Big Creek Lake - 2011 Survey Report
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Prepared by Kevin W. Storey
Inland Fisheries Division
District 3-B, Tyler, Texas
This is the authors' summary from a 17-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish populations in Big Creek Reservoir were surveyed in 2012 using electrofishing and gill netting. Aquatic vegetation and habitat surveys could not be conducted during summer 2011 because there was no boater access because of low reservoir water elevation brought on by an extended drought. This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
Big Creek Reservoir is a 520-acre impoundment located in Delta County, Texas, on Big Creek, a tributary of the South Sulphur River. The reservoir was constructed by the City of Cooper for municipal water supply. At conservation pool elevation, habitat consists primarily of featureless banks and the littoral area contains several species of native aquatic plants with American lotus being the most abundant. The invasive aquatic plant Eurasian watermilfoil was also present.
Important sport fish include largemouth bass, white crappie, and channel catfish. Florida largemouth bass were stocked at a rate of 238/acre in spring 2007.
- Prey species: No assessment was made of prey fish populations because of the inability to access the lake during fall 2011. Previous surveys have shown populations of gizzard shad, threadfin shad, bluegill, and redear sunfish.
- Catfishes: All channel catfish collected during gill netting were of harvestable size, and abundance was good. Lack of recruitment into the population was likely a result of predation by largemouth bass. No blue or flathead catfish were collected during the spring 2012 survey.
- Largemouth bass: Catch of largemouth bass in fall 2009 was low compared with previous surveys. Few fish were collected in spring 2012 and the sample was dominated by legally-harvestable fish. Body condition was depressed and may have been a result of spawning.
- Crappie: No assessment was made of crappie populations because of access difficulties in fall 2011. Both white crappie and black crappie are present.
Continue to monitor the largemouth bass population using biennial electrofishing surveys to evaluate the effect of stockings of Florida strain fingerlings conducted in 2007. Continue with standard monitoring using electrofishing in 2015 and gill netting in 2016 and optional trap netting 2015.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-221-M-2 Statewide Freshwater Fisheries Monitoring and Management Program