ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Kurth Lake, 13 water wells, and the idled Abitibi Paper Mill were all purchased by the city of Lufkin a little more than a year ago.
The fish are still biting on Kurth Lake... even after the city of Lufkin took control.
"We're stocking 73 thousand large mouth bass," said Dan Ashe, District Assistant Biologist with Texas Parks & Wildlife.
The bass are about one to two inches now, but in four years...
"Those fish will be four ponders," said Ashe.
Although it seems like a ton of fish, the population won't increase over time, but the quality will.
"Everybody likes to catch the fish of a lifetime. And that's what we're trying to do, but also the overall quality of the fishery - larger fish," said Ashe.
Every ten kilometers the boat is stopped and 10,000 Large Mouth Bass are set free in Kurth Lake. As the fish disperse, the lake becomes evenly populated.
The work done by Parks and Wildlife is paid for when folks buy fishing licenses. However, to fish on Kurth Lake, you'll to have to pay a lot more than that. The city is doubling the cost of a yearly permit to $120 dollars.
Lufkin Public Works Director Chuck Walker says it's worth it.
"They can fish 365 days out of the year at one of the best fisheries in the state of Texas," said Walker.
Why the increase? The city is passing on the cost of maintaining the lake, plus dam inspections.
"They estimated if we had a breach in the dam it could potentially kill up to two people downstream," said Walker.
Walker says the fisherman don't seem to mind, and if the newly-stocked bass survive... Kurth Lake will be an oasis for anglers.
The lake is also a known haven for bald eagles. To take part in bird-watching on the lake, the Lufkin City Hall offers free passes. That's where you can also purchase fishing permits. Just head to room 250 and speak to the engineering department's receptionist.