B.A. Steinhagen Reservoir - 2009 Survey Report
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Prepared by Dan Ashe and Todd Driscoll
Inland Fisheries Division
District 3-D, Jasper, Texas
This is the authors' summary from a 24-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish populations in B. A. Steinhagen Reservoir were surveyed in 2009 and 2010 with fall electrofishing, trap netting, and gill netting. Vegetation and access surveys were also conducted in 2009. This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
B.A. Steinhagen Reservoir was impounded in 1951 on the Neches River; other tributaries include the Angelina River and Wolf, Sandy, Spring, and Rush creeks. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is the controlling authority; primary uses are to regulate intermittent water releases from Sam Rayburn Reservoir, produce hydropower, and provide recreational opportunities. At conservation pool (82.5 feet mean sea level), B.A. Steinhagen Reservoir covers 10,687 acres and has a shoreline length of 160 miles. Mean depth is 4 feet and littoral areas (<15 feet) comprise 95 percent of the reservoir. Boat access is excellent, with 14 boat ramps and adequate parking at each. Bank access is provided by two lighted fishing piers at Martin Dies, Jr. State Park. Most of the land around the reservoir is used for timber production.
Important sport fish include largemouth bass, crappie, and catfish. Vegetation is problematic in the reservoir, (mainly common salvinia, alligatorweed, hydrilla, and water hyacinth). The USACE conducted a water level draw down from May 2006 through June 2007 in an effort to reduce the vegetative coverage. Since 2008, the USACE has also conducted extensive herbicide treatments in cooperation with the Lower Neches Valley Authority (LVNA) and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD). In January 2010, the USACE conducted a short-term winter water-level draw-down during a freeze event to further reduce problematic vegetation coverage. Blue and channel catfish fingerlings were stocked following the water-level draw-down that occurred during 2006 and 2007 to improve recruitment.
- Prey species: Adequate prey were present with threadfin shad most abundant. Other prevalent prey species included gizzard shad and bluegill.
- Catfishes: Both blue and channel catfish were present in the reservoir. Since 2001, blue catfish abundance has declined while channel catfish abundance has remained stable. In 2010, a greater number of legal-length (>12 inches) channel catfish were collected.
- Temperate basses: White and yellow bass were present but abundance was low.
- Black basses: Spotted bass were present in low numbers. Largemouth bass were moderately abundant and in good condition. Size structure was relatively similar over the last three surveys; most fish were <14 inches in length.
- Crappies: White crappie and black crappie were present in the reservoir, and abundance was relatively high. During the last three surveys, white crappie abundance was relatively stable, but black crappie numbers increased. White and black crappie reached 9-11 inches in less than two years.
Continue to manage the fishery with statewide harvest regulations. Continue to monitor trends of vegetative coverage through annual aquatic vegetation surveys (2010-2013). Conduct standard population monitoring with fall electrofishing and trap netting surveys in 2013, and a gill netting survey in 2014.
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