Lake Bardwell - 2014 Survey Report
Prepared by Jacob Norman and Richard A. Ott, Jr.
Inland Fisheries Division - Tyler South District
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 Bardwell were surveyed in 2014 using electrofishing and trap netting and in 2015 using gill netting. Historical data are presented with the 2014-2015 data for comparison. This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
Lake Bardwell is a 3,138-acre impoundment located on Waxahachie Creek in the Trinity River Basin approximately 3 miles southwest of Ennis, Texas. Water level has mostly been within 2-4 feet of spillway elevation since 2005. 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 White Bass, Palmetto Bass, Largemouth Bass, White Crappie, and catfish. The management plan from the 2010 survey report included requested stockings of Palmetto Bass fingerlings at 10 fish/acre annually, and subsequent bi-annual gill netting to monitor the population. Because Palmetto Bass fingerlings were not available in 2010, fry were stocked at 615/acre. Reservoir regulations posters were distributed to local businesses, marinas. The controlling authority was consulted with in regards to funding a native plant introduction project, however, funding and manpower was not available.
- Prey species: Threadfin Shad were present in the reservoir. Electrofishing catch of Gizzard Shad was good, and most were available as prey to sport fish. Electrofishing catch of Bluegill was low, however all were under 4 inches and available to most sport fish.
- Catfishes: Blue Catfish and Channel Catfish were present in the 2015 gill netting survey. A few Blue Catfish exceeded 30 inches.
- Temperate basses: White Bass and Palmetto Bass were abundant in the 2015 gill netting survey. However, the majority of both White and Palmetto Bass collected had not yet reached harvestable size.
- Largemouth Bass: Largemouth Bass remain in Lake Bardwell at a low density comprised primarily of small individuals (< 14 inches).
- Crappie: White Crappie were more numerous than Black Crappie in 2014. The majority of White Crappie collected were legal size and exhibited fast growth, reaching legal size within two years.
- Request annual stocking of Palmetto Bass fingerlings at 15 fish/acre and one additional stocking of Blue Catfish at 50/acre.
- Continue to monitor White Bass and Palmetto Bass through additional gill netting in 2017 and standard gill netting in 2019.
- Conduct general monitoring surveys with trap nets and electrofishing surveys in 2018.
- Inform the public about the negative impacts of aquatic invasive species.
- Access and vegetation surveys will be conducted in 2018.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-221-M-5 Inland Fisheries Division Monitoring and Management Program