Purtis Creek State Park Lake - 2008 Survey Report
For assistance with accessibility on any TPWD documents, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Prepared by Daniel L. Bennett and Richard A. Ott, Jr.
Inland Fisheries Division
District 3-C, Tyler, Texas
This is the authors' summary from a 28-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
The Purtis Creek State Park Lake fish community was surveyed from September 2008 through May 2009 using electrofisher, gill nets, and trap nets. An experimental trap net survey using lighted/non-lighted trap nets was conducted in November 2008, and results from standard, non-lighted nets are included in this report. A vegetation survey was conducted in September 2008. This report summarizes results of these surveys and contains a management plan based on those findings.
Purtis Creek State Park Lake is a 349-acre reservoir on Purtis Creek, a tributary of the Trinity River. The impoundment was constructed by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department in 1985 for recreation and soil conservation purposes. Boat and bank access are both good and the park maintains two handicap-accessible fishing piers.
Important sport fish include sunfishes, largemouth bass, channel and blue catfish, and white crappie. Hydrilla surveys have been conducted annually, and treatments with herbicide and triploid grass carp have been conducted in accordance with an
integrated pest management plan. Electrofishing has been conducted in the fall and spring each year to monitor the largemouth bass population managed by a catch-and-release harvest regulation. Prior to September 1, 2008, anglers were allowed to retain one fish greater than 21 inches to be weighed at a lake-side weigh station and immediately released or donated to the TPWD ShareLunker program. This regulation was modified in 2008 so that only fish 24 inches and longer can be donated or released. Genetic analysis of Florida largemouth bass alleles was previously assessed in 2002 and has remained stable. The lake was included in the Operation World Record (OWR) program in 2005. Two stockings of OWR fish were conducted in 2006 and 2008.
- Prey species: Threadfin shad were abundant in the reservoir in 2008. Electrofishing catch rates of gizzard shad were also good with a high percentage of fish available as forage. Electrofishing catch rates of bluegill and redear sunfish ≤4 inches were also high providing excellent prey availability for sport fishes.
- Catfishes: Few channel and blue catfish were collected during gill net surveys in 2009. Recruitment of catfishes in Purtis Creek State Park Lake has historically been low, and supplemental stocking with advanced-size fingerlings has been conducted in an attempt to maintain this fishery.
- White bass: No white bass were collected prior to 2005. In 2009, white bass were abundant in the reservoir as gill net catch rates increased to a historical high. All fish collected were in excellent condition and were of harvestable length.
- Largemouth bass: Largemouth bass remain a popular fishery at Purtis Creek State Park Lake, and a catch-and-release regulation is set to maintain high angler catch rates. Electrofishing catch rates remained consistent, although the number of large fish observed in samples declined since 2006.
- Crappie: White crappie were abundant in the reservoir and provide an important fishery. Trap net catch rates were good, and all fish were above stock size.
- Conduct fall and spring electrofishing in 2009 and 2010 to assess largemouth bass population parameters.
- Monitor hydrilla coverage annually and evaluate continued effectiveness of grass carp stocking and recommend treatments if necessary.
- Promote angling opportunities by way of news releases.
- Maintain catch-and-release regulation for largemouth bass.
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