Meredith Reservoir - 2008 Survey Report
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Prepared by Charles Munger and John Clayton
Inland Fisheries Division
District 1-A, Canyon, Texas
This is the authors' summary from a 34-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish Populations in Meredith Reservoir were surveyed in 2008 using electrofishing and trap nets and in 2009 using gill nets. Anglers were surveyed from April 2008 to September 2008 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 4,200 acres during 2008-2009. Angler and boat access is adequate but only 1 boat ramp was usable in spring 2008 due to drought. There are two handicap accessible fishing piers. Habitat was primarily silt and rock, 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 are managed with 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 rate for gizzard shad was good, with about 83% of gizzard shad available as prey to most sport fish. The electrofishing catch rate of bluegills was higher than last year, and there were some bluegills collected over 6-inches long.
- Catfishes: The channel catfish population has remained stable with good 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 poor but they are reaching legal size by age 2.
- Black basses: Smallmouth bass relative abundance has declined and is likely due to drought conditions. Size structure was poor. There was little directed angling pressure toward this species. The largemouth bass population declined in 2008. Directed angling pressure toward largemouth bass was low.
- Crappies: Both white and black crappies are present in the reservoir, though white crappie are more abundant. Crappie were a popular sport species in the reservoir and directed angler effort has increased.
- Walleye:The walleye population has remained relatively stable and was reproducing during record low water levels. Walleye are the most popular sport fish in the reservoir and some reached 16 inches by age 2.
- Continue monitoring of smallmouth bass and walleye populations to determine impact of regulations during drought conditions.
- Conduct gill net, electrofishing, and creel surveys annually, and general monitoring with trap nets in 2010 and 2012.
- Conduct a habitat survey in 2009.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-30-R-34 Statewide Freshwater Fisheries Monitoring and Management Program