Kurth Reservoir - 2010 Survey Report
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Prepared by Dan Ashe and Todd Driscoll
Inland Fisheries Division
District 3-D, Jasper, 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 Kurth Reservoir were surveyed in 2011 using gill netting and electrofishing. Anglers were surveyed from March through May 2011 with an access point creel. Aquatic vegetation and access surveys were conducted in 2010. This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
Kurth Reservoir is an impoundment on a small, unnamed tributary of the Angelina River in the Neches River Basin. The City of Lufkin is the controlling authority and primary use of the reservoir is recreation. However, the city may provide industrial water to a mining company in the near future. At conservation pool (197.5 ft. msl), Kurth Reservoir is 726 acres in size, has a shoreline length of 15 miles, and a mean depth of 15 feet. Boat and bank access is adequate, with one boat ramp present. Habitat in the lake consists primarily of flooded timber and aquatic vegetation (primarily hydrilla). Most of the land surrounding the reservoir is used for timber production.
Important sport fish include largemouth bass, white and black crappie, and catfish. The fishery is managed under current statewide regulations. Hydrilla was first discovered at Kurth Reservoir in 1999, and coverage reached 34% in 2002. In 2002, a vegetation management plan was developed and 1,000 triploid grass carp were stocked at a rate of 5 fish/vegetated acre in an attempt to reduce hydrilla coverage to 10-15%. Grass carp have had little effect on hydrilla, and in 2010 coverage exceeded 45%.
- Prey species: A fall electrofishing survey could not be conducted due to excessive vegetation coverage. However, threadfin and gizzard shad, bluegill, and redear sunfish were observed during the spring 2011 electrofishing survey and were available as prey for predators.
- Catfishes: The gill net catch rate of both channel and blue catfish has declined steadily over past surveys. Two channel catfish were caught in 2011 indicating poor recruitment. Kurth Reservoir supports only a limited catfish fishery.
- Temperate basses: Palmetto bass were stocked annually from 1994-1998. The fishery never developed and stocking was discontinued. As expected, gill net catch rates have declined over time with no palmetto bass observed in 2011 gill net or creel surveys.
- Largemouth bass: Largemouth bass were relatively abundant in spring electrofishing surveys. Population size structure indicated good recruitment and an abundance of fish 10 - 18 inches in length. Largemouth bass were the most sought-after species at Kurth Reservoir.
- Crappies: White and black crappie were present in the reservoir. Angler catch (0.6/hour) and total spring quarter (March-May 2011) harvest (669 fish) reflected an adequate crappie fishery.
- Continue to monitor hydrilla coverage via annual aquatic vegetation surveys.
- Conduct spring electrofishing surveys in 2013 and 2015.
- Conduct fall electrofishing, gill net, and creel surveys in 2014/2015.
- Continue to request Florida largemouth stockings. Propose implementation of a 16-inch maximum length limit for largemouth bass.
- Request the City of Lufkin improve access and parking areas.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-221-M-1 Statewide Freshwater Fisheries Monitoring and Management Program