Davy Crockett Reservoir - 2009 Survey Report
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Prepared by John H. Moczygemba and Bruce Hysmith
Inland Fisheries Division
District 2-A, Pottsboro, 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 Davy Crockett Reservoir were surveyed in 2009 using an electrofisher and trap nets and in 2010 using gill nets. Habitat was surveyed in 2009. This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
Davy Crockett Reservoir is a 355-acre impoundment located on Dixon and Sandy Creeks approximately 14 miles northeast of Bonham. Water level has remained within 3 feet of the spillway since 2005. Davy Crockett Reservoir has high biological productivity. Habitat features consisted of open water, natural shoreline, and native aquatic vegetation (floating-leaved, emergent, submersed; greater than 45% coverage).
Important sport fish included channel catfish, largemouth bass, and crappies. The management plan from the 2005 survey report included a recommendation to stock advanced sized channel catfish to supplement low recruitment to legal size. Advanced channel catfish were stocked in 2006 and 2008. The plan also included the introduction of threadfin shad to diversify the forage base. They were stocked successfully in 2008 and 2009. Electrofishing sampling indicated their establishment in the forage base. Habitat surveys have revealed an increase in emerged and submerged vegetation in this reservoir.
- Prey species: Electrofishing catch rate of gizzard shad was low, but over half the gizzard shad were available as prey. Conversely threadfin shad had high catch rates, which established them as an abundant prey. Electrofishing catch rate of bluegills was high, but much lower than in previous years. They still remained an important prey species.
- Channel catfish: Gill net catch rate of channel catfish was low, but the entire sample population was legal-size and in excellent condition. There was still little evidence of recruitment of young channel catfish, even though channel catfish fingerlings (2 and 9 inch) were stocked. Growth was good.
- Largemouth bass: Electrofishing catch rate of largemouth bass was up from 2005; but no fish were collected over the slot and the percentage of slot-sized bass in the population has dropped. Largemouth bass had adequate growth rates and were generally in good condition.
- Crappies: Abundance was good, growth was adequate, and body condition of fish > 11 inches continued to be good for white crappie. Black crappie are routinely sampled in this reservoir, but in low numbers. A few were collected in this survey.
- The channel catfish population may benefit from stocking advanced size fingerlings, after the absence of substock fish has been verified.
- Pending results of the creel survey and early spring electrofishing, consideration will be given to dropping the existing slot length limit on largemouth bass.
- Due to possible winter (2009-2010) kill of threadfin shad, stock adult threadfin to ensure forage diversity.
- Encourage U.S. Forest Service to install and maintain lighting between existing boat ramp and boarding/fishing pier at the east campground.
- Inform U.S. Forest Service about new exotic species threats to Texas waters, and work with them to display appropriate signage, educate constituents, and understand appropriate enforcement actions.
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