Lavaca Bay

Lavaca Bay

Andy Dear | Monday, 29 November 2021

Well, another visit to Powderhorn is in the books. I always say that if I can get one day out of three where the wind doesn't blow 15 knots or better, I consider myself lucky.

  Last Tuesday turned out absolutely perfect, so we took the MonArk on several reconnaissance/exploration missions, one of which was to Lavaca Bay. Lavaca sits about 15 miles north of Powderhorn Lake. Lavaca is more than anything known for one of the worst man-made natural disasters in the history of the USA.

  Back in the 1960s, the ALCOA aluminum plant which is situated adjacent to Lavaca was dumping roughly 67 pounds of mercury a day into Lavaca Bay contaminating roughly 64 square miles over the course of a decade. In the early 1990s, Lavaca was designated as a Superfund site and was subject to a long-term, very extensive cleanup of the affected areas. Most experts say that the bay is doing very well, and the areas affected by mercury are now relegated to a very small area adjacent to the now-defunct ALCOA plant. The stigma however remains, and most people, because of the history of mercury contamination avoid fishing Lavaca...especially if they plan on keeping fish to eat. The upside is that there is hardly ANY fishing pressure in this area. Just 20 miles to the south sits Port O Connor, which resembles something akin to a Formula 1 race on water. Those crowds simply don't exist on Lavaca.

  Tuesday morning we launched the MonArk and proceeded to explore some of the deeper reaches of the Lavaca Bay and Lavaca River system. I think we may have seen 3 other boats the entire morning...there just isn't anyone here!! Lavaca can be notoriously muddy because of its geographic position in the bay system. But when the winds calm, this stretch of water can be as clear and green as anything in the Laguna Madre.

  Recently I was visiting with Mike Tolar who owns the Powderhorn Lake RV Park, and who is also a rabid fisherman. Somehow our conversation turned to the subject of Lavaca Bay, and the Lavaca River that feeds the bay system. Mike looked at me kind of coyly and said "you know, I hear of people catching Tarpon in the Lavaca River pretty frequently". Whether or not this can be accomplished on a fly rod remains to be seen. I can however guarantee one's going to be a blast trying to find out!

Hope you're all having a great week,