Sweetwater Reservoir - 2010 Survey Report
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Prepared by Spencer Dumont and Ben Neely
Inland Fisheries Division
District 1-B, Abilene, Texas
This is the authors' summary from a 25-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish populations in Sweetwater Reservoir were surveyed in 2009-2011 using electrofishing, gill nets, and trap nets. This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
Sweetwater Reservoir is a 630-acre reservoir. It was constructed by the city of Sweetwater in 1930 to provide water for municipal and industrial purposes. Water level began dropping in 1998 and declined 38 feet over a period of nine years. In July 2007, water level increased substantially and, by fall 2008, water level was within a foot of conservation level. Habitat consisted primarily of dead brush. There was one public boat ramp, and public access was limited to the boat ramp area, a park, and a couple of other access points.
A 14-to18-inch slot limit on largemouth bass was implemented on 1 September 2001. Sport and forage fishes were reintroduced in 2007 and 2008 after the reservoir nearly filled in 2007.
- Prey species: Black bullhead, inland silversides, gizzard shad, and bluegill were all abundant and provided an excellent overall forage base.
- Catfishes: Channel catfish ranged from 8-12 in long. Additional time will be required for channel catfish to become more abundant and grow to larger sizes.
- Largemouth bass: Numbers and sizes of largemouth bass available to anglers were excellent in 2009 and 2010. Fish over 12 in were plump. There was a strong Florida largemouth bass influence in the population.
- White crappie: The trap net sample in 2009 indicated that stocked adult fish produced at least one year class. All crappie collected in 2009 were less than 10 in long.
Conduct creel survey in 2011/2012 to evaluate largemouth bass fishery under a 14-18 in slot limit. A watershed map will be developed to better understand landscape-level factors that affect water collection and water quality.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-221-M-1 Statewide Freshwater Fisheries Monitoring and Management Program