Worth Reservoir - 2010 Survey Report
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Prepared by Raphael Brock and Thomas Hungerford
Inland Fisheries Division
District 2-D, Fort Worth, Texas
This is the authors' summary from a 32-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish populations in Worth Reservoir were surveyed in 2010 using electrofishing and trap netting, and in 2011 using gill netting. This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
Worth Reservoir is a 3,489-acre impoundment, located on the West Fork Trinity River. The reservoir is located entirely in the city limits of Ft. Worth in Tarrant County and was constructed in 1914 by the City as a municipal water supply. The elongated and serpentine reservoir extends approximately 6 miles upstream from the dam. Shoreline length is approximately 36 miles.
Angler and boat access was adequate. However, parts of the reservoir are very shallow and limit boat traffic. Non motorized boat access is available in the north end of the reservoir within the Fort Worth Nature Center. There were two handicap-accessible fishing piers on the reservoir. Fishery habitat was primarily shoreline and sporadic stands of native emergent vegetation in the form of water willow, Justicia americana, and bulrushes, Scirpus species, and also rocky shoreline. Water levels are not allowed to decrease more than 2 foot below conservation pool because of drinking water quality concerns. The City of Fort Worth is planning to dredge the reservoir to increase water storage capacity, improve water quality, and increase water recreation.
Fish Consumption Advisory History
Worth Reservoir is currently under a fish-consumption advisory because of elevated levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in fish tissues. The advisory was first implemented by the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) in April
2000 and advised no consumption of any species. The advisory was amended in 2010 to advise no consumption of blue and channel catfish and smallmouth buffalo. During a recent creel survey, 82% of anglers surveyed indicated they were aware of the fish consumption advisory. More information concerning the advisory can be found on the DSHS website at www.dshs.state.tx.us/seafood/.
A 36 day annual creel was conducted from June 2010 through May 2011. Surveys indicated that 58% of anglers were seeking largemouth bass. Largemouth bass were followed by anglers seeking anything (18%), followed by white crappie (9%), and channel catfish (8.0%). A high percentage of legal sized fish that were caught were released. This is probably the result of the fish consumption advisory.
Important sport fishes include largemouth bass, white crappie, white bass, and blue and channel catfish. All species have been managed with statewide regulations.
- Prey species: Gizzard and threadfin shad were in great abundance in the reservoir. Bluegill and longear sunfish were also very abundant with fish over 6 inches available for anglers.
- Catfishes: The blue catfish catch rate increased from the previous survey. The population is above average in abundance with quality fish available for anglers. The catch rate of channel catfish remained high with quality fish available for anglers. Flathead catfish were present but none were captured this past survey year.
- White bass: White bass catch rate increased from previous survey and an adequate population exists for anglers.
- Black basses: The spotted bass population catch rate was similar to previous survey with the size distribution being average. The largemouth bass total catch rate has increased slightly in abundance from the previous survey. Size distribution of the population is average.
- Crappie: The white crappie population continued to be high in abundance with quality fish available for anglers. Black crappie were present but in low abundance.
- General monitoring with electrofishing and trap netting will be conducted in 2014 and gill netting surveys will be conducted in 2015.
- Because of the high directed effort for largemouth bass, available habitat, and low genetic influence, Florida largemouth bass will be stocked in consecutive years and success evaluated with electrofishing in 2014.
- We also plan to work with the City of Fort Worth to improve non motorized access in the upper end of the reservoir and provide input during planning stages of the dredging project.
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