Bridgeport Reservoir - 2009 Survey Report
Prepared by Bruce Hysmith and John H. Moczygemba
Inland Fisheries Division
District 2-A, Pottsboro, Texas
This is the authors' summary from a 34-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish populations in Bridgeport Reservoir were surveyed in 2009 using an electrofisher and trap nets and in 2010 using gill nets. Habitat was surveyed in 2009. This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
Bridgeport Reservoir is an 11,954-acre impoundment located on the West Fork Trinity River approximately 8 miles west of Bridgeport. Water level has been below conservation elevation (836 feet-mean sea level) 42 of the past 48 months or since May 2006, therefore, at or above conservation elevation for only 6 months. Bridgeport Reservoir has moderate, but increasing, productivity. Habitat features consisted mainly of rocky shoreline and submerged boulders. There was some standing timber and a small amount of hydrilla.
Important sport fish included channel catfish, white bass, palmetto bass, smallmouth bass, spotted bass, largemouth bass, and white crappie. The fisheries management plan prepared in 2006 included resuming stocking palmetto bass at 5/acre in 2007 and 2009. Monitoring the population with gill nets in 2008. Since gizzard shad appeared directly impacted by palmetto bass stocking, both gizzard and threadfin shad populations were to be monitored by electrofishing in 2006 and 2008. Florida largemouth bass (FLMB) alleles were below 20% indicating a need to restock. FLMB fingerlings were stocked last stocked in 2007 and 2008. In 1993, a 14- to 18-inch slot length limit for largemouth bass was implemented. Smallmouth bass were stocked annually from 1982 through 1985. Since then, the population has been maintained by natural reproduction. Threadfin shad were stocked in 1984 and 1985 and are still present.
- Prey species: Threadfin shad continued to be present in the reservoir. Electrofishing catch of gizzard shad has begun to rebound following a decline thought related to palmetto bass stocking. Half the gizzard shad were available as prey to most sportfishes. Electrofishing catch of desirable prey-size bluegills was high.
- Catfishes: No gill net sampling due to reservoir closing because of high water. Gill get catch was high for channel catfish in 2008, but sample sites were subjectively selected. A make-up random site sampling will be conducted in 2011.
- Temperate basses: No gill net sampling was cancelled due to reservoir closing because of high water. Gill net catch was high for white bass and palmetto bass, but sample sites were subjectively selected. A gill netting survey will be conducted in 2011.
- Black basses: Largemouth bass were the most abundant, followed by spotted bass and smallmouth bass. Abundance and size structure of smallmouth bass continues to increase and improve. Abundance of spotted bass has significantly increased while largemouth bass abundance remains below previous numbers. All black basses demonstrated adequate growth rates and good condition.
- White crappie: Abundance of white crappie was low, but condition continued to be good.
- Conduct standard gill netting in 2011.
- Continue stocking palmetto bass at 5/acre in 2011 and 2013. Monitor the population during the standard gill net survey in 2011 and 2014.
- Monitor gizzard and threadfin shad populations during the standard electrofishing survey in 2013.
- Monitor smallmouth bass in the early spring of 2011 when water temperature is around 60° F.
- Inform the Tarrant County Regional Water District about new exotic species threats to Texas waters, and work with them authorities to display appropriate signage, educate constituents, and understand appropriate enforcement actions.
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