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Braunig Lake is a popular fishing spot for San Antonio city dwellers. A leisurely 17-mile drive southeast of the Alamo City takes you to the flat grasslands of south Texas and trophy-sized bass fishing. The wide open spaces and powder-blue skies brushed with delicate clouds make this a perfect place to relax and enjoy a day or a week.
As you pass through the gently rolling hills, you become aware that water is a scarce and valuable resource. It should not be surprising that area lakes serve many purposes. Victor Braunig Lake, originally named East Lake, is a dammed reservoir managed by San Antonio's utility company, City Public Service. The city completed this reservoir in 1964 and nearby Calaveras Lake in 1969. Both lakes serve as cooling reservoirs for several power plants. A major source of reservoir water is wastewater that has passed through San Antonio Water System's (SAWS) primary and secondary treatments before being released into the lake. SAWS' recognition for strict compliance with EPA clean-water standards makes each lake a safe, clean oasis for water enthusiasts. Lake levels fluctuate on average only 1-2 feet a year, 506.5 feet above sea level in summer and 505.5 feet in winter.
Braunig Lake Park is located along the lake's southwest shoreline. The San Antonio River Authority manages the 125-acre park where you can enjoy a leisurely stay for a nominal fee. Primitive campsites are available for individuals and groups. No hookups are provided, so be prepared to smell your neighbor's fish frying over the open barbecue pits. Other amenities found in the park include a store, bait sales, cleaning station, covered picnic areas, and restrooms.
Fishing and boating are the primary water sports. Two-person rental boats and fishing guide service are available at the lake. Two paved ramps are available for those fortunate enough to launch their own boats. Water skiing and personal water craft are only permitted on Calaveras Lake, so if you want to experience the quiet of the Texas countryside Braunig Lake is the place to bring your kayak or canoe.
Fish species include largemouth bass, hybrid striped bass, blue catfish, channel catfish, black and white crappie, and red drum. Fishing is good year around but this is Texas, so for most species the fishing is at its best before the August heat arrives. Records for Victor Braunig Lake include a 13.31 pound largemouth bass, a 21.6 pound blue catfish, and a 30.25 pound red drum.
Swimming is prohibited, but keep the sun screen handy for outdoor fun. Expansion is coming to the park's half-mile Braunig Nature Trail. The trail winds through the grasslands dotted with gracefully curved live oak trees and blooming prickly pears. Those who enjoy watching wildlife may see migratory birds, deer and small mammals. Springtime visitors will be treated to a feast of color while native red, yellow and purple wildflowers are in bloom.
For those interested in a bit more excitement, or a fish larger than a red drum, Sea World is only 30 minutes away. And there is more! Take a short drive north of Sea World and you'll find a water park, rides and musical entertainment for the whole family at Six Flags Fiesta Texas. For a bit of history, don't miss a visit to the Alamo and the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park. Last, but not least, there is no better place to top off your visit than the number one tourist attraction in Texas - the San Antonio River Walk. Here you will find a variety of restaurants, live entertainment, beautiful scenery and friendly residents greeting you with "Bienvenido a San Antonio!" - "Welcome to San Antonio!"
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