Nacogdoches Reservoir - 2008 Survey Report
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Prepared by Dan Ashe and Todd Driscoll
Inland Fisheries Division
District 3-D, Jasper, Texas
This is the authors' summary from a 26-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish populations in Nacogdoches Reservoir were surveyed from June 2008 through May 2009 with fall electrofishing, gill netting, and spring electrofishing. Anglers were surveyed from March through May 2009 with a creel survey. Vegetation and access surveys were also conducted in 2008. This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
Lake Nacogdoches is located on Loco Bayou, a tributary of the Angelina River in the Neches River basin. The City of Nacogdoches is the controlling authority. Primary uses are municipal water supply and recreation. At conservation pool elevation, Lake Nacogdoches is 2,212 surface acres in size, has a shoreline length of 16 miles, and a mean depth of 15 feet. Water level fluctuations average 2 feet annually. Two public boat ramps with loading docks provide excellent boat access. One handicap-accessible fishing pier is also present. Habitat in the lake consists of submerged and emergent aquatic vegetation (mainly hydrilla and American lotus) and standing timber. Most of the land around the reservoir is used for timber production, agriculture, and residential use.
Important sport fish include largemouth bass and white and black crappie. The 14- to 21-inch slot-length limit for largemouth bass (implemented in 1988) was changed to a 16-inch maximum length limit in 2008. Florida and Sharelunker largemouth bass fingerlings were stocked in 2008 to provide future trophy potential in conjunction with the maximum length limit. Hydrilla is present in the reservoir but is not considered to be problematic.
- Prey species: Gizzard shad and threadfin shad were present in the reservoir. However, most gizzard shad were too large to serve as suitable prey. Electrofishing catch of bluegill was high; few fish were over 6 inches in length. Other prey species included longear, redear, and spotted sunfish.
- Catfishes: Numbers of channel catfish are relatively low in the reservoir. High densities of largemouth bass and aquatic vegetation probably limit reproduction and recruitment of channel catfish. Few anglers target catfish at Lake Nacogdoches (<2% of total fishing effort).
- Black basses: Spotted bass were present in low numbers. Largemouth bass were abundant. Size structure remained consistent with past surveys with a high abundance of fish measuring less than the maximum length limit (16 inches). Largemouth bass exhibited fast growth and were in moderate condition. Angler effort and catch was high. The current largemouth bass water body record is 14.02 lbs set in March 1986.
- Crappies: White crappie and black crappie were present in the reservoir. Directed angling effort in spring 2009 was less than in previous years. Angler catch rates were 1.1/h and total harvest was 1,069 fish.
- Continue to manage largemouth bass with 16-inch maximum length limit.
- Continue to monitor trends of hydrilla coverage through annual aquatic vegetation surveys (2009-2012).
- Conduct spring electrofishing surveys in 2011 and 2013 and a spring quarter (March-May) creel survey in 2013.
- Conduct standard monitoring with gill nets and fall electrofisher in 2013.
- Continue voluntary angler survey to monitor catch of largemouth bass > five pounds.
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