Lake O' the Pines - 2010 Survey Report
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Prepared by Timothy J. Bister
Inland Fisheries Division
District 3-A, Marshall, 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 O’ the Pines were surveyed in 2010 using electrofishing and trap netting and in 2011 using gill netting. Anglers were surveyed from June 2010 through May 2011 with a creel survey. This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
Lake O’ the Pines is a 16,269-acre reservoir on Big Cypress Creek, which was constructed in 1956 by the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) for flood control, municipal and industrial water supply, and public recreation. Habitat features consisted of inundated timber, brush, creek channels, and riprap. Water level has been relatively stable over the last year, allowing the growth of some aquatic vegetation throughout the reservoir.
Important sport fish include largemouth bass, channel catfish, white bass, sunfish, and crappie. Palmetto bass stocking was discontinued due to low angler utilization. All fish species are currently managed under statewide harvest regulations except for crappie. From 1 December until the last day in February, anglers are required to keep the first 25 crappie they catch each day regardless of size to minimize excess mortality due to fish being caught in deep water.
- Prey species: Threadfin shad were present in the reservoir. Electrofishing catch of gizzard shad has decreased since previous surveys and 63% of fish collected during the 2010 electrofishing survey were available as prey to sport fish. Bluegill catch has increased over the last three surveys, and many of these fish were available as prey to sport fish. Redbreast sunfish and redear sunfish serve as an additional prey source for predators and also grow to sizes desirable to anglers.
- Catfishes: The channel catfish population had many fish above legal size and provided good angling opportunities. Gill net catch rates of channel catfish in 2011 have increased compared to previous surveys. Flathead catfish were also present in the reservoir. Catfish were the third most sought after fish by anglers.
- White bass: Gill net catch rates of white bass in 2011 were higher than 2007 but lower than 2003. Few anglers targeted white bass during the 2010/2011 creel survey.
- Black basses: Largemouth bass electrofishing catch rates were much higher than previous surveys. Growth rates were moderate. The average age of a 14-inch fish was 2.7 years. Largemouth bass as long as 24 inches were collected and body condition was good. Spotted bass were present and provide additional angling opportunities. Black basses were the most sought species group by anglers during the 2010/2011 creel survey.
- Crappie: Even though crappie catch rates in trap nets were poor, a popular fishery existed. Directed angling effort toward crappie was 34% of the total hours spent fishing on the reservoir. This was second only to black basses.
- Conduct a supplemental electrofishing survey in fall 2012.
- Conduct general monitoring with electrofishing in 2014 and gill netting in 2015.
- Conduct annual surveys of invasive aquatic vegetation. Provide technical guidance to the controlling authority if the need arises to actively manage invasive aquatic plants.
- Stock Florida largemouth bass annually to maintain the quality of the fishery.
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