Nocona Reservoir - 2011 Survey Report
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Prepared by John H. Moczygemba and Bruce Hysmith
Inland Fisheries Division
District 2-A, Pottsboro, Texas
This is the authors' summary from a 29-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish populations in Nocona Reservoir were surveyed in 2011 using an electrofisher and trap nets and in 2012 using gill nets. Habitat was surveyed in 2011. A spring creel survey was conducted in 2009. This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
Nocona Reservoir is a 1,362-acre impoundment of Farmers Creek, a tributary of the Red River, in Montague County. Water level was below conservation elevation (827.5 ft-msl) since July 2010. Habitat features consisted mainly of rocky shoreline, and native emergent vegetation.
Important sport fishes include blue and channel catfish, white bass, largemouth bass, and white crappie. The management plan from the 2008 survey report included recommendations for a spring creel survey in 2009, supplemental electrofishing survey in the fall of 2008, and supplemental trap netting survey.
- Prey species: Electrofishing catch rate of gizzard shad has increased over previous surveys. Prey-size gizzard shad (7-inch group and below) greatly improved. Although electrofishing catch rates of bluegill decreased this survey, high electrofishing catch rates of gizzard and threadfin shad indicated the prey base was more than adequate.
- Catfishes: The gill net catch rate of blue catfish improved over the 2008 survey. Most of the sample population was legal size, with the larger fish in excellent condition. Recruitment was evident. Few blue catfish were harvested by anglers. Gill net catch rate of channel catfish was second highest on record, but relative weights were depressed. Recruitment was evident, but growth was slow. Anglers did harvest a fair number of channel catfish.
- Temperate basses: The historical gill net catch rate of white bass was low and during this survey we recorded the lowest catch rate since 1991. The entire sample was legal size, but their body condition was poor. Although not highly sought-after by anglers, they produced the second most fish in angler’s baskets. Palmetto bass were not collected. The last stocking was in 1997. They were not observed during the angler survey. They may no longer be present.
- Largemouth bass: Electrofishing catch rate of largemouth bass was the highest in years, growth rates were slow, and the larger fish were in good condition. Largemouth bass were the most sought-after fish by anglers and catch rates were good. High live-release tournament harvest versus non-tournament harvest indicated most largemouth bass angling was by tournament anglers.
- White crappie: Trap net catch rate of white crappie was below the average. The crappie were in good condition and growth rates were good. White crappie were the second most sought-after fish by anglers. Their harvest was the highest of the sportfishes.
Based on current information, Nocona Reservoir should continue to be managed with existing fish harvest regulations. Improvements to fishery should be publicized through the social media. Inform the North Montague County Water Supply District about new exotic species threats to Texas waters, and work with them to display appropriate signage and educate constituents.
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