The city of Coppell and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department are collaborating to restock the Moore Road Park pond with fish due to the area’s popularity with anglers.

Starting this fall, native bluegill and redear sunfish will be added to the pond, while officials with the city also plan to purchase coppernose bluegill that will eventually call the body of water home.

Along with the fish, various pond elements have been purchased to place underwater in order to create a suitable habitat for a healthy ecosystem.

“I love fishing, and know that a body of water needs structure to attract fish,” Coppell Parks Operations Supervisor Marcos Mejorado said.

What you need to know

The new boardwalk at Moore Road Park allows residents to cross the pond and connect to the circular walking path surrounding the water.

“The Moore Road Boardwalk was a much-loved amenity of our parks system when it was in place many years ago,” Coppell Community Experiences Director Jessica Carpenter said. “We are thrilled to be able to return this beautiful and improved feature to the park. It’s the perfect place for a stroll or to observe all of the diverse wildlife that call Coppell home.”

While the boardwalk was under construction, city and Texas Park and Wildlife crews drained the 3-acre pond, made improvements to the stormwater pipe and lined the shoreline with coated metal mesh to prevent erosion.

Per the city, construction costs totaled about $1.9 million, funded under the umbrella of the federal American Rescue Plan economic stimulus bill.

The impact

Fish, wildlife and the ecosystem as a whole were affected by the pond and boardwalk work, according to the city. Residents reported seeing more turtles around the city and in their yards due to the pond being drained, said Cynthia Fox Holt, a fisheries biologist with Texas Parks and Wildlife.

“Most of the turtles moved to a pond across the street [from Moore Road Park] or into Denton Creek,” Fox Holt said.

During the draining of the pond, more than 500 mussels were also found on the floor of the pond.

Zooming in

With the pond drained, Mejorado and Coppell Police Officer Lyle Hukil took the opportunity to “scope out” the bottom of the pond. The pair of experienced fishermen said they saw no “fish structure,” such as rocks, plants or other living spaces for fish to hide or live in, or to attract them to the pond.

The duo contacted Fox Holt and Adam Richter, Coppell Community Experiences assistant director. Fox Holt allocated funding from a grant program to install structural elements for fish and the ecosystem.

“Anytime I get to work in a pond is a special circumstance,” Fox Holt said.

What’s next

City officials plans to stock bluegill, redear sunfish and coppernose bluegill in the pond this fall, depending on the availability of the fish and the weather. Another round of stocking of the same fish is planned for next spring, per officials.

Next, city and Texas Parks and Wildlife staff plan to stock the pond with fingerling Lone Star bass in the summer of 2024—after the other fish complete a few reproductive cycles, officials said. Projections estimate quality-size fish are expected within three to five years as the ecosystem matures.

“Coppell has done a great job providing a fishing pond for its residents, and there’s going to be some really great fish in the pond,” Fox Holt said. “Residents just need to be patient.”