Navarro Mills Reservoir - 2008 Survey Report
Prepared by Richard A. Ott, Jr. and Daniel L. Bennett
Inland Fisheries Division
District 3-C, Tyler, Texas
This is the authors' summary from a 23-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
The Navarro Mills Reservoir fish community was surveyed from June 2008 through May 2009 using electrofisher, gill nets, and trap nets. A vegetation survey was conducted in August 2008. This report summarizes results of the surveys and contains a management plan based on those findings.
Navarro Mills Reservoir is a 4,336-acre reservoir on Richland Creek, a tributary of the Trinity River. It was constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACOE) in 1963 to provide flood control and water for municipal and industrial purposes. Boat and bank angler access are excellent. Handicap-specific facilities are present in the parking lot and restrooms near three of the boat ramps. Water is turbid but is high in productivity; mean TSI chl-a is 54.9 (Texas Commission on Environmental Quality 2007), therefore classified as eutrophic. Land use surrounding the reservoir is primarily agricultural (row cropping) and contributes to high turbidity and siltation. Navarro Mills Reservoir is operated by USACOE, therefore, there is no residential development of the shoreline and angler access is excellent.
Important sport fish include largemouth bass, blue and channel catfish, white bass, and white crappie. No stocking has been conducted at Navarro Mills Reservoir since the last survey report (Ott and Bister 2005). Fish community surveys are conducted every four years. Statewide harvest regulations are in effect for all species.
- Prey species: Threadfin and gizzard shad were present in high relative abundance. Size distribution of gizzard shad was optimal as prey. Although catch rates of sunfishes were low, overall prey availability was adequate.
- Catfishes: Blue catfish (previously rare) have become moderately abundant and appear to be recruiting. Channel catfish size distribution is improved and abundance is similar to previous surveys but condition (Wr) has declined.
- White bass: White bass continue to exhibit inconsistent recruitment and relative abundance. This species may not have fully recovered from drought conditions in 2005-2006.
- Largemouth bass: Despite poor habitat and low water level due to prolonged drought from 2005 through early 2007 largemouth bass abundance and size distribution have improved markedly from the 2004 survey. Recruitment in 2007 was high.
- Crappie: Crappie abundance was high but size distribution was poor with few legal-length fish. Abundant yearling crappie suggests population recovery following poor year class strength during the drought of 2005 through early 2007.
Standard surveys will be conducted in 2012-2013 to monitor sport fish and prey populations. Angling opportunities and fishery status of blue catfish will be promoted through local media. Outreach presentations will be conducted as requested.
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