Benbrook Reservoir - 2005 Survey Report
Prepared by Thomas Hungerford and Raphael Brock
Inland Fisheries Division
District 2-D, Fort Worth, 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 Benbrook Reservoir were surveyed in 2003 with electrofishing, 2005 using trap nets, and in 2006 using gill nets. Low water levels precluded a standard fall electrofishing sample from being conducted in 2005. This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
Benbrook Reservoir is a 3,635-acre impoundment located on the Clear Fork of the Trinity River approximately 10 miles southwest of Fort Worth. Water level was at a historic low elevation of 14 feet below conservation pool during the winter of 2005. Rains in early 2006 brought water levels back within 2 feet of conservation pool (694 ft). Benbrook Reservoir has consistently been eutrophic. Habitat consisted of standing timber and rocks.
Important sport fish included white bass, palmetto bass, largemouth bass, white crappie, and catfish. The management plan from the 2001 survey report included stocking palmetto bass at 10 fish/acre annually. Largemouth bass have historically been managed with state-wide minimum length limit of 14 inches. Florida largemouth bass were introduced in the mid-to-late 1970s and stocked again in 2002. Florida largemouth bass were requested for stocking in spring of 2006 as significant water level increases occurred. Blue catfish were stocked in 1990 and 1991 to capitalize on the abundant prey base. Recent efforts to improve the fish habitat and angler success have included construction of brush-piles in various locations.
- Prey species: Threadfin shad continued to be abundant. Electrofishing catch of gizzard shad was high. Electrofishing catch of bluegills was high, but few were over 6 inches long. Longear sunfish were also abundant in the reservoir.
- Catfishes: The channel catfish population continued to have few fish available for anglers. Blue catfish were more abundant in Benbrook Reservoir than in any previous sample.
- Temperate basses: White bass, yellow bass, and palmetto bass were present. White bass were collected at a lower rate than in previous years. Yellow bass, which may have been introduced through a pipeline connecting Cedar Creek Reservoir to Benbrook Reservoir, were collected in gill nets for the first time. Palmetto bass abundance increased significantly from the previous two surveys.
- Largemouth bass: Largemouth bass were sampled in relatively low abundance. Size structure was dominated by fish under 14 inches. Largemouth bass body condition (relative weight) was good.
- White crappie: Size and body condition of white crappie continued to be good, but abundance was down from previous years. Most crappie reached legal size (10 inches) within two years.
- Stock palmetto bass at a rate of 10 fish/acre annually.
- Stock Florida largemouth bass in 2006 and 2007 as significant increases in water levels occur.
- Conduct general sport fish monitoring with trap nets, gill nets, and electrofishing surveys in 2007-2009.
- Continue habitat improvements through vegetation plantings with water willow and with brush pile construction.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-30-R-31 Statewide Freshwater Fisheries Monitoring and Management Program