Coleman Reservoir - 2008 Survey Report
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Prepared by Ben Neely and Spencer Dumont
Inland Fisheries Division
District 1-B, Abilene, Texas
This is the authors' summary from a 30-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish populations in Coleman Reservoir were surveyed in 2008 using electrofishing and trap nets, and 2009 using gill nets. This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
Coleman Reservoir is a 1,783-acre impoundment owned and controlled by the City of Coleman, Texas. It was impounded in 1966 on Jim Ned Creek, a tributary of the Colorado River, and is located 11 miles north of Coleman. The reservoir provides municipal and industrial water supply for the City of Coleman and is also used for flood control and recreation. The habitat in the reservoir at the time of sampling consisted mainly of rocky structure, standing timber, and aquatic vegetation (e.g., water stargrass and floating leaf pondweed).
Sport fish include channel catfish, flathead catfish, palmetto bass, largemouth bass, and white crappie. Palmetto bass have been stocked with varying frequency since 1976 with the most recent stocking in 2007. A 14-in minimum length limit was used for largemouth bass in 1985 before a 14-in minimum length limit was adopted statewide in 1986. A 16-in minimum length limit was placed on largemouth bass in 1992 but removed in 1999 in favor of the statewide 14-in minimum length limit. Age structures have been collected from palmetto bass, largemouth bass, and white crappie in past years to document growth. With the exception of largemouth bass in 1985 and from 1992-1999, statewide harvest regulations have always been used at Coleman Reservoir. Twenty-two species of aquatic plants were introduced in 1998 as part of a statewide habitat initiative.
- Prey species: Gizzard shad and bluegill comprised the main forage base for the piscivorous fish community in Coleman Reservoir. Generally, gizzard shad abundance has decreased and size has increased since 2006. Bluegill abundance has declined since 2006.
- Catfishes: Relative abundance and size structure of channel catfish in 2009 remained consistent with 2003 and 2005 levels. The channel catfish population mainly consisted of legal-length (≥ 12 in) fish and the largest sampled was 23 in. Flathead catfish were also present in Coleman Reservoir.
- Temperate basses: Stockings in 2007 have resulted in a high relative abundance of sublegal palmetto bass (< 18 in). Body condition decreased from 2003 and 2005 levels. Numerous 14-16 in fish were sampled in 2009 gill nets and should reach harvestable size by 2010.
- Largemouth bass: Relative abundance of largemouth bass remained steady in Coleman Reservoir. However, the size distribution was shifted slightly toward smaller fish. Additionally, body condition of largemouth bass generally decreased as size increased. The proportion of Florida-strain largemouth bass alleles was 48% in 2006.
- White crappie: Abundance of white crappie has steadily increased since 2000 and size structure and body condition were similar to 2004 measurements. Fish between six and ten inches were plentiful and should result in increased abundance of legal size fish next year.
Continue to stock palmetto bass, when available, to supplement existing population at 5/acre. Additional electrofishing is scheduled for 2010 to further assess the largemouth bass and prey species populations.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-30-R-34 Statewide Freshwater Fisheries Monitoring and Management Program