Lake Waxahachie - 2009 Survey Report
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Prepared by Daniel L. Bennett and Richard A. Ott, Jr.
Inland Fisheries Division
District 3-C, 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.
The Lake Waxahachie fish community was surveyed from June 2009 through May 2010 using electrofishing, gill netting, and trap netting. A vegetation survey was conducted in August 2009. A roving creel survey, conducted from March through May 2007, collected angler use and harvest information. This report summarizes results of these surveys and contains a management plan based on those findings.
Lake Waxahachie is a 553-acre reservoir on Prong Creek (a tributary of the Trinity River), Texas, built to provide water for municipal and industrial purposes. Boat access is adequate, but bank angler access is limited. There are no handicap-specific facilities. Fluctuating water levels have limited growth of beneficial native submersed and emergent plant species around the reservoir. Prolonged periods of low water levels and subsequent lack of available habitat have resulted in limited year-class strength of several species.
Important sport fish include channel catfish, white bass, largemouth bass, and white and black crappie. The management plan from the 2005 survey report included: stocking blue catfish (100/acre in 2006 and 2007); providing angler information on size limits; continued monitoring of the largemouth bass population in 2009; and conducting a spring quarter creel survey in 2007. Largemouth bass were managed under a 14- to 18-inch inch slot-length limit from 1991-2002 and reverted to the statewide limit in September 2003. Additional blue catfish were stocked in 2007.
- Prey species: Gizzard shad provide adequate forage for sport fishes; however threadfin shad are typically low in abundance. Bluegill, redear sunfish, and longear sunfish all add to the prey base and the fishery at Lake Waxahachie. However, sunfish populations have shifted towards dominance by larger individuals, thereby limiting their availability as forage.
- Catfishes: Gill net catch rate of channel catfish declined from previous surveys. Blue catfish were not collected in 2006; however stockings in 2003, 2005, and 2007 have resulted in a low density population observed in 2010 gill net surveys. Almost all blue catfish were of harvestable size.
- White bass: White bass continued to exhibit inconsistent recruitment and low abundance likely due to variable water levels and drought conditions in 2005-2006. Body condition of white bass in surveys was adequate, and most were legal size.
- Largemouth bass: Abundance of largemouth bass has remained high and consistent with previous surveys, although size structure was still poor. Body condition and growth rate remained poor for most size classes.
- Crappie: White and black crappie were both present in the reservoir, and were the most sought after species in the spring creel survey at Lake Waxahachie.
- Standard surveys will be conducted in 2013-2014 to monitor sport fish and prey populations.
- Continue to monitor the success of blue catfish stockings during routine gill netting in 2014.
- Coordinate with the City of Waxahachie to monitor the hydrilla if needed.
- Continue to seek additional opportunities for habitat improvements.
- Conduct a quantitative assessment of the aquatic plant community during routine habitat survey in 2013.
- We will also seek additional opportunities to promote the fishery.
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