Lake O' the Pines - 2006 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 27-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 2006 using electrofishing and trap nets and in 2007 using gill nets. 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. Aquatic plants were sparse in the lower end of the reservoir. Hydrilla was dominant in the upper end. Low water levels due to drought conditions existed until January 2007.
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.
- Prey species: Threadfin shad continued to be present in the reservoir. Electrofishing catch of gizzard shad has increased since previous surveys and 68% of fish collected during 2006 electrofishing were small enough to be available as prey to most sport fish. Bluegill catch was similar to previous surveys, and many of these fish were available as prey to most 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 2007 were similar to previous surveys. Flathead catfish were also present in the reservoir. No blue catfish have been collected in gill net surveys since 1996.
- Temperate basses: Gill net catch rates of white bass in 2007 were lower than 2003 but similar to 2001. No palmetto bass were collected during the 2007 survey. Because the last palmetto bass stocking occurred in 2000, it is likely that few fish remain in the reservoir. Yellow bass were also present.
- Black basses: Largemouth bass electrofishing catch rates were similar to previous surveys. Growth rates were high. The average age of a 14-inch fish was 1.9 years. Largemouth bass as long as 21 inches were collected and body condition was good. Spotted bass abundance was lower in 2006 than previous years, but provides additional angling opportunities.
- Crappie: Both black and white crappie were collected during fall 2006 trap net surveys. Abundance in 2006 was similar to the 2002 survey.
- Conduct general monitoring with trap nets, electrofishing, and aquatic vegetation surveys in 2010 and gill netting in 2011.
- Conduct angler creel survey from June 2010 to May 2011 to assess angler effort and harvest.
- Provide technical guidance to the controlling authority if the need arises to actively manage the hydrilla infestation.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-30-R-32 Statewide Freshwater Fisheries Monitoring and Management Program