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Limestone Reservoir - 2004 Survey Report

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Prepared by John E. Tibbs and Michael S. Baird
Inland Fisheries Division
District 2-B, Waco, Texas

This is the authors' summary from a 45-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.

Limestone Reservoir was surveyed in fall 2004 by boat electrofishing, winter 2004 by trap netting, and spring 2005 by gill netting. A year-long creel survey was conducted from June 1 2004 to May 31 2005. This report summarizes survey results and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.

Reservoir Description

Limestone Reservoir is a 13,680-acre reservoir within the Navasota River system in Limestone, Robertson and Leon counties, Texas. The reservoir was created in 1978 and is operated by the Brazos River Authority. Primary land use surrounding Limestone’s 130 miles of shoreline is agriculture. The reservoir is eutrophic with water transparencies ranging from 1 to 2 feet, and average and maximum depths of 16.5 and 43 feet respectively. Water uses include power plant cooling and recreation. Shoreline habitat 53consisted of native emergent and submergent vegetation, flooded timber, and man-made bulk heading at the time of sampling. Bank fishing is limited to a few day-use areas on the reservoir. Boat access remains adequate and handicap facilities remain poor. Further information about Limestone Reservoir and its facilities can be obtained by visiting the Texas Parks and Wildlife web site and and navigating within the fishing link.

Aquatic Vegetation

Limestone reservoir contains a high diversity of aquatic vegetation species. Although vegetation coverage of 20 to 30% is considered beneficial to fisheries, a few exotic plant species are known for their ability to spread rapidly and inundate a water body. Limestone reservoir has two of these species: hydrilla and water hyacinth. Hydrilla coverage was extensive in the early to mid 1980’s, but has been less in recent years. Hydrilla was the only species of concern within the reservoir in 1997, covering an estimated 19 surface acres. From 2000 through 2005, only trace concentrations of hydrilla were observed.

Water hyacinth was observed upstream of the FM 3371 bridge during the August 2000 survey, and its coverage was estimated at 7.0 acres. Coverage was 3.5 acres in April 2001, however numerous individual plants were observed drifting within the main stem reservoir at this time. In 2002, 37.5 acrs were observed throughout the reservoir. In 2003 and 2004, 35 acres were observed throughout the reservoir. During periods of wind, large numbers of plants can be observed drifting across the lake. Water hyacinth was previously a problem in the reservoir in 1983, but was eradicated by the following severe winter.

Water hyacinth is the most serious threat to Limestone reservoir currently because of its floating nature and ability to colonize any stretch of shoreline. To date, no aquatic vegetation control has been slated for Limestone reservoir, despite communications with the Brazos River Authority (BRA) and frequent complaints from landowners. A well-attended public meeting was held in 2003 to present options for private citizens wishing to control vegetation along their shoreline. Annual vegetation surveys are recommended to further monitor these two problematic plant species.

Fish Community

Management Strategies

Limestone Reservoir should continue to be managed with the existing bag limits and minimum length regulations. The 2005 creel indicated low to nonexistent harvest on major gamefish species.

Sport Fish Restoration Logo

Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-30-R-30 Statewide Freshwater Fisheries Monitoring and Management Program



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