Bonham City Reservoir - 2004 Survey Report
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Prepared by Bruce Hysmith and John H. Moczygemba
Inland Fisheries Division
District 2-A, Pottsboro, 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.
Bonham City Reservoir was surveyed by creel survey in 2002, with trap nets and electrofisher in 2004, and with gill nets in 2005. This report summarizes the results of these surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
Bonham City Reservoir, a 1,020-acre impoundment on Timber Creek a tributary to Bois d’Arc Creek which is a tributary to the Red River, was constructed in 1969 by the City of Bonham for municipal and agriculture water supply and recreation. It is located 3 miles northeast of Bonham in Fannin County. The reservoir drains approximately 29 square miles. The shoreline was 18.25 miles long and has a shoreline development index of 4.1. Boating access was good and there were facilities available to the physically challenged. Fish habitat was primarily native emerged vegetation, boat docks, and boat ramps.
- Prey species: The electrofishing catch rate of gizzard shad was 163.0/hour, lower than 409.0/hour collected in 2000 and lower than the reservoir’s historic average of 226.7/hour. Historic catch rates used in this report were calculated from data collected on five occasions since 1990. The major change in the population from 2000 to 2004 was a reduction in numbers of 3-inch and 4-inch gizzard shad. The electrofishing catch rate of bluegill was 1,178.0/hour, very near the 1,207.0/hour collected in 2000 and above the historic average of 722.1/hour. Structurally, the bluegill populations of 2000 and 2004 were similar. The index of vulnerability (IOV) for gizzard shad (50) was lower than during previous years. The catch rate of threadfin shad was 3,486.0/hour, which was higher than the historic average of 942.6/hour. The catch rate of threadfin shad continued to expand throughout the years. Small gizzard shad, threadfin shad, bluegill, and longear sunfish continued to provide adequate prey. Not only did the small sunfishes (bluegill, warmouth, green sunfish, longear sunfish, and redear sunfish) provide prey, larger specimens are sought-after by anglers. Angler catch rate for the sunfish category was 5.0/anglerhour and harvest rate was 4.0/angler-hour.
- Catfishes: Blue catfish were stocked in 1985. Despite a declining gill net catch rate (3.4/net night), blue catfish continued to provide angler-recreation. Although we did not identify angler directed effort for blue catfish, creel survey results in the spring of 2002 indicated they were harvested. The historic gill net catch rate of blue catfish was 5.7/net night. The highest gill net catch rate (11.0/net night) was collected in 1994. Sublegal fish have not been collected since 1997 survey and we have not been able to determine at what age blue catfish reach legal size. The average relative weight was 90. Fish in the population ranged in length from 17 to 24 inches. Channel catfish was the second-most sought-after sport fish in this reservoir, and produced a gill net catch rate of 8.4/net night which was in keeping with the historic 3 average catch rate of 8.9/net night. The substock portion of the population appeared to be declining as evidenced by channel catfish > 12 inches making up 93% of the sample population. We could not determine at what age channel catfish reach legal size, since very few sublegal channel catfish were collected. Unsuccessful natural reproduction or predation may have limited recruitment of this species. Catfishes have a hard time recruiting past substock in small impoundments because of predation (Miller 1966). The average relative weight (109) was high. The spring 2002 creel survey estimated 21,676 angler-hours of fishing effort on this reservoir with 20.1% directed angling effort for catfishes (blue and channel). These species were combined because anglers responded they were fishing for channel catfish despite having blue catfish in their creel. Angler catch rate was 1.2 fish/angler-hour and anglers harvested 0.93 fish/angler-hour.
- Largemouth bass: The electrofishing catch rate of largemouth bass was 172.0/hour, up from 79.0/hour collected in 2000 and higher than the historic average of 118.5/hour. They were the third-most sought-after species in the reservoir with 8.3% directed angler effort. Anglers caught almost 1 largemouth bass/angler-hour, but directed harvest was 0.0/angler-hour. However, creel survey results indicated non-directed largemouth bass harvest. The average relative weight was 96, evidence of abundant and available prey. Only 6% of the largemouth bass sampled were > 14 inches, but there was a slight increase in the proportion of the sample population that was > 15 inches. The age at which largemouth bass reached 14 inches was not determined. Florida largemouth bass (FLMB) were stocked in this reservoir in 1996, 1997, and 1998. In 1999 and 2000 the % FLMB alleles did not meet the minimum of 20% to be considered established. In 2004, the sample population had 35.8% FLMB alleles, well above the minimum criterion and 10% of the sample was pure FLMB. The reservoir record is 9.5 pounds and 22.5 inches long. Only seven spotted bass were collected, therefore, no catch statistics are shown.
- Crappies: The most sought-after species by anglers in this reservoir (36.1% directed effort), crappies were represented by both white and black crappie. The trap net catch rate of white crappie was 51.6/net night, higher than the historic average catch rate of 36.4/net night. The highest trap net catch was 69.6/net night in 1990. The average relative weight was 93 and 31% of the white crappie sample population was > 10 inches. The trap net catch rate of black crappie was 10.6/net night, higher than the historic average of 2.9/ net night. The average relative weight was 91 and 30% of the sample population was > 10 inches. 4 The spring 2002 creel survey indicated an angler catch rate of 1.4 crappie/anglerhour and an angler harvest rate of 0.5 crappie/angler-hour, black and white crappie combined. Because of their disproportionate composition in the population, anglers harvested many more white crappie than black crappie.
Based on current information, Bonham City Reservoir should continue to be managed with existing regulations. Although blue catfish are recruiting to legal size, no sublegal fish have been collected since the 1997 survey. The same situation exists with channel catfish, except there were a few sublegals collected, but not enough to conduct a category-two age-analysis. The blue and channel catfish populations should be sampled again in 2007 to check population structure and age and growth. The largemouth bass population should be sampled again in 2006 to augment age and growth data last collected in 2000. Fish stock assessments should continue according to established procedures. Update the Bonham City Reservoir (Bonham City Lake) web page on the TPWD web site with appropriate information as needed.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-30-R-29 Statewide Freshwater Fisheries Monitoring and Management Program