Lake Jacksonville - 2012 Survey Report
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Prepared by Richard A. Ott, Jr. and Jacob D. Norman
Inland Fisheries Division
District 3-C, Tyler, Texas
This is the authors' summary from a 33-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish populations in Lake Jacksonville were surveyed in 2012 using electrofishing. Anglers were surveyed from December 2012 through May 2013 with a creel survey. Historical data are presented with the 2012- 2013 data for comparison. This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
Lake Jacksonville is a 1,208-acre reservoir on Gum Creek (a tributary of the Neches River), Texas, built to provide water for municipal and industrial purposes. Boat and bank angler access is adequate. Handicap-specific facilities are present in the parking lot and restrooms near the main boat ramp. Water is clear and low in productivity. Land surrounding the reservoir is highly modified for residential development and approximately 40% of the shoreline has bulkhead at the land/water interface.
Important sport fish include sunfishes, Largemouth Bass, Channel Catfish, White Crappie and Black Crappie. Largemouth Bass are managed with an 18-inch minimum-length limit; remaining species are managed under the statewide harvest regulations. Supplemental Largemouth Bass sampling was conducted in 2010 and 2011; fingerling stockings were conducted in 2010 and 2011 and stocking of 126 surplus brood fish was conducted in 2012. A local angler group purchased 40,000 threadfin shad in 2012 to supplement the prey base.
An integrated vegetation management plan was initiated in 1997 featuring triploid Grass Carp stocking, release of hydrilla flies, herbicide treatments, and native plant introduction. Vegetation surveys were conducted twice a year (spring; pre-treatment and summer; annual) to monitor changes from 2000-2008. Herbicide treatments were conducted annually through 2006. In 2006 and 2007 a total of 3,890 triploid Grass Carp were stocked (10 fish/hydrilla acre). In July 2007, a major flood event removed most of the hydrilla and triploid Grass Carp herbivory prevented reestablishment. By summer 2008 hydrilla was reduced to trace coverage and native vegetation was sparse. Vegetation surveys were reduced to once a year (at the peak of the growing season) from 2009-2012.
- Prey species: Threadfin Shad and Gizzard Shad were present in the reservoir but the prey community continued to be dominated by sunfish species. Overall, electrofishing catch rate of all sunfish species combined was 807/h; Redbreast Sunfish was the most abundant species.
- Catfishes: Channel Catfish, although still present, were rare. Although gill netting was not conducted, continued presence was documented through angler harvest in the creel.
- Black basses: Black bass were the most sought-after species group by anglers at Lake Jacksonville during the winter/spring creel survey and angler success was high. Relative abundance was within the historical range, but size structure had improved considerably. Overall harvest of spotted and largemouth bass was low but both species contribute to the regular and tournament fisheries.
- Crappie: Crappies were the second most sought after sport fish group during the winter/spring creel surveys.
- Conduct electrofishing surveys in fall 2014 and 2016 to monitor largemouth bass and prey populations.
- Continue monitoring results of Thursday night angling tournament.
- Continue native vegetation restoration and promote removal of triploid Grass Carp.
- Continue annual aquatic vegetation surveys and an access survey in 2016.
- Provide signage promoting the Clean-Drain-Dry campaign.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-221-M-3 Inland Fisheries Division Monitoring and Management Program