Lake Raven - 2009 Survey Report
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Prepared by Jeffrey C. Henson and Mark A. Webb
Inland Fisheries Division
District 3-E, Bryan, Texas
This is the authors' summary from a 27-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
The Lake Raven fish community was surveyed from June 2009 through May 2010 using electrofishing, gill netting, and trap netting. A habitat and vegetation survey was conducted in August 2009 and a spring quarter access point creel survey was conducted from March through May 2010. This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
Lake Raven is a 203-acre reservoir located in Huntsville State Park. The reservoir was repaired and re-impounded in 1956 by the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department for recreational use.
Lake Raven has a history of producing trophy largemouth bass. The population has been managed with a catch-and-release regulation since September 1996. Largemouth bass > 24 inches may be temporarily retained in a live well or other aerated holding device and immediately weighed using personal scales. Bass weighing 13 pounds or more may be donated to the Toyota ShareLunker Program; otherwise, the fish must be immediately released. Lake Raven has been included in Operation World Record (OWR), a project designed to compare growth of selectively-bred ShareLunker largemouth bass offspring to resident bass.
Alligatorweed, hydrilla, giant salvinia, and water hyacinth have all been problem exotic plants. Hydrilla was greatly reduced following integrated treatment (herbicide and triploid grass carp) in 2001. By September 2009, hydrilla recurred and covered about 28% of the total surface acreage, requiring additional grass carp in fall 2009. Alligatorweed flea beetles were introduced in the summer of 2003 and spring of 2006. Alligatorweed was chemically treated in 2006, 2007, and 2008 and is currently not problematic. Water hyacinth continues to be a problem and was chemically treated in spring 2006, 2007, and 2008. Giant salvinia was discovered in 2009 and treated with a glyphosate herbicide. It is not impeding recreation at this time. A Houston-based bass club has agreed to remove water hyacinth and giant salvinia by hand when necessary.
- Prey species: The prey fish community at Lake Raven consists primarily of threadfin shad, bluegill, and redear sunfish. Gizzard shad are also present but provide limited prey.
- Catfishes: Blue catfish and channel catfish are present in Lake Raven in moderate numbers. Blue catfish are most abundant and grow to large sizes.
- Largemouth bass: Largemouth bass are abundant in Lake Raven and provide high-quality angling opportunities. The lake has a history of producing trophy largemouth bass.
- Crappie: Crappie are present but do not comprise a significant component of the fishery at Lake Raven.
We will continue to monitor the largemouth bass population annually with fall electrofishing. Florida largemouth bass fingerlings will be requested for stocking when stocking criteria are met. Catfish populations will be monitored every 4 years by gill nets. Crappie populations will be monitored with an angler creel survey, as trap netting as proven ineffective at Lake Raven. An access point creel survey will be conducted in the spring of 2014. We will continue to work with park personnel to assess exotic vegetation coverage and implement integrated pest management (IPM) treatment strategies as needed including enhancement of the native aquatic vegetation community.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-30-R-35 Statewide Freshwater Fisheries Monitoring and Management Program