Lake Murvaul - 2012 Survey Report
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Prepared by Timothy J. Bister and Lynn D. Wright
Inland Fisheries Division
District 3-A, Marshall, Texas
This is the authors' summary from a 24-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish populations in Lake Murvaul were surveyed in 2012 using electrofishing and trap netting, and in 2013 using gill netting. This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
Lake Murvaul is a 3,820-acre impoundment constructed in 1958 on Murvaul Creek in the Sabine River Basin. Structural habitat is mainly inundated timber and natural shoreline features. Native aquatic plant abundance is limited. Hydrilla coverage has been problematic in previous years, but could not be found in the most recent survey due to low reservoir water elevation. Giant salvinia was found and removed from the Dodson Landing boat ramp.
The trophy Largemouth Bass fishery at Lake Murvaul has been a focus of fisheries management efforts for many years. The fishery is currently managed with a 14- to 21-inch protective slot length limit with a 5-fish daily bag, of which only one fish can be greater than 21 inches. Florida Largemouth Bass were stocked in 2008, 2009, and 2011 to maintain this trophy fishery. Other important sport fish include Channel Catfish and crappie, which are managed with statewide harvest regulations.
- Prey species: Gizzard Shad and Threadfin Shad were both collected in the latest survey. Over 80% of Gizzard Shad were small enough to be available as prey to most sport fish. Bluegill is the most common sunfish species in the reservoir and serves as an abundant source of prey.
- Catfishes: Gill netting catch rates of Channel Catfish were slightly lower in 2013 than in the past two surveys, but still the majority of fish collected were above the minimum legal length (12 inches).
- Largemouth bass: Electrofishing catch rates of Largemouth Bass in 2012 were similar to previous surveys, with a high number of fish collect within the 14- to 21-inch slot. Fish body condition was adequate, indicating adequate prey availability. The growth rate of Largemouth Bass was fast. Florida Largemouth Bass genetic influence has shown a slight increase.
- Crappie: White Crappie catch rates in trap nets have increased in the most recent survey, while Black Crappie catch rates have declined. White Crappie growth is moderate. The average age of a 10-inch White Crappie is 2 years.
- Conduct electrofishing surveys every other year beginning in 2014, and general monitoring with trap nets in 2016 and gill nets in 2017. Conduct angler access survey in 2016.
- Invasive aquatic vegetation surveys will be conducted annually. Technical guidance will be given to the controlling authority regarding invasive aquatic vegetation management as necessary.
- Largemouth Bass will continue to be managed with a 14- to 21- inch slot length limit.
- Florida Largemouth Bass stocking is recommended every other year to maintain the trophy fishery.
- Spring-quarter (March through May) angler creel surveys will be conducted every 8 years beginning 2017.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-221-M-3 Inland Fisheries Division Monitoring and Management Program