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Lower Neches Valley Authority Canal

Jefferson County, Texas.

Lower Neches Valley Authority Canal ends in Beaumont, Texas.

39 feet (12 meters)

32.93 miles long (53.00 kilometers)

1445308.96 miles (2326000.01 sq kilometers)

About The Lower Neches Valley Authority Canal

All About the Lower Neches Valley Authority Canal, TX

Established in 1933 the Lower Neches Valley Authority Canal (LNVA) is one of 23 river authorities created by the state of Texas to conserve, store, control, preserve, utilize and distribute the waters to the surrounding area. The authorities are in large part connected to and get water from the Neches River Basin and the Neches-Trinity Coastal Basin. When combined, the authorities occupy 10,300 square miles.  The canal has a maximum length of 400 miles and covers the Tyler, Hardin, Liberty, Chambers, and Jefferson counties, where it supplies and irrigates fresh water for the local agriculture industry. 

The Neches River Basin as a whole flows for 416 miles in east Texas, through its many authorities, before outflowing to Sabine Lake and eventually, the Gulf of Mexico. It is also a predominantly natural river, meaning that with the exception of a few dams and man-made lakes it is nearly untouched.  Its natural state has made the surrounding area a site for national forests, refuges, and even a UNESCO-recognized biosphere reserve and makes it a home for fish species, migratory birds, specifically as a wintering habitat for waterfowls like wood ducks. 

The authority canal was left undeveloped for a decade after it was built. It was only in 1943 that it was bought from the Texas Public Service Company for $3.2 million. Since then, the LNVA has been renovated throughout the years because of its importance to the region, even collaborating with the United States Army Corps of Engineers in financing and making multipurpose dams for the Angelina and Neches river, where the authority receives its water. Also done in collaboration are saltwater barriers, recreational facilities, and boat ramps. 

Lower Neches Valley Authority Canal Fishing Description

Fishing in the Lower Neches Valley Authority Canal, TX

As an authority connected to the Neches River, which is most known for its both marine and land animal diversity. There are fish species that find their way into the canal and are open for recreational and sport fishing. Most notably these are the largemouth bass, freshwater drum, catfish (channel and flathead), and redfish.

When choosing gear for fishing in the authority, a rod that can handle weight from 20lbs or more, would be useful as fish like the flathead catfish can weigh up to 60lbs. A 20lb line test mono should also be enough for the freshwater drum. The largemouth bass as well is a good fighter that can weigh up to 22lbs so a 6 to 8-weight fly line should be good enough.

Specifically, when catching largemouth bass it’s important to check places easy to hide in like sunken objects, weed, and under bridges. Channel catfish also like hiding in crevices like debris. Other fishes like the freshwater drum and the flathead catfish are known to swim in deeper parts of the water. Drum, in particular, are bottom feeders, and flathead are known to swim in slower, and muddier waters. In contrast, redfish are often found congregating in shallow water. 

When preparing bait, anglers should bring different types as the fishes found in the area, each respond differently. Catfish in general like live bait. Flathead catfish are attracted to smaller fish like perch and bluegill, while channel catfish like bait with a strong scent like stinkbait. As freshwater drum are bottom feeders, crayfish and nightcrawlers will do the trick. Redfish also respond well to shrimp and while the largemouth bass can be caught using minnows and worms; jigs, crank, and jerk baits can also be used.  When fly fishing these types of bass, using colorful streamers helps as the color attracts the fish in their murky habitats. 

Lower Neches Valley Authority Canal Seasonal & Other Description

Fishing Seasonality in the Lower Neches Valley Authority Canal, TX

Fish in the canal can be caught all year long. Largemouth bass are better caught during the summer, from May to July, especially after their spawning period. Summer is also when freshwater drum reach their peak in population, so it’s best to catch them during this time. Otherwise, you can catch them during spring when they gather to spawn. The rest of the fish, both the channel and flathead catfish, are more likely found in colder temperatures during the fall or winter season. And while redfish can be caught at any point in the year, most anglers will catch them during the summer as well. 

Temperature and Optimal Seasons

Fishing Seasonality in the Lower Neches Valley Authority Canal, TX

Fish in the canal can be caught all year long. Largemouth bass are better caught during the summer, from May to July, especially after their spawning period. Summer is also when freshwater drum reach their peak in population, so it’s best to catch them during this time. Otherwise, you can catch them during spring when they gather to spawn. The rest of the fish, both the channel and flathead catfish, are more likely found in colder temperatures during the fall or winter season. And while redfish can be caught at any point in the year, most anglers will catch them during the summer as well. 

Lower Neches Valley Authority Canal Fish Species

Fishing in the Lower Neches Valley Authority Canal, TX

As an authority connected to the Neches River, which is most known for its both marine and land animal diversity. There are fish species that find their way into the canal and are open for recreational and sport fishing. Most notably these are the largemouth bass, freshwater drum, catfish (channel and flathead), and redfish.

When choosing gear for fishing in the authority, a rod that can handle weight from 20lbs or more, would be useful as fish like the flathead catfish can weigh up to 60lbs. A 20lb line test mono should also be enough for the freshwater drum. The largemouth bass as well is a good fighter that can weigh up to 22lbs so a 6 to 8-weight fly line should be good enough.

Specifically, when catching largemouth bass it’s important to check places easy to hide in like sunken objects, weed, and under bridges. Channel catfish also like hiding in crevices like debris. Other fishes like the freshwater drum and the flathead catfish are known to swim in deeper parts of the water. Drum, in particular, are bottom feeders, and flathead are known to swim in slower, and muddier waters. In contrast, redfish are often found congregating in shallow water. 

When preparing bait, anglers should bring different types as the fishes found in the area, each respond differently. Catfish in general like live bait. Flathead catfish are attracted to smaller fish like perch and bluegill, while channel catfish like bait with a strong scent like stinkbait. As freshwater drum are bottom feeders, crayfish and nightcrawlers will do the trick. Redfish also respond well to shrimp and while the largemouth bass can be caught using minnows and worms; jigs, crank, and jerk baits can also be used.  When fly fishing these types of bass, using colorful streamers helps as the color attracts the fish in their murky habitats. 

Largemouth Bass

Habitat: Lake, Pond, Rivers

Weight: 2 - 22 Pounds

Length: 15" - 32"

Redfish

Habitat: Onshore, Flats, Backcountry, Nearshore

Weight: 10 - 45 Pounds

Length: 30" - 61"

Freshwater Drum

Habitat: Lake, River

Weight: 5 - 54 Pounds

Length: 12" - 37"

Channel Catfish

Habitat: Rivers, Tidal Mouths, Bends, Wrecks

Weight: 2 - 4 Pounds

Length: 15" - 25"