Annual Prospects Report
North Bethany City Reservoir (72 acres) is a clear and deep (40+ feet) lake which serves as one of two city water-supply lakes. The lake is surrounded by wooded slopes and offers a scenic, quiet setting close to town for anglers and folks that just want to get outside. There is a concrete boat ramp, a new floating fishing dock, and associated parking areas to assist anglers. Electrofishing surveys in 2022 showed the fishery offers good numbers of nice-sized (7-9 inches) bluegill. Most bluegill (80 percent) in our surveys were larger than 6 inches with 12 percent over 8 inches.
There were also good numbers of smaller largemouth bass in our surveys. Most bass (62 percent) were less than 12 inches but all of those fish were legal for anglers to harvest given the 12-15 inch protected-slot limit on this lake. This is a great opportunity for kids to experience some success catching and keeping bass, plus enjoy a tasty meal (many anglers prefer eating smaller bass). Harvest of these smaller bass also promotes faster growth for other bass in the lake through reduced competition.
The 2022 surveys showed redear sunfish remain abundant with some good-sized fish (7-9 inches). Channel catfish are stocked in the lake every two years at a rate of 10 catfish per acre.
Anglers can find largemouth bass concentrated for spawning along the shoreline in March-April. Bluegill spawning typically occurs where shallow openings occur in the aquatic vegetation during May-June. Submerged aquatic vegetation can become very abundant in the shallows through the summer, so in 2017, grass carp were stocked to help reduce excessive vegetation and facilitate fishing success as the fish mature. We expect to see greater reductions in aquatic vegetation as these grass carp mature. Edges and breaks in the submerged vegetation should be targeted by anglers for all types of fish throughout the summer-fall seasons.
Two miles north of the city of Bethany on US Highway 69, then west 1/2-mile on W Intrepid Road.