Meredith Reservoir - 2006 Survey Report
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Prepared by Charles Munger and Jason Henegar
Inland Fisheries Division
District 1-A, Canyon, Texas
This is the authors' summary from a 36-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish Populations in Meredith Reservoir were surveyed in 2006 using electrofishing and trap nets and in 2007 using gill nets. Anglers were surveyed from April 2006 to September 2006 with a creel survey. This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
Meredith Reservoir is an impoundment on the Canadian River 35 miles northeast of Amarillo, Texas. It was built in 1965 to provide municipal and industrial water. It experiences substantial water level fluctuations and covered approximately 5,500 acres during 2006-2007. Angler and boat access is adequate but only 2 boat ramps were usable in spring 2006. There are two handicap accessible fishing piers. Habitat was primarily silt and rock shoreline areas, with some non-native macrophytes. There have been no significant man-made changes in habitat since 1998.
Important sport fish include walleye, white bass, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, white crappie, and catfish. Walleye were managed under a two under 16 inches regulation to improve angler catch rates and size of fish caught. Smallmouth bass were placed under a 12-15 inch slot limit in 1992 in an effort to increase the number of larger fish. Largemouth bass, crappie and catfish have been managed under statewide regulations.
- Prey species: Gizzard shad continued to be present in the reservoir. Electrofishing catch of gizzard shad was average, with about 36% of gizzard shad available as prey to most sport fish. The electrofishing catch rate of bluegills was high, and there were some bluegills collected over 6-inches long.
- Catfishes: The channel catfish population has remained stable with increasing angler catch rates. The flathead catfish population remains stable with a high percentage of the sampled population consisting of legal-size fish. No anglers were documented as targeting flathead catfish by rod and reel.
- Temperate basses: White bass were present in the reservoir and were a popular sport fish. Condition of sampled fish was low but they are reaching legal size by age 2.
- Black basses: Smallmouth bass continue to be abundant in the reservoir though total catch is lower due to drought conditions. Size structure was good with fish up to 18 inches. There is little directed angling pressure toward this species. The largemouth bass population is stable at very low levels. There was increased angling effort directed at largemouth bass in 2006.
- Crappies: Both white and black crappies are present in the reservoir though white crappie are much more abundant. Crappie are a popular sport species in the reservoir.
- Walleye: The walleye population has remained relatively stable and is reproducing during record low water levels. Walleye are the most popular sport fish in the reservoir and they continue to reach 16 inches by age 3.
- Continue monitoring of smallmouth bass and walleye populations to determine impact of the regulations during drought conditions.
- Conduct gill net, electrofishing, and creel surveys annually, and general monitoring with trap nets in 2008.
- Conduct a habitat survey in 2007.
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