E. V. Spence Reservoir - 2007 Survey Report
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Prepared by Mukhtar Farooqi and Mandy Scott
Inland Fisheries Division
District 1-C, San Angelo, Texas
This is the authors' summary from a 16-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish populations in E.V. Spence Reservoir were surveyed in 2007 using electrofishing and trap nets, and in 2008 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 a 14,950-acre reservoir, when full, located on the Colorado River near Robert Lee, Coke County, Texas, and is used for water supply and recreation. It has a history of prolonged water level declines and has never filled to conservation pool. It was approximately 47 ft. below conservation level with a surface area of approximately 3,900 acres at the time of sampling in fall 2007. Golden algae Prymnesium parvum blooms caused significant fish kills in the winters of 2001, 2002, and 2003 that effectively eliminated the fishery. In subsequent years, toxic conditions (2005, 2007) and fish kills (2006, 2008), mainly involving gizzard shad, have been documented. Habitat features at the time of sampling consisted primarily of flooded dead terrestrial vegetation and rocky areas. Boat access was limited to a single one-lane temporary ramp and shoreline access was adequate.
Important sport fish included largemouth bass, striped bass, white crappie, white bass, channel catfish and blue catfish. Striped bass have been stocked almost every year since 1969 to maintain the population with the exception of 2001 to 2003 when the reservoir was impacted by toxic conditions resulting in major fish kills. Stocking resumed in 2004 in an effort to restore the striped bass population. Similarly, Florida largemouth bass, bluegill and channel catfish were stocked in multiple years following these major fish kills to re-establish the fishery.
- Prey species: Electrofishing catch of gizzard shad was good and a high proportion of fish (97%) was available as prey. Electrofishing catch of bluegill was poor as was size structure.
- Catfishes: No channel catfish, blue catfish or flathead catfish were collected by gill nets in 2008.
- Temperate basses: No striped bass were collected during sampling in 2008. White bass catch rate and size structure, as determined by gill nets, were very poor.
- Largemouth bass: Abundance and size structure were poor. No harvestable size (14 inches) fish were collected in 2007.
- Crappie: Abundance and size structure of white crappie were very poor. No harvestable size (10 inches) fish were collected in 2007.
Based on current data, E.V. Spence Reservoir should continue to be managed with existing regulations. The reservoir should be monitored to evaluate recent stocking efforts. Future stockings would be subject to suitable water quality conditions as determined by monitoring cell density and toxicity levels of golden algae. A mandatory standard survey is scheduled to be carried out in 2011-2012 with trap nets, gill nets, and electrofishing gear to assess important fish populations. Additional sampling is scheduled for 2009-2010 with electrofishing gear and gill nets to monitor the recovery of fish populations.
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