Lake Bryan - 2009 Survey Report
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Prepared by Jeffrey C. Henson and Mark A. Webb
Inland Fisheries Division
District 3-E, Snook, Texas
This is the authors' summary from a 21-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 2009 through May 2010 using electrofishing, gill netting, and trap netting. A structural habitat survey and a vegetation survey were conducted in September 2009. Angler use and harvest information was collected using an access point creel survey which was conducted from March through May 2008. 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 riprap and scattered native emergent vegetation.
Important sport fish in Lake Bryan include largemouth bass, channel catfish, white crappie, and black crappie. A variety of sunfish species are also present. Sport fish species are managed under statewide length and bag limits with the exception that largemouth bass population has been under an 18-inch minimum length limit since September 1996. In recent years, the relative abundance of largemouth bass and sunfishes has declined. Catfish and crappie have remained relatively stable with significant angling effort directed at those species.
- Prey species: Sunfish, gizzard shad, 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 in recent years. Fifteen channel catfish ranging in length from 11 to 14 inches were captured in the 2010 gill net survey. The creel survey indicates anglers target and catch channel catfish at a very low rate (0.16/hr). Growth of channel catfish at Lake Bryan is slow.
- Largemouth bass: Largemouth bass abundance has greatly declined since 2008. Only one bass was captured in the 2009 fall electrofishing survey. Low water negatively impacted sampling efficiency, but creel survey results also indicated a declining population.
- Crappie: Crappie catches in trap netting surveys are typically poor. However, directed effort and angler catch rate for crappies have increased with anglers harvesting over 800 crappie during the creel period March through May 2008.
The largemouth bass fishery has declined since 2007 due to low primary productivity. To date, BTU hasn’t shown interest in a fertilization program designed to boost overall reservoir productivity. 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-35 Statewide Freshwater Fisheries Monitoring and Management Program