Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir - 2005 Survey Report
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Prepared by John Tibbs and Michael S. Baird
Inland Fisheries Division
District 2-B, Waco, Texas
This is the authors' summary from a 35-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir was surveyed in the fall of 2005 using a boat electrofisher, winter of 2005 with trap nets, and spring of 2006 with gill nets. This report summarizes survey results and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir is a 6,430-acre reservoir located in Bell County, Texas. The impoundment was created in 1968 and is operated by the United States Army Corps of Engineers for flood control, water supply, and recreation. Water levels fluctuate about 5 feet annually, however retention time varies greatly (long-term average = 500 days). Fish habitat at the time of sampling consisted mainly of aquatic vegetation (i.e., hydrilla), rocky shorelines and dead trees and stumps.
Important sport fish include largemouth bass and, to some extent, smallmouth bass. The management plan from the 2002 survey report included annual evaluation of hydrilla coverage in the reservoir. All species are being managed under statewide regulations. Florida largemouth bass were stocked for the first time in 1993 and again in 1994. Smallmouth bass were introduced in 1974 and stocked through 1977. The program was revitalized in 1992 and smallmouth were stocked through 2000. Loss of hatchery broodfish to golden alga curtailed subsequent stocking, although efforts are underway to return to full production and annual stocking requests have been maintained.
- Prey species: Electrofishing catch of gizzard shad was low, and few gizzard shad were available as prey to most sport fish. Electrofishing catch of bluegills was good, with most available as prey.
- Catfishes: The channel catfish population is reasonably good, with a fair number of larger fish available to anglers. No flathead or blue catfish were collected in the most recent survey.
- Temperate bass: White bass were caught in good numbers in the most recent survey. Most fish in the population are of legal size.
- Black bass: Largemouth bass were relatively abundant. Size structure was good. Largemouth bass had adequate growth rates, and were in good condition. The presence of large hydrilla beds in the lake has apparently resulted in increased angler usage. Stillhouse Reservoir is a popular reservoir in internet discussion forums and a popular destination for tournaments, both large and small.
- White crappie: The white crappie population can provide quality fishing during some years. The latest survey showed a good population of legal-sized fish.
- Conduct exotic aquatic vegetation surveys in 2006-2010.
- Request smallmouth bass stocking annually to improve recruitment.
- Conduct standard sampling again in 2009-2010.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-30-R-31 Statewide Freshwater Fisheries Monitoring and Management Program