Alvarado Park Reservoir - 2009 Survey Report
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Prepared by John Tibbs and Michael S. Baird
Inland Fisheries Division
District 2-B, Waco, Texas
This is the authors' summary from a 26-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish Populations in Alvarado Park Reservoir were surveyed in 2009 with a boat electrofisher and in 2010 using gill nets. A spring quarter creel survey was completed during 2007. This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
Alvarado Park Reservoir is a 507-acre impoundment located near the city of Alvarado, Johnson County, Texas. We were unable to obtain the conservation pool elevation from the city of Alvarado as there is still no elevation monitoring system in place. However, the reservoir was at or near conservation pool during the sampling period. Primary water use is recreation. Alvarado Park Reservoir is eutrophic with stable productivity. Habitat features included natural shoreline, bulk heading, and boat docks/piers. Aquatic vegetation is limited to shoreline stands of cattail (Typha spp.) and bulrush (Scirpus spp.).
Sport fishes in Alvarado Park Reservoir have always been managed with statewide regulations. Important sport fish include white bass, largemouth bass, and catfishes. Blue catfish were stocked in 2000 and 2001 as an additional predator to take advantage of an excellent prey base. An additional gill netting survey was conducted in 2004. Although the channel catfish population had rebounded by 2006, only one blue catfish was collected in that survey and so additional stockings were recommended. Blue catfish were stocked again in 2008 and 2009 at nearly 50/acre.
The 2002 survey report verified possible recruitment issues for legal-sized largemouth bass, and suggested angler harvest might be regulating the abundance of legal-sized fish. A 14-18” slot limit, five fish daily bag regulation was suggested in the 2002 survey report to protect adult fish to 18”, as was a creel to survey attitudes and opinions of local anglers. It was decided at the time that a creel on Alvarado Park Reservoir would not be cost-effective. However, a creel was suggested again in the 2006 report, along with a supplemental electrofishing survey in fall 2007 to collect additional data on the largemouth bass fishery.
The 2006 survey report also outlined a supplemental trap netting survey in 2007 to monitor a weak crappie population, contacting the City of Alvarado to negotiate installment of a permanent gauging station, and conducting an updated physical habitat survey. The City of Alvarado was not able to install a gauging station at the time of contact.
- Prey species: The prey base is adequate to support current sport fish populations.
- Catfishes: Catfish spp. was the most sought after sport fish in the spring 2007 creel. Blue catfish gill net catch rates continued to improve, while channel catfish gill net catch rates greatly exceeded long-term averages.
- White bass: White bass populations continued to be excellent, and were the third most popular species among anglers in the creel.
- Largemouth bass: The largemouth bass population continued to improve, and the 2009 sample was the best yet. It was the second most popular species among anglers, and the vast majority of anglers chose to release bass rather than harvest.
- White crappie: White crappie are present in the reservoir in low numbers, but trap netting was not conducted in 2009.
Conduct general monitoring with electrofishing, trap netting and gill netting in 2013-2014.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-30-R-35 Statewide Freshwater Fisheries Monitoring and Management Program