Big Creek Lake - 2007 Survey Report
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Prepared by Aaron K. Jubar and Kevin W. Storey
Inland Fisheries Division
District 3-B, Tyler, Texas
This is the authors' summary from a 20-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish populations in Big Creek Lake were surveyed in 2007 using electrofishing and trap netting, and in 2008 using gill netting. Aquatic vegetation and habitat surveys were conducted on Big Creek Lake during September 2007. This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
Big Creek Lake 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. Habitat consists primarily of featureless banks and the littoral area contains several species of native aquatic plants and Eurasian watermilfoil. American lotus inhabits much of the littoral area, exhibiting excessive coverage.
Important sport fish include largemouth bass, white crappie, and channel catfish. The management plan from the 2003 survey report recommended stocking Florida largemouth bass at a rate of 100/acre in 2005 and 2006, and monitoring the Florida bass allele frequency using liver samples from age-0 largemouth bass collected during fall. Although Florida largemouth bass were not stocked in 2005 or 2006, fingerlings were stocked during spring 2007.
- Prey species: Predominant prey species in the reservoir include gizzard shad, threadfin shad, bluegill, and redear sunfish. Electrofishing catch of gizzard shad was moderate, with the majority of gizzard shad being available as prey to most sport fish. Electrofishing catch of bluegills was low compared to previous reports. Redear sunfish are also present in the reservoir, with some individuals greater than 6 inches long. Threadfin shad provided additional forage for sport fish in the reservoir.
- Catfishes: All channel catfish collected during gill netting were of harvestable size, but abundance of channel catfish was low. No blue or flathead catfish were sampled in the reservoir during the spring 2008 survey.
- Largemouth bass: Numerous largemouth bass were caught during fall 2007 electrofishing. Despite the high catch rates, size structure of the population was poor, with relatively few fish of legal size. Largemouth bass were in excellent body condition, indicating prey populations were sufficient.
- Crappie: Only one white crappie was sampled during the fall 2007 trap net survey, and no black crappie were collected. The fall 2003 trap net survey sampled low numbers of both species.
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 trap netting and electrofishing in 2011 and gill netting in 2012.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-30-R-33 Statewide Freshwater Fisheries Monitoring and Management Program