Moss Reservoir - 2006 Survey Report
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Prepared by Bruce Hysmith and John H. Moczygemba
Inland Fisheries Division
District 2-A, Pottsboro, Texas
This is the authors' summary from a 25-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish populations in Moss Reservoir were surveyed in 2006 using an electrofisher and trap nets and in 2007 using gill nets. Habitat was surveyed in 2006. This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
Moss Reservoir is a 1,140-acre impoundment on Fish Creek, a tributary of the Red River, in Cooke County. Water level has been within 2.5 feet of the spillway since June 2004. The reservoir waters are low in nutrients because of the watershed properties; hence, low to moderate productivity. Habitat features consisted mainly of rocky shoreline and native submerged and emergent vegetation. Standing timber was also present.
Important sport fish include channel catfish, largemouth bass, and white bass. The management plan from the 2002 survey report included a recommendation to update the boat ramp and boarding facilities to improve access for the physically challenged. The boat ramp and boarding facilities have been updated, but improvements to the handicap facilities have not been done. In addition fishing piers were constructed near the boat ramps. A recommendation was also made to explain the declining fish production. Research of historical water quality records of Texas Commission on Environmental Quality indicated the waters were low in chlorophyll-a, a primary nutrient for productive reservoirs.
- Prey species: Electrofishing catch rate of gizzard shad was low, but has been low in previous surveys. The relative abundance of prey-size gizzard shad (< 7-inches) continued to be low. This was indicative of low nutrient levels in the reservoir. High electrofishing catch rates of threadfin shad and bluegill indicated the prey base was adequate.
- Catfishes: Gill net catch rate of channel catfish was lower than previous surveys, but most of the population was legal size and in fair to excellent condition. Recruitment was evident. Although never stocked or collected, a state and reservoir record blue catfish was caught by bow fishing in 2007.
- White bass: The historical catch rate of white bass has always been low and this survey had the lowest catch rate since the 1990 survey. The entire sample was legal size, but their relative weights were poor, especially for the larger size classes. This may have been the result from the low IOV for gizzard shad. Moss Reservoir is not suitable for white bass because of reservoir size, low forage base, and low productivity.
- Black basses: Smallmouth bass were collected for the first time since 1990. Spotted bass electrofishing catch rates were similar to past years. Their condition was good for spotted bass up to 11 inches, but average for 12- to 14-inch fish. Electrofishing catch rate of largemouth bass was a record high, growth rates were good, and the fish were in average condition. Electrophoretic samples produced one pure Florida bass and the sample had 46% Florida largemouth bass alleles.
- White crappie: Trap net catch rate of white crappie was a record high, although most surveys in the past have had very low catch rates. The crappie were in excellent condition and growth rates were also good.
Based on current information, Moss Reservoir should continue to be managed with existing fish harvest regulations. Although improvements to the boat ramps and related facilities have been made, there are no handicap facilities at the access areas of the reservoir. The City of Gainesville will be encouraged to make those improvements.
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