Lake Tawakoni - 2006 Survey Report
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Prepared by Aaron K. Jubar and Kevin W. Storey
Inland Fisheries Division
District 3-B, Tyler, Texas
This is the authors' summary from a 29-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish populations in Lake Tawakoni were surveyed in 2006 using electrofishing and trap nets and in 2007 using gill nets, a littoral zone habitat survey, and an aquatic vegetation survey. This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir.
Lake Tawakoni is located in Van Zandt, Rains, and Hunt Counties, Texas on South Fork and Cowleech Fork of the Sabine River, and Caddo Creek. It was constructed by the Sabine River Authority to provide water for municipal and industrial uses and for recreational purposes. Lake elevation in the past 4 years has experienced extreme fluctuations, declining to 12.4 feet below conservation pool elevation in December 2006. Persistent low-water conditions have limited the growth of aquatic vegetation. Consequently, the primary habitat component at the time of the survey was featureless shoreline.
Important sport fishes at Lake Tawakoni include striped bass, palmetto bass, white bass, blue catfish, channel catfish, and largemouth bass. Striped bass and palmetto bass are stocked annually at a rate of 5/acre.
- Prey species: Lake Tawakoni contained populations of both gizzard shad and threadfin shad of appropriate size to provide prey for sport fish. Electrofishing surveys resulted in few bluegills, and other species of sunfishes were rarely encountered.
- Catfishes: Lake Tawakoni continued to produce abundant blue and channel catfish of harvestable size. Both species exhibit abundant small fish, good growth, and contribute to the quality of this fishery.
- Temperate basses: Ample open water habitat and a sufficient prey base allow Lake Tawakoni to support populations of white bass, striped bass, palmetto bass and sunshine bass. Lake Tawakoni is the only reservoir in the state that receives annual stockings of both striped bass and palmetto bass.
- Black basses: Largemouth bass populations have been historically stable; however, because of low lake elevation during fall 2006 suitable shallow-water habitat for electrofishing was limited resulting in low catch rates of largemouth bass.
- Crappie: White and black crappie were present in the reservoir. Although not overly abundant, many of the white and black crappies sampled were legal size fish.
- Temperate basses are a popular sport fishery and a vital component of Lake Tawakoni’s local economy.
- Annual stockings of both striped bass and palmetto bass should continue at a rate of 5 fish /acre.
- Begin conducting trailer ramp counts in preparation for an angler access creel survey to collect information on catch and harvest rates and fishing effort on sport fishes.
- Conduct an electrofishing survey in fall 2008, and gill net and electrofishing surveys in spring 2009.
- General monitoring with trap nets, gill nets and electrofishing surveys will be repeated in 2010-2011.
- Conduct an aquatic vegetation survey in 2008.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-30-R-32 Statewide Freshwater Fisheries Monitoring and Management Program