Lake Findley - 2008 Survey Report
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Prepared by John Findeisen and Greg Binion
Inland Fisheries Division
District 1-E, Mathis, Texas
This is the authors' summary from a 23-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish populations in Lake Findley were surveyed in fall 2008 using trap nets and electrofishing and spring 2009 using gill nets. This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
Lake Findley is a 200-acre reservoir located on Chilitipin Creek, in the San Fernando Creek Basin, one mile north of Alice. It receives water from Chilitipin Creek and from Lake Corpus Christi via pipeline, and is used for water supply and recreation. Shoreline access is adequate, whereas challenged and boat access are inadequate, as there are no challenged specific facilities and no improved boat ramp. A unimproved boat ramp is located on the west side of the reservoir but can only accommodate small vessels. The lake is shallow and turbid with substrate comprised of small rock, clay, sand, and silt. Littoral habitat at the time of sampling consisted of spatterdock, fallen timber, and rip rap.
Important sport fish species include largemouth bass, channel and blue catfish, and crappie. Palmetto bass were an important sport fish in the late 1990s but became nonexistent shortly after stockings were halted. The 2005 management plan focused on addressing fish kills due to anoxic water trapped in the pipelines from Lake Corpus Christi, working with the city of Alice on improvements to the reservoir, stabilizing water level and recreating a palmetto bass fishery. The city of Alice constructed a barrier at the influent canal/reservoir interface to prevent fish from entering the canal during pumping periods when anoxic water can be present. Since the construction of the barrier, there have been no additional fish kills at Lake Findley. Water levels remained fairly consistent since the last report primarily due to rainfall events. Palmetto bass were requested in 2005 and 2009, with the 2009 request being approved. Stocking occured in the spring 2009.
- Prey species: Forage species included bluegill, warmouth, and both threadfin and gizzard shad. All forage species were of sizes available to most predator species. Threadfin shad were the predominant species.
- Catfishes: Blue and channel catfish were both present in the reservoir. Blue catfish were first collected from the reservoir in 2004 but have never been stocked by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD). The blue catfish population appears to be expanding as evidenced by the increased gill net catch rates. Channel catfish abundance was low and remained similar to previous years.
- Palmetto bass: Palmetto bass were stocked in the late 1990s and rapidly grew to legal size (18- inches). However, stockings were halted in 2000 and the population rapidly disappeared.
- Largemouth bass: No largemouth bass were collected in any recent survey. Historically, the largemouth bass population was small and typically concentrated in Chilitipin Creek. Only one electrofishing station was located in Chilitipin Creek, possibly explaining the low number of largemouth bass collected from the reservoir
- Crappie: Historically, both black and white crappie have been present in the reservoir; however, only white crappie were collected in the most recent survey. Catch rates of both species have declined in recent years.
- Continue to manage fish populations under current regulations.
- Stock palmetto bass three consecutive years then every other year at a stocking rate of 10/acre and monitor stocking success through gill net surveys conducted every other year following a stocking.
- Write and distribute press releases concerning the palmetto bass stocking and regulations for this fishery as well as highlight the developing blue catfish fishery.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-30-R-34 Statewide Freshwater Fisheries Monitoring and Management Program