Alvarado Park Reservoir - 2005 Survey Report
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Prepared by Michael S. Baird and John Tibbs
Inland Fisheries Division
District 2-B, Waco, 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 Alvarado Park Reservoir were surveyed in 2005 using electrofishing and trap nets and in 2006 using gill nets. No angler creel was performed during the survey period. 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 within the city of Alvarado, Johnson County, Texas. We were unable to obtain the conservation pool elevation from the city of Alvarado and there is no elevation monitoring system in place. However, the reservoir was three to five feet low during the sampling period. Alvarado Park Reservoir is eutrophic with steady productivity. Habitat features consisted of boat docks, bulkheading, and overhanging brush. Aquatic vegetation was limited to shoreline stands of cattail (Typha spp.) and bulrush (Scirpus spp.).
Important sport fish include white bass, largemouth bass, and channel catfish. The 2002 management plan included an additional gill net sample in spring 2004. The 2004 sample was meant to 1) monitor a potential declining channel catfish population, and 2) collect blue catfish which had not been collected prior -despite consecutive fingerling stockings in 2000 and 2001. Largemouth bass have always been managed under statewide regulations. The 1995 and 1998 survey reports identified possible recruitment issues in legal-sized bass. The 2002 survey report verified those findings and suggested that 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 later decided that a creel on Alvarado Park Lake would not be cost-effective.
- Prey species: Threadfin shad are currently the dominant forage species in the reservoir. Electrofishing catch of gizzard shad was up from the previous survey, and nearly three-fourths of the gizzard shad present were available as prey to sport fish. Electrofishing catch of bluegill was moderately high, while redear, longear, warmouth, and green sunfish also contributed to the prey base.
- Catfishes: The channel catfish catch increased during spring 2004 and 2006, and no longer seems to be declining. Few blue catfish were collected, indicating that the 2000 and 2001 stockings were ineffective. Flathead catfish were present in low numbers.
- Temperate bass: White bass have maintained a high-density population since the 1998 survey. Most fish in the population are available for harvest.
- Largemouth bass: Largemouth bass were relatively abundant and in good condition. Recruitment remained good, however the catch rate of legal-sized fish remained low in fall 2005.
- White crappie: White crappie were present in low numbers and catch rates have remained considerably reduced since the 2001 survey. Low water levels and reduced availability of cattail and bulrush vegetation may account for part of the low catch rate for this species.
- Conduct electrofishing and trap net survey in 2007 to monitor the largemouth bass and white crappie populations.
- General monitoring with trap net, gill net, and electrofishing surveys in 2009-2010.
- Conduct aquatic vegetation survey if required and an updated habitat survey prior to the next survey report.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-30-R-31 Statewide Freshwater Fisheries Monitoring and Management Program