Mill Creek Reservoir - 2008 Survey Report
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Prepared by Aaron K. Jubar and Kevin W. Storey
Inland Fisheries Division
District 3-B, Tyler, Texas
This is the authors' summary from a 21-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish populations in Mill Creek Reservoir were surveyed in 2008 using electrofishing and trap netting, and in 2009 using gill netting. Aquatic vegetation and habitat surveys were conducted on Mill Creek Reservoir during July 2008. Additional electrofishing surveys were conducted in spring 2006, 2008 and 2009 to monitor stocked Florida largemouth bass as part of a special research project (Operation World Record). This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
Mill Creek Reservoir is a 237-acre impoundment located in Van Zandt County, Texas, on Mill Creek, a tributary of the Sabine River. The reservoir was constructed by the City of Canton in 1976 for municipal water supply. Fish habitat consists mostly of emergent aquatic vegetation. Native submerged vegetation was scarce. Angler access facilities consisted of only one public boat ramp and parking lot and were in need of improvements.
Largemouth bass and crappie species are the most important sport fishes present. Recent management activities include the evaluation of survival, growth, and performance of advanced fingerling (6 inches) offspring of selectively-bred Florida largemouth bass. Hydrilla, an exotic aquatic plant, has been present, but no treatments have been conducted.
- Prey species: Historically, clupeids have been moderate in abundance in Mill Creek Reservoir. With the exception of 2000 when gizzard shad abundance was high, the predominant prey species in the reservoir include bluegill, redear sunfish, and other less abundant sunfish species. Electrofishing catch of gizzard shad was very low, but represented a wide size range of individuals collected. A small number of threadfin shad were also collected. Electrofishing catch of bluegill was high, but few bluegills were over 6 inches in length. Redear sunfish are also present in the reservoir in moderate abundance, with many greater than or equal to 6 inches.
- Catfishes: No channel or blue catfish were collected in the spring 2009 gill netting survey. In 2005, only a few, large, blue catfish were collected, and no channel catfish were observed. These species are suffering from lack of reproduction and recruitment. Yellow bullheads are overabundant in the reservoir.
- Largemouth bass: Largemouth bass were relatively abundant. Size structure was favorable with fish measuring near the upper end of the 14- to 21-inch slot limit well represented. Largemouth bass exhibited robust body condition, indicating adequate prey availability.
- Crappies: Both white and black crappies were present in the reservoir, with neither species consistently dominating in abundance. Both crappie species exhibited adequate size and body condition.
Conduct fall electrofishing surveys every other year to monitor the largemouth bass population. In addition, spring electrofishing will be conducted in 2011 and 2013 to collect and evaluate performance of age-4 stocked largemouth bass as part of a special research study. Continue working with the city of Canton to maintain and improve the existing angler access facilities. Continue with standard fisheries monitoring using a habitat and vegetation survey, as well as trap and gill netting surveys in 2012-2013.
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