Big Creek Lake - 2015 Survey Report
Prepared by Kevin W. Storey
Inland Fisheries Division – Tyler North District
This is the authors' summary from a 20-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish populations in Big Creek Reservoir were surveyed in 2015 using electrofishing and in spring 2016 using gill netting. An aquatic vegetation survey was conducted during summer 2015. Historical data are presented with the 2015-2016 data for comparison. This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
Big Creek Reservoir is a 520-acre impoundment located in Delta County, Texas, on Big Creek, a tributary of the South Sulphur River. The reservoir was constructed by the City of Cooper for municipal water supply. At conservation pool elevation, habitat consists primarily of featureless banks and the littoral area contains limited amounts of emergent aquatic plants. The invasive aquatic plant Eurasian watermilfoil has been found in the past.
Important sport fish include Largemouth Bass, White Crappie, and Channel Catfish.
- Prey species: Catch of Gizzard Shad was high. Other prey species collected were Longear Sunfish and Bluegill. Catch rates of sunfish species were low and potentially linked to profound changes in aquatic habitat resulting in increased water turbidity.
- Catfishes: Channel Catfish were present in the reservoir. However, catch rates were much lower than they were in the 2012 survey. One Blue Catfish was collected during the spring 2016 survey but no Flathead Catfish were observed.
- Largemouth bass: Catch of Largemouth Bass in fall 2015 was very low compared with previous surveys. Samples collected in fall 2015 showed little recruitment to the population.
- White Crappie: White Crappie catch in spring 2016 was low with the fish collected being dominated by legally harvestable individuals. No assessment was made of crappie populations in previous reports due to lack of access from drought conditions.
Continue with standard monitoring using daytime electrofishing in 2019, and gill netting in 2020. Electrofishing during daytime will be employed due to high turbidity in the reservoir. If sufficient hoop nets can be acquired this method will be substituted for gill netting to sample Channel Catfish in 2019. Continue to monitor aquatic vegetation through a vegetation survey in 2019.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-221-M-2 Inland Fisheries Division Monitoring and Management Program