Lake Texana - 2006 Survey Report
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Prepared by John Findeisen and Todd Neahr
Inland Fisheries Division
District 1-E, Mathis, 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.
Fish populations in Lake Texana were surveyed in 2006 using trap nets and electrofishing and in 2007 using gill nets. This report summarizes the results and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
Lake Texana is 9,727-acres (previously listed at 10,628 acres), controlled by the Lavaca-Navidad River Authority (LNRA), and located on the Navidad River in the Lavaca River Basin, approximately 20 miles east of Victoria. It receives water from the Navidad River, Sandy Creek, and Mustang Creek and is used for water supply and recreation. Water level typically fluctuates 2-4 ft annually but can fluctuate as high as six feet.
Important sport fish species include blue, channel, and flathead catfish, white bass, largemouth bass, and white and black crappie. Palmetto bass had been previously stocked in the reservoir. The 2003 management plan focused on issues with largemouth bass reproduction, palmetto bass stockings, exotic aquatic vegetation, and the potential for increased water level fluctuations. Spring largemouth-bass-only electrofishing surveys were conducted in 2004, 2005, and 2007, with largemouth bass only being collected in 2007 survey. Palmetto bass stockings were discontinued due to low gill net catch rates. Treatment proposals were submitted and control efforts were implemented for giant salvinia (biological control agents and herbicides), water hyacinth (herbicides), and hydrilla (biological control agents). Water level fluctuations were monitored via the internet.
- Prey species: Gizzard and threadfin shad were the primary forage species present in Lake Texana. Gizzard and threadfin shad abundance has increased from previous years, with nearly all of the gizzard shad available to predators. Relative abundance of bluegill was low in the fall 2006 electrofishing survey but numerous bluegill were observed in the spring 2007 largemouth bass only electrofishing survey.
- Catfishes: Blue, channel, and flathead catfish were present in the reservoir with blue catfish being the most abundant. Blue catfish provided a good fishery as evidenced by good size structure and abundance of legal-sized fish. Blue catfish appear to be out-competing channel catfish in this reservoir. Flathead catfish are rarely collected in gill net surveys.
- Temperate basses: White bass were present in the reservoir, although gill net catch rate was low. Palmetto bass are assumed no longer present in the reservoir, as evidenced by gill net surveys.
- Largemouth bass: Largemouth bass abundance was low according to the fall 2006 electrofishing survey. However, the spring 2007 largemouth-bass-only electrofishing surveys indicated that largemouth bass were more abundant, as five times as many adult largemouth bass were collected in the spring with only 1/3 as much effort. Very few bass anglers have been encountered by district staff on this reservoir.
- Crappie: Black and white crappie were present in the reservoir with white crappie being the most abundant. White crappie reached legal size (10 inches) between ages 1 and 2.
- Continue to work with the LNRA on exotic aquatic vegetation control and native aquatic vegetation introductions.
- Conduct spring and fall electrofishing surveys to monitor the largemouth bass population after the 2006 and 2007 Florida largemouth bass stockings.
- Reduce the number of electrofishing, trap netting, and gill netting sampling stations from 24, 15, and 15, respectively, to 18, 10, and 10 in order to align with Inland Fisheries standard sampling protocols based on actual acreage.
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