Lake Bardwell - 2006 Survey Report
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Prepared by Patrick A. Beck and Richard A. Ott, Jr.
Inland Fisheries Division
District 3-C, Tyler, Texas
This is the authors' summary from a 30-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish populations in Lake Bardwell were surveyed in 2006 using electrofishing and trap nets and in 2007 using gill nets. A habitat and vegetation survey was conducted in August 2006. Anglers were surveyed from December 1, 2006-May 31, 2007 with a roving creel. This report summarizes results of the surveys and contains a management plan based on those findings.
Lake Bardwell is a 3,138-acre reservoir constructed in 1965 on Waxahachie Creek, a tributary of the Trinity River, Texas, for flood control and as a water supply for municipal and industrial purposes. The lake is located in Ellis County and is operated and controlled by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The productivity in Lake Bardwell has declined in recent years. Habitat consisted of featureless shoreline, eroded bank, and small amounts of native submersed vegetation, native emergent vegetation, and hydrilla.
Important sport fish include sunfishes, largemouth bass, white bass, palmetto bass, blue catfish, channel catfish, white crappie, and black crappie. The management plan from 2003 included annual stockings of palmetto bass to maintain the fishery. A roving angler creel survey was conducted from December 2006 – May 2007 to collect angler use and harvest of the palmetto bass fishery U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has conducted herbicide control of hydrilla in the swimming area.
- Prey species: Threadfin shad abundance has increased. Catch rate of gizzard shad was good, and most gizzard shad were available as prey to sport fish. Bluegill, redear sunfish, and longear sunfish were present but in low abundance. Overall prey availability was adequate for sportfishes.
- Catfishes: Catfishes account for 6% of the directed angler effort. Blue catfish size distribution was better than channel catfish. Gill net catch rate for channel catfish is similar to previous surveys. Both species exhibited consistent recruitment.
- Temperate basses: White bass and palmetto bass made up 9% of directed angling effort from December 2006-May 2007.The gill net catch rate of white bass has declined and recruitment of the 2005 year class was low. Gill net catch rate of palmetto bass was lower than the 2005 survey but similar to 2003.
- Largemouth bass: Only 2% of angler directed effort was for largemouth bass from December 2006 to May 2007. Electrofishing catch rates have decreased and body condition of was below the desirable range for most size classes. Angler catch rate was poor.
- Crappie: Crappie were the most sought after sport fishes at Lake Bardwell accounting for nearly 55% of the directed angler effort. Overall angler catch rate of crappie was over 0.5/h and an estimated 5,500 crappie were harvested in from December 2007 through May 2007. Trap net catch rates of white crappie have declined compared to previous surveys.
Palmetto bass should be stocked annually with additional gill netting to evaluate stocking effectiveness. Efforts will be made to coordinate with controlling authority to begin a native plant establishment program to enhance the largemouth bass habitat.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-30-R-32 Statewide Freshwater Fisheries Monitoring and Management Program