Pat Mayse Reservoir - 2004 Survey Report
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Prepared by Kevin W. Storey and Aaron Jubar
Inland Fisheries Division
District 3-B, Tyler, Texas
This is the authors' summary from a 30-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
The fish community in Pat Mayse Reservoir was surveyed from June 2004 to May 2005 using electrofishing, trap netting, gill netting, a littoral zone habitat and an aquatic vegetation survey. This report summarizes survey results and contains a management plan for the reservoir.
Pat Mayse Reservoir is located in Lamar County, Texas on Sanders Creek, a tributary of the Red River. It was constructed by the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1967 for flood control, municipal and industrial water supply, and recreational use. The major habitat components observed were native emergent vegetation, native submerged macrophytes, and dead trees. Total coverage of hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata) measured during a vegetation survey in summer 2004 (6.1 acres) was lower than in the last vegetation survey in summer 2000 (30.2 acres).
- Prey species: Electrofishing catch rate of gizzard shad during fall 2004 (126.7 fish/hour), was higher than 1997 (40.0 fish/hour), but lower than 2000 (252.0 fish/hour). The gizzard shad population size range, 3 to 13 inches, remained the same in 2000 and 2004. The population is dominated by large individuals (population mode 10 – 11 inches), and many of these fish are not available as prey for game fishes. There is also a population of threadfin shad. Bluegill catch rate in fall 2004 (202.0 fish/hour) was higher than in 1997 (139.3 fish/hour) or 2000 (153.3 fish/hour). The population mode remained at 4 inches. Redear sunfish catch rate in 2004 (56.7 fish/hour) was slightly higher than in 2000 (45.3 fish/hour), but lower than 1997 (107.3 fish/hour). Prey fish populations appear adequate for predators such as largemouth bass, hybrid striped bass and white bass as evidenced by relative weights of 90 or more for most size classes.
- Catfishes: Pat Mayse Reservoir supports a quality channel catfish population. Catch rate in spring 2005 (3.1 fish/net night) was lower than in 2001 (10.3 fish/net night) and 2003 (4.8 fish/net night). Although abundance in gill nets decreased in 2005, PSD increased compared to past years. Relative weights and size structure of this population are good. There is also evidence of natural recruitment into the fishery.
- Temperate basses: The catch rate of white bass in 2005 (10.5 fish/net night) was the second highest on record from 1992-2005 (Appendix 4 - range 1.3- 19.2 fish/net night). The population was dominated (77%) by fish larger than the 10 inch minimum size limit. In May 2005, 2 months after the gill net survey, the white bass population was subjected to a fish kill, involving an estimated 15,249 fish. The fish kill only affected white bass. Interestingly, a similar white bass-only fish kill occurred in May 2000 (Storey and Myers 2001) 2 months after the highest gill net catch was recorded for the period 1992 to 2005. No causative agent was identified for the fish kill in 2000. It is likely that these kills are density-dependant. The population will likely rebuild itself within about 3 years. The catch rate of palmetto bass continues to decline because annual fingerling stockings were discontinued in 2000 as a result of low directed effort. In 2005 gill net catch rate (6.0 fish/net night) was the second lowest on record from 1992- 2005 (Appendix 4 - range 2.3 - 31.7 fish/net night). The special regulation that combined harvest of white bass and palmetto bass, a 10-inch minimum length limit, 25 fish daily bag limit with only 5 fish 18 inches or longer, reverted to the statewide limits in September 2004.
- Black basses: Electrofishing catch rate of largemouth bass during fall 2004 (33.0 fish/hour) was similar to 2002 (38.0 fish/hour) but it was the lowest observed from 1992 to 2005 (Appendix 4 – range - 33.0-181.3 fish/hour). Though catch rate was low, size structure was good, and 26% of stock sized fish caught were above the minimum length limit. Florida largemouth bass fingerlings (FLMB) were stocked at 25/acre in 2003 and 2004. In fall 2004, a sample of age-0 largemouth bass contained 38.5% FLMB alleles. There were no pure FLMB in the sample. There is a low density population of spotted bass in Pat Mayse Reservoir but none were collected in electrofishing in 2004.
- Crappie: The crappie community at Pat Mayse Reservoir has historically been dominated by white crappie. The catch rate of this species in fall 2004 (1.5 fish/net night) was one of the lowest recorded in the past 13 years (range 0.3 – 15.2 fish/net night). Although catch rate of black crappie (1.2 fish/net night) was similar, it was the highest recorded for this species during the same time period. Since catches of crappie are low, it is difficult to make definitive statements on these populations.
The Pat Mayse Reservoir largemouth bass population should continue to be managed under the current 14-inch minimum length limit. The genetics of the largemouth bass population will continue to be monitored to assess the impact of the stockings of FLMB that took place in 2003 and 2004. All other sport fish should be managed at the current statewide length limits and bag limits. The distribution and coverage of hydrilla will continue to be monitored through vegetation surveys.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-30-R-30 Statewide Freshwater Fisheries Monitoring and Management Program