Caddo Lake - 2005 Survey Report
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Prepared by Timothy J. Bister and Michael W. Brice
Inland Fisheries Division
District 3-A, Marshall, 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 Caddo Lake (Texas side only) were surveyed in 2005 using electrofishing and in 2006 using trap nets and gill nets. An angler creel survey and economic assessment of the fishery was conducted from June 2002 to May 2003. This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
Caddo Lake is a 27,472-acre natural lake on Big Cypress Creek located in the Cypress Creek Basin approximately 20 miles northeast of Marshall, Texas in Harrison and Marion Counties, and Caddo Parish, Louisiana. Habitat features consisted of Bald Cypress wetlands and a complex aquatic plant community including invasive species waterhyacinth and hydrilla.
Important sport fish include largemouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish, and crappie. The management plan from the 2001 survey report included the need for aquatic vegetation monitoring strategies, unified fish harvest regulations between Texas and Louisiana, largemouth bass genetic monitoring and supplemental stocking when appropriate, economic assessment of the Caddo Lake fishery, and the formulation of a multi-agency task force to protect this important resource. Largemouth bass were managed with 14-to 18-inch slot-length limit. Florida largemouth bass stocking was requested for 2006 and 2007. Annual efforts to control waterhyacinth coverage on the lake continue.
- Prey species: Threadfin shad continued to be present in the reservoir. Electrofishing catch of gizzard shad and bluegill was higher in 2005 than previous surveys, and many of these fish were available as prey to most sport fish.
- Catfishes: The channel catfish population has many fish above legal size and provides good angling opportunities. Gill net catch rates of flathead catfish were higher in 2006 than in previous surveys.
- Temperate basses: Gill net catch rates of white bass in Caddo Lake were low, but similar to previous years, probably due to the limited open-water habitat available on the Texas side of the lake. No palmetto bass were collected in the 2006 gill net sample. Palmetto bass were never stocked in Caddo Lake, but they have been collected during previous gill net surveys, presumably from upstream stocking in Lake O’ the Pines.
- Largemouth bass: Largemouth bass were relatively abundant. Size structure was good, and fish had excellent body condition. Nearly 50% of all anglers at Caddo Lake fished for largemouth bass during a 2002-2003 creel survey.
- Crappie: Experimental spring trap netting for crappie during the spawning season did not result in expected higher catch rates. However, both black and white crappie were collected.
- Conduct electrofishing survey in 2007, aquatic vegetation surveys annually from 2006-2009, and general monitoring with trap nets and electrofishing surveys in 2009 and gill netting in 2010.
- Stock Florida largemouth bass in 2007 and reassess population genetics in 2010.
- Continue to assist Caddo Lake Stakeholders with nuisance aquatic vegetation management strategies as part of their development of a Watershed Protection Plan for the Cypress Basin.
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