Millers Creek Reservoir - 2011 Survey Report
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Prepared by Robert Mauk
Inland Fisheries Division
District 2-E, Wichita Falls, Texas
This is the authors' summary from a 32-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish populations in Millers Creek Reservoir were surveyed in 2011 using trap nets and electrofishing and in 2012 using gill nets. This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
Millers Creek is a 1,794-acre impoundment located in Baylor county on Millers Creek in the Brazos River Basin approximately 77 miles southwest of Wichita Falls. The reservoir was completed in 1974 and is owned and operated by the North Central Texas Municipal Water Authority in Munday, Texas. At the time of the habitat survey the reservoir was quite low and the shoreline habitat consisted of natural and rocky shoreline. Shoreline and boat access are adequate, including limited handicapped access at normal pool elevations. Conservation pool elevation is 1,333.9 feet above mean sea level (MSL). The improved three lane boat ramp is serviceable at elevations above 1,322 (MSL).
Important sport fish include catfish, white bass, palmetto bass, largemouth bass, and white crappie. Palmetto bass and Florida largemouth bass were last stocked in 2012. Millers Creek has always been managed with statewide regulations.
- Prey species: Gizzard shad catch rate was lower than average for the reservoir but the percentage available to predators slightly increased over the previous survey. The catch per unit effort (CPUE) for bluegill was the highest ever documented. Overall, there is plenty of prey in the reservoir.
- Catfishes: Blue catfish were well represented in the gill net survey of 2012, and CPUE increased from the previous two surveys. Body condition was similar to the previous two surveys. The channel catfish population was similar to the two previous surveys. Flathead catfish are present in the reservoir.
- Temperate basses: White bass CPUE increased compared to the last two surveys. It is probable that the white bass population was unable to enter tributaries for their annual spawning migration because of low water conditions, trapping them in the reservoir and making them more vulnerable to gill nets. Palmetto bass CPUE increased from the two previous surveys and was the second highest CPUE for the reservoir. Trophy sized palmetto bass can be found as evidenced by three fish over 25 inches being sampled. Growth rates in 2010 were slightly below the ecological region average.
- Largemouth bass: Largemouth bass had a slightly increased electrofishing catch rate compared to the previous survey and was near the historical average for the reservoir. Body condition of legal sized bass is considered good and there was a high number of legal sized bass sampled compared to previous surveys. There was however; few small bass sampled indicating the species had poor recruitment in 2011.
- White crappie: The 2011 CPUE was lower than the 2003 and 2007 surveys. Legal-sized crappie had body conditions that were considered to be very good. Comparing the last three surveys, it is obvious recruitment has been poor, probably caused by low water conditions that have left needed spawning and rearing habitat dry.
Millers Creek is recognized by anglers as an excellent reservoir for catfish, palmetto bass, largemouth bass, and white crappie and should be promoted to increase angler effort, especially to anglers from around Lubbock. An abundant gizzard shad population exists, so palmetto bass stockings should be requested annually.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-221-M-2 Statewide Freshwater Fisheries Monitoring and Management Program