Lake Bryan - 2005 Survey Report
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Prepared by Jeffrey C. Henson and Mark A. Webb
Inland Fisheries Division
District 3-E, Bryan, Texas
This is the authors' summary from a 23-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
The Lake Bryan fish community was surveyed from June 2005 through May 2006 using electrofishing, gill nets, and trap nets. A structural habitat survey and a vegetation survey were conducted in August 2005. Angler use and harvest information was collected using a roving-creel survey, which was conducted from March-May 2004. This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
Lake Bryan is a 732-acre reservoir in Brazos County, Texas, built by Bryan Texas Utilities (BTU) to provide water for power-plant cooling. The lake has a small watershed with a water well owned by BTU used to help maintain water level. The lake is located within a public park, and access for both boat and bank angling is excellent. The primary fish habitat is limestone rip-rap and scattered native emergent vegetation.
Important sport fish in Lake Bryan include largemouth bass, channel catfish, and white and black crappie. A variety of sunfish species are also abundant. Most species are managed under statewide length and bag limits. Largemouth bass were placed under an 18-inch minimum length limit in 1996. Prey fish are sufficiently abundant in sizes available to largemouth bass.
- Prey species: Sunfish make up the majority of prey fish in Lake Bryan. Gizzard and threadfin shad are present but in low numbers. Bluegill are the most abundant of the sunfish species, and most are < 4 inches in length. Threadfin shad were stocked in 1992 but do not contribute significantly to the prey base in Lake Bryan.
- Catfishes: Channel catfish abundance has declined over the past few years. Only one individual was captured in the 2006 gill net survey. However, the creel survey indicates anglers do target and catch channel catfish. Growth of channel catfish at Lake Bryan is slow.
- Largemouth bass: Largemouth bass are abundant in Lake Bryan with fish up to 21 inches collected in our electrofishing survey in 2005. The 18-inch minimum length limit has allowed the population to produce larger sized bass for anglers. The current lake record is over 7 pounds.
- Crappie: Catches of crappie in our monitoring surveys are typically poor. Though directed angler effort for crappie was low in the 2004 creel survey, anglers did report catching and releasing crappie, with some harvest of black crappie. Hybrid crappie were stocked in 1997 in an attempt to increase the numbers of crappie available for harvest; however, none were collected in the present survey.
Largemouth bass are the most important sport fish in Lake Bryan, and our management strategies will continue to focus on maintaining that component of the fishery. We propose a change from the 18-inch minimum length limit to a 16-inch maximum length limit in 2006. This regulation would provide continued angling opportunities for larger bass while allowing limited harvest of bass less than 16 inches. We will be working with BTU to continue a fertilization program designed to boost overall productivity benefiting production of all fish species. Native aquatic plant introductions will continue to be monitored. Coordination with law enforcement staff to reduce illegal harvest will continue.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-30-R-31 Statewide Freshwater Fisheries Monitoring and Management Program