Braunig Reservoir - 2009 Survey Report
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Prepared by John Dennis and Randy Myers
Inland Fisheries Division
District 1-D, San Antonio, Texas
This is the authors' summary from a 25-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish populations in Victor Braunig Reservoir were surveyed annually from 2006 to 2009 using electrofishing and in 2007, 2008, and 2010 using gill nets. This report summarizes the survey results and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
Victor Braunig Reservoir is a 1,298-acre power plant cooling impoundment located on the southeast side of San Antonio, Texas. Water level is maintained at or near conservation pool by pumping from the San Antonio River. About half of the shoreline is considered rocky and the remainder natural. Aquatic plants, primarily bulrush, cattails, marine naiad, and sago pondweed, typically occupy about 5% of the reservoir.
Important sport fishes currently include red drum, palmetto bass, catfishes, and largemouth bass. Fingerling stockings have been conducted in most years since the mid-1970s to support palmetto bass and red drum fisheries. Angler harvest of palmetto bass, red drum, and catfishes has been managed under statewide length and daily bag limits, except that red drum do not have a maximum length limit. Largemouth bass have been intensively managed since the reservoir opened through stocking and special harvest regulations. Florida largemouth bass (FLMB) were first stocked in 1976 and were last stocked in 1987. Largemouth bass harvest regulations were changed from the statewide 10-inch minimum length limit (MLL), 10 fish daily bag limit (DBL) to a 21-inch MLL, 2-fish DBL in 1985. The harvest regulations were again changed in 1993 to an 18-inch MLL, 5-fish DBL. In 2004 and 2006-2008, City Public Service Energy (CPSE, the controlling authority) purchased and stocked sub-adult (6-9 inch) northern largemouth bass.
- Prey species: Gizzard shad, threadfin shad, and bluegill were the primary prey species in the reservoir. Relative abundance of gizzard shad remained high, but bluegill abundance declined in recent years. Prey species were sufficient in size and number to support existing predators.
- Catfishes: Channel catfish dominated the catfish community and provided a popular fishery. Relative abundance and size structure of channel catfish remained were excellent.
- Palmetto bass: Relative abundance of palmetto bass has declined since 2007 despite annual stockings. Palmetto bass were popular with anglers.
- Largemouth bass: Relative abundance was low and similar in all years except in 2005 and 2007. The population size structure remained less than desired with very few fish exceeding the 18-inch MLL. Stockings of sub-adult northern largemouth bass were successful in reducing FLMB introgression, but did not increase relative abundance.
- Red drum: Few red drum were collected in surveys and thus population trends remain unknown. However, this species continued to provide a very popular fishery.
Continue to stock red drum and palmetto bass annually, and evaluate effectiveness of sub-adult northern largemouth bass stockings. Consider changing largemouth bass harvest regulations to standard statewide restrictions.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-30-R-35 Statewide Freshwater Fisheries Monitoring and Management Program