Cooper Reservoir - 2007 Survey Report
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Prepared by Aaron K. Jubar and Kevin W. Storey
Inland Fisheries Division
District 3-B, Tyler, Texas
This is the authors' summary from a 25-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish populations in Cooper Reservoir were surveyed using electrofishing and trap netting in 2007, and gill netting in 2008. A littoral-zone habitat survey and an aquatic vegetation survey were conducted in summer 2007. This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir.
Cooper Reservoir is located in Delta and Hopkins Counties on the Middle and South Forks of the Sulphur River. It was constructed by the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers for water supply and flood control. Reservoir elevation in the past four years has experienced extreme fluctuations, declining to 17.5 feet below conservation pool elevation in December 2006. Elevations returned to conservation pool in 2007, flooding terrestrial vegetation and providing additional habitat for many fish species.
Important sport fishes at Cooper Reservoir include palmetto bass, white bass, blue catfish, channel catfish, and largemouth bass. Palmetto bass are stocked annually at a rate of 10/acre.
- Prey species: Cooper Reservoir contained populations of both gizzard shad and bluegill of appropriate size to provide prey for sport fish. Electrofishing surveys resulted in few threadfin shad, and other species of sunfishes were rarely encountered.
- Catfishes: Cooper Reservoir continued to sustain quality fisheries of blue and channel catfish. Sub-stock sized fish of both species were collected, indicating successful reproduction. Harvestable-size blue catfish occurred in high numbers and exhibited good body condition.
- Temperate basses: Ample open water habitat and a sufficient prey base allow Cooper Reservoir to support populations of white bass and palmetto bass. Cooper Reservoir has received annual stockings of palmetto bass since 2002.
- Black bass: Largemouth bass abundance has historically been limited. Unseasonably low lake elevations prohibited electrofishing sampling in fall 2005. When the reservoir elevation returned to conservation pool in 2007, numerous juvenile largemouth bass, but no adult fish, were collected in electrofishing.
- Crappie: White and black crappie were present in the reservoir. Although not overly abundant, many of the white crappie sampled were of harvestable size. Only one black crappie was sampled in 2007.
- Annual stockings of palmetto bass should continue at a rate of 10/acre to maintain the fishery.
- Recommend stocking FLMB at 25/acre as a result of significant increase in habitat resulting from increased water level and subsequent development of aquatic habitat.
- General monitoring with trap netting, gill netting and electrofishing surveys will be repeated in 2011-2012.
- Conduct an aquatic vegetation survey in 2008 to monitor hydrilla in the vicinity of boat ramps.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-30-R-33 Statewide Freshwater Fisheries Monitoring and Management Program