Lake Brazos - 2012 Survey Report
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Prepared by John E. Tibbs and Michael S. Baird
Inland Fisheries Division
District 2-B, Waco, Texas
This is the authors' summary from a 26-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish populations in Lake Brazos were surveyed in 2012 using electrofishing and trap netting and in 2013 using gill netting. Historical data are presented with the 2012-2013 data for comparison. This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
Lake Brazos is a 523-acre impoundment of the Brazos River located in downtown Waco, McLennan County, Texas. Bank and boat access on the reservoir are good, and include handicap-friendly facilities such as walkways, picnic shelters, and fishing piers. Habitat features consisted mainly of emergent aquatic vegetation and overhanging riparian brush and trees.
Important sport fish include Blue and Channel Catfish, White and Striped Bass, Largemouth Bass, and White Crappie. The management plan from the 2008 survey report included annual monitoring of giant cane, placement of new fishing habitat, publicizing new angling opportunities, requesting Florida Largemouth Bass stockings, and collecting base line age and growth data during 2012/2013 surveys. Nearly 50 Crappie condos have been placed into the reservoir since 2009, giant reed is monitored annually, news releases concerning fish populations and newly added fish habitat were released via newspaper articles and YouTube videos, and Florida Largemouth Bass were stocked at 100 fingerlings per acre in 2010. Age and growth data were also collected on Largemouth Bass, White Crappie, Catfish, and temperate bass species, and are included in this report.
- Prey species: Forage species present included Longear Sunfish, Bluegill, Gizzard Shad, Threadfin Shad, Redear Sunfish, and Warmouth in order of decreasing abundance. Catch rates were low for all collected forage species, with the exception of Longear Sunfish and Bluegill.
- Catfishes: Blue Catfish were present in record numbers and Channel Catfish were present in fair numbers; all were in good to excellent condition. No Flathead Catfish were sampled.
- Temperate basses: White Bass, Striped Bass, and Palmetto (Hybrid Striped) Bass were collected during the 2013 survey. Catch rates were low, but catchable populations exist.
- Black basses: Three species of black basses were collected in fall 2012. Largemouth Bass were collected at above average rates, Spotted Bass were collected near historical average rates, and Smallmouth Bass were collected for the first time.
- White crappie: White Crappies were collected in fair numbers and condition during winter 2012.
- Continue managing Lake Brazos with statewide regulations as this fishery becomes established.
- Conduct standard monitoring with electrofisher and trap netting in 2016 and gill netting in 2017.
- Future management strategies should include further habitat enhancement throughout the reservoir, and eradication of exotic giant reed if monitoring data show further increases in coverage.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-221-M-3 Inland Fisheries Division Monitoring and Management Program