Daniel Reservoir - 2013 Survey Report
Prepared by Natalie Amoroso and Michael Homer Jr.
Inland Fisheries Division
District 1-B, Abilene, 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.
Fish populations in Daniel Reservoir were surveyed in fall 2013 using electrofishing and trap netting. No gill netting was conducted in spring 2014 due to low water levels. Historical data are presented with the 2013 data for comparison. This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
Daniel Reservoir is a 950-acre impoundment constructed in 1948 on Gonzales Creek. The reservoir is located in Stephens County approximately 65 miles northeast of Abilene and is owned and operated by the City of Breckenridge. The reservoir provides municipal water supply for the City of Breckenridge. It was nearly dry from fall 2003 to spring 2007. After filling in June 2007, the water level began to decline and was nearly 11 feet below conservation pool in January 2014. Boat access was limited to one public boat ramp during the summer and fall of 2013 but was no longer usable by larger boats in March 2014. Bank fishing access was limited to the boat ramp area.
Important sport fish include Largemouth Bass, Channel Catfish, and crappie. Previous management history included re-establishment of all sport and forage fishes by stocking fish, inform anglers of new fishing opportunities, discuss water conservation and stricter water restriction trigger points on the use of Daniel Reservoir for municipal water use with the City of Breckenridge. The most recent stockings included Florida Largemouth Bass in 2007 after the lake refilled. Angler harvest of all sport fishes has been regulated according to statewide size and bag limits.
No aquatic or semi-aquatic plants were present in 2013. The most prevalent vegetation type was flooded terrestrial brush and areas without vegetation. Riprap, cobble, boulders, and bedrock were also present.
- Prey species: Prey for sport fish were abundant and consisted primarily of Gizzard Shad, Bluegill, and Longear Sunfish. Other prey species present were Threadfin Shad, Inland Silverside, Green Sunfish, and Redear Sunfish. Prey species were of sizes that were available to most sport fish.
- Catfishes: No gill net sampling was conducted due to low water level.
- White Bass: No gill net sampling was conducted due to low water level. White Bass were present in the fall 2013 trap netting surveys.
- Largemouth bass: The relative abundance of Largemouth Bass has declined from 2009 to 2013. The number of Largemouth Bass below stock size has decreased since 2008 compared to 2013. Low numbers of legal-size fish were sampled in 2008, 2009, and 2013. Body conditions of Largemouth Bass have slightly improved since 2008.
- Crappie: Both White and Black crappie were present in the reservoir with White Crappie being dominant. The 2013 trap net catch of White Crappie suggests large increase in relative abundance since 2009, and nearly four times the number of harvestable-sized fish were caught in 2013.
Survey Channel Catfish, White and Black crappie, Largemouth Bass, White Bass, and forage fish populations when water level permits. Meet with the City of Breckenridge to discuss water conservation and their plans for Daniel Reservoir as a municipal water source for the city. Advertise the excellent White Crappie fishery. Inform the public of the threat of invasive species and their impacts.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-221-M-4 Inland Fisheries Division Monitoring and Management Program