both striped and white bass are popular at all times of the year. White bass spawning migrations occur from February through April. During these months, white and striped bass can be concentrated in the river portion of the reservoir. Anglers catch them using small in-line spinners, small jigs, jigging spoons, small crankbaits, and live bait presentations.
Catfish anglers can find channel, blue, and flathead catfish throughout the reservoir. Channel catfish dominate the fishery. Stinkbait and cutbait work well for channel and blue catfish, while live bait is preferred for flathead catfish. The most consistent catches come from the upper third of the reservoir. Trotlining is very popular for flathead catfish.