Belton Reservoir - 2010 Survey Report
Prepared by John Tibbs and Michael S. Baird
Inland Fisheries Division
District 2-B, Waco, Texas
This is the authors' summary from a 42-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish populations in Belton Reservoir were surveyed in 2010 using an electrofisher and in 2011 using gill nets. Anglers were surveyed from June 2010 through May 2011 with a creel. This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
Belton Reservoir is a 12,385-acre impoundment located in Bell County, Texas. Mean and maximum water depths are 37 and 124 feet respectively, and the reservoir is classified as mesotrophic with water clarity averaging around 6 feet. Habitat features consisted mainly of bluffs, rocky shoreline, sandy beaches, and some standing timber.
Important sport fish include largemouth and smallmouth bass, white and palmetto bass, white crappie, and catfish. The management plan from the 2007 survey report included an evaluation of fry and fingerling palmetto bass stockings, conducting a thorough habitat survey, and conducting a comprehensive age and growth sample on largemouth bass.
- Prey species: The abundance of forage species such as threadfin shad, gizzard shad, bluegill, green sunfish, and longear sunfish was excellent for the reservoir. Many sunfish over 6 inches were collected.
- Catfishes: The blue and channel catfish populations are in good shape, with relatively high catch rates and good body condition. Over 20% of all anglers at Belton Reservoir fished for some species of catfish.
- Temperate basses: White and palmetto bass (hybrid striped bass) were abundant in gill net samples. Together, they accounted for 12.2% of the fishing effort in the reservoir.
- Black basses: Largemouth and smallmouth bass were both collected in good numbers. These populations had good size structures, and individuals generally had good body conditions. Largemouth and smallmouth bass accounted for 40.5% of the fishing effort in the reservoir.
- White crappie: Trap netting became optional in 2009 and was not performed during this report period; however, white crappie were relatively abundant in the 2011 gill net survey. White crappie comprised 5.1% of the total angling effort in the reservoir.
- Continue managing Belton Reservoir with existing regulations.
- Conduct general monitoring with electrofisher in 2014 and gill nets in 2013 and 2015.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-221-M-1 Statewide Freshwater Fisheries Monitoring and Management Program