Gilmer Reservoir - 2008 Survey Report
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Prepared by Timothy J. Bister and Michael W. Brice
Inland Fisheries Division
District 3-A, Marshall, Texas
This is the authors' summary from a 22-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish populations in Gilmer Reservoir were surveyed in 2008 using electrofishing and in 2009 using gill nets. Anglers were surveyed from June 2005 through May 2006 with an access-point creel survey. This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
Gilmer Reservoir is a 1,010-acre impoundment constructed in 2001 on Kelsey Creek in the Big Cypress River Basin and controlled by the City of Gilmer. Structural habitat consists primarily of natural shoreline features. Hydrilla and native aquatic plants cover 26% of the reservoir surface area.
Largemouth bass have been managed with an 18-inch minimum length limit since the reservoir was opened to public fishing. The reservoir has developed a well-known trophy largemouth bass fishery. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has recently stocked Florida largemouth bass in 2008 and 2009 to maintain this trophy fishery. Channel catfish have been stocked in the reservoir, but lack of suitable spawning habitat has limited natural reproduction.
- Prey species: Gizzard shad were generally too large to be available as prey to sport fish. However, threadfin shad were collected during 2008 electrofishing. Bluegill were the most abundant sunfish species and serve as an excellent prey source for largemouth bass in the reservoir.
- Catfishes: No channel catfish were collected during the 2009 gill netting survey.
- Largemouth bass: Electrofishing catch rates of largemouth bass were higher in 2008 than in previous years. Largemouth bass received the highest percentage of angling effort compared to other species in the reservoir from June 2005 through May 2006. Growth of largemouth bass was moderate. The average length of age-3 fish in 2008 was 15.7 inches. Fish body condition was good, indicating adequate prey availability.
- Crappie: Experimental lighted trap netting was conducted in fall 2008 as part of a special research project. However, only two crappie were collected during the entire survey. Thus, these data were not included in the research project. Anglers were more successful catching crappie in the 2005/2006 creel survey period compared to the 2001/2002 survey. Directed angling effort increased in the 2005/2006 survey and anglers caught larger fish, resulting in higher harvest estimates compared to the previous survey.
Conduct electrofishing surveys every other year beginning in 2010, and general monitoring with gill nets in 2013. An access-point angler creel survey will be conducted from June 2012 through May 2013. Hydrilla will be inspected annually to monitor access-related issues and to watch for other non-native invasive aquatic vegetation. Technical guidance will be given to controlling authority regarding invasive aquatic vegetation management as necessary. Largemouth bass will continue to be managed with the 18-inch minimum length limit, but the harvest regulation will be evaluated every two years to ensure management objectives are met.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-30-R-34 Statewide Freshwater Fisheries Monitoring and Management Program