Austin Reservoir - 2012 Survey Report
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Prepared by Marcos J. De Jesus and Muhktar Farooqi
Inland Fisheries Division
District 2-C, San Marcos, Texas
This is the authors' summary from a 28-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish populations in Austin Reservoir were surveyed in 2012 using electrofishing and in 2013 using gill netting. Historical data are presented with the 2012-2013 data for comparison. This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
Austin Reservoir is a stable-level 1,599-acre riverine type impoundment of the Colorado River located in the heart of the City of Austin (COA). It was constructed in 1893 for purposes of hydro-electric power, municipal water supply, water conservation and recreation. The reservoir is used to pass water from Travis Reservoir downstream. The reservoir is operated by the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) and COA. The reservoir lies within the Edwards Plateau and has a drainage area of approximately 38,240 square miles. Land surrounding the reservoir is highly developed with commercial and residential property bordering most of the shoreline. Natural habitat features consisted of boulders, native and non-native submerged aquatic plants, including hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata).
Important sport fish include Largemouth Bass and catfish. The management plan from the 2008 survey report included stocking Florida Largemouth Bass to maintain high genetic influence and managing invasive levels of hydrilla. Largemouth Bass have been managed under statewide regulations.
- Prey species: Bluegill, Redbreast Sunfish, Gizzard Shad and Threadfin Shad were the dominant prey species available.
- Catfishes: Channel, Blue and Flathead Catfish were present in low density.
- Largemouth bass: Largemouth Bass were abundant. Almost all angling effort on the reservoir is directed towards Largemouth Bass. Lake Austin is considered one of Texas’ best trophy Largemouth Bass fisheries. Since 1994, nineteen Largemouth Bass weighing 13 pounds or greater caught by anglers have been entered into the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) ShareLunker Program. The most recent entry was in March 2013.
- The reservoir should continue to be managed with existing harvest regulations.
- Aquatic vegetation coverage, including hydrilla, typically varies each year and will be monitored every year on a quarterly basis or as required.
- Conduct additional electrofishing surveys in 2013, 2014, 2015 to measure Largemouth Bass abundance as it relates to aquatic vegetation coverage, and general monitoring surveys with gill nets, and electrofishing surveys in 2016-2017. An access survey will be conducted in 2016.
- Continue Florida Largemouth Bass stockings to maintain optimal genetic influence and trophy potential of this population.
- Promote the trophy Smallmouth Buffalo opportunities to meet increasing angler interests.
- Inform the public about the negative impacts of aquatic invasive species.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-221-M-3 Inland Fisheries Division Monitoring and Management Program