Lake Welsh - 2007 Survey Report
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Prepared by Michael W. Brice and Timothy J. Bister
Inland Fisheries Division
District 3-A, Marshall, Texas
This is the authors' summary from a 24-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish populations in Lake Welsh were surveyed in 2007 using electrofishing and in 2008 using gill nets. Anglers were surveyed from December 2007 to February 2008 with an access creel. This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
Lake Welsh is a 1,333-acre cooling reservoir for lignite-fueled power generation located on Swaunano Creek in the Big Cypress River Basin. The reservoir is located in Titus County. Habitat features consist of standing timber, rocky shoreline, riprap, and native aquatic plants.
Important sport fish include largemouth bass and channel catfish. Largemouth bass have been managed under an 18-inch minimum length limit, 5 fish daily bag limit since September 1994. All other sport fishes in Lake Welsh have been managed with statewide regulations. Florida largemouth bass stockings in 1975 and 1976 were successful in establishing the Florida largemouth bass genetics in the population. Coontail was the most common aquatic plant in the lake although coverage was only about 10 acres. In 2006, fish attractors (approximately 300 recycled Christmas trees) were anchored at 4 locations in the reservoir.
- Prey species: Forage fish was limited to sunfish species. No threadfin shad or gizzard shad were collected. The electrofishing catch rate of all sunfish species in 2007 was relatively high with the majority of these fish available as prey.
- Catfishes: Channel catfish were present in moderate numbers with fish from 13 to 27 inches collected during spring gill netting. Fish body condition was above average for most inch groups. Channel catfish were the second most sought after species in the winter creel survey.
- Largemouth bass: Largemouth bass were relatively abundant and exhibited good size structure and adequate recruitment. Condition was average for most inch groups and growth was good with fish reaching legal-length (18 inches) during their third or fourth growing season. Largemouth bass was the most sought after species during the winter creel survey. During these months, anglers harvested approximately 1 fish/hour. The majority were caught during organized tournaments and were released following weigh-in.
- Conduct electrofishing surveys in 2009 and 2011, a gill netting survey in 2012, and an aquatic vegetation survey in 2011. An annual survey for waterhyacinth will also be conducted. Largemouth bass will continue to be managed under the current 18-inch minimum length limit. All other sport fish will continue to be managed under statewide harvest regulations.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-30-R-33 Statewide Freshwater Fisheries Monitoring and Management Program