Lake Bardwell - 2010 Survey Report
Prepared by Richard A. Ott, Jr. and Daniel L. Bennett >
Inland Fisheries Division
District 3-C, Tyler, Texas
This is the authors' summary from a 25-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish populations in Lake Bardwell were surveyed in 2010 using electrofishing and trap netting and in 2011 using gill netting. Vegetation and angler access surveys were conducted in August 2010. This report summarizes results of these surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
Lake Bardwell is a 3,138-acre reservoir constructed in 1965 on Waxahachie Creek, a tributary of the Trinity River, Texas, for flood control and as a water supply for municipal and industrial purposes. The reservoir is located in Ellis County and is operated and controlled by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACOE). Lake Bardwell is classified as hyper-eutrophic. Habitat consists of featureless shoreline, eroded bank, and small amounts of native submersed, and native emergent vegetation. Angler access and facilities are very good with five public access areas and one commercial marina.
Important sport fish include channel catfish, white bass, palmetto bass largemouth bass, and white crappie. The management plan from the 2006 survey report included: continued stocking of palmetto bass, additional promotion of the fishery, and discussions with the controlling authority regarding enhancement of the aquatic plant community. The fish community continued to be managed under statewide harvest regulations.
- Prey species: Gizzard shad abundance has declined from previous surveys but size distribution was good and abundance of threadfin shad abundance had increased and compensated for the decline. Bluegill and longear sunfish provide additional prey fish.
- Catfishes: Gill net catch rate of channel catfish was within the historical range; size distribution was very good with high relative abundance of legal-length fish. Blue catfish catch rate was lower than channel catfish and large specimens (historically present) were not collected in this survey.
- Temperate basses: Gill net catch rate of white bass declined from previous surveys, but size distribution was similar and body condition was within the target range. Reduced abundance was likely due to low inflows and poor spawning conditions in 2009 and 2010. Palmetto bass fingerlings have not been stocked since 2007 and although nearly two million fry were stocked in 2010 there was no evidence of survival.
- Largemouth bass: Abundance of largemouth bass was within the historical range and there was evidence of a strong 2010 year class. Size distribution indicated a balanced population. Body condition was moderate for most size classes.
- Crappie: White and black crappie were both present in the reservoir. Trap net catch rate of white crappie was below the historical range, and relative abundance of legal-length white crappie was low. Only one black crappie was collected.
- Standard surveys will be conducted in 2014-2015 with additional gill netting in 2013 to monitor palmetto bass and blue catfish populations.
- Consult with USACOE regarding the possibility of overexploitation of large blue catfish, request stocking of blue catfish fingerlings.
- Continue requesting palmetto bass at 10/acre annually.
- Conduct a quantitative assessment of the aquatic plant community during routine habitat survey in 2014. Investigate the possibility of a native aquatic plant enhancement project.
- Coordinate with USACOE to promote invasive aquatic species awareness and prevention.
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