E. V. Spence Reservoir - 2003 Survey Report
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Prepared by Brian Van Zee and Mandy Scott
Inland Fisheries Division
District 1-C, San Angelo, Texas
This is the authors' summary from a 20-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
E.V. Spence Reservoir was surveyed in 2003 using trap nets and electrofishing and in 2004 using gill nets. This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
E. V. Spence Reservoir is located on the Colorado River near Robert Lee, Coke County, Texas, and is used for water supply and recreation. E.V. Spence has a history of prolonged water level declines and has never filled to conservation pool. At the time of sampling, the reservoir covered approximately 2,700 acres and it has become increasingly more saline since construction. Also, in the winters of 2001, 2002, and 2003 golden algae Prymnesium parvum blooms caused major fish kills in the reservoir. Boat access is restricted to a single one-lane temporary ramp and shoreline access is adequate.
- Prey species: The gizzard shad electrofishing catch rate in 2003 was 131.0/h, substantially higher than 2001 (67.0/h) but lower than 1999 (205.0/h). The index of vulnerability was 92, indicating good availability to predators. The 2003 electrofishing catch rate for bluegill (7.0/h) was similar to the 2001 catch rate of 3.0/h and the 1999 catch rate of 11.0/h.
- Catfishes: No blue catfish have been collected during spring gill net surveys in 2002, 2003, or 2004. No channel catfish have been collected during spring gill net surveys in 2002, 2003, or 2004.
- Temperate basses: No white bass have been collected during spring gill net surveys in 2002, 2003, or 2004. No striped bass have been collected during spring gill net surveys in 2002, 2003, or 2004.
- Largemouth bass: The electrofishing catch rate for largemouth bass in 2003 was 19.0/h, down from 2001 (35.0/h). Condition of sampled largemouth bass was excellent as mean Wr values ranged from 119 to 135. No age and growth analysis or electrophoresis was conducted on largemouth bass in 2003.
- White crappie: The trap net catch rate for white crappie in 2003 was 0.3/NN, lower than the 2002 catch rate (16.4/NN) but similar to the 1999 catch rate (1.4/NN). No white crappie age and growth analysis was conducted in 2003.
Based on the current information, the reservoir should continue to be managed with the existing regulations. Golden algae blooms in 2001, 2002, and 2003 essentially eliminated the fishery at E.V. Spence Reservoir. The reservoir should be re-stocked with forage and game fish species that were present prior to the fish kills. In addition, cell densities and toxicity levels of golden algae within E.V. Spence Reservoir should be monitored and the reservoir should be stocked when conditions are favorable for fish survival. Since the fishery and angler use is essentially non-existent on E.V. Spence Reservoir, the annual 9 day spring quarter creel survey will be removed from the four year sampling schedule and the annual gill net survey will be reduced to once every two years.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-30-R-29 Statewide Freshwater Fisheries Monitoring and Management Program