Bonham City Reservoir - 2012 Survey Report
Prepared by John H. Moczygemba and Bruce Hysmith
Inland Fisheries Division
District 2-A, Pottsboro, Texas
This is the authors' summary from a 24-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish populations in Bonham City Reservoir were surveyed in 2012 using electrofishing and trap netting and in 2013 using gill netting. Habitat and aquatic vegetation was surveyed in 2012. 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.
Bonham City Reservoir, a 1,020-acre impoundment on Timber Creek, a tributary to Bois d’Arc Creek, which is a tributary to the Red River in Fannin County Texas. From May 2009 to April 2013 water level stayed within 2 feet of conservation level (565 ft-msl) most of the time except during the fall of 2011 (560.3 ft-msl) and 2012 (561 ft-msl). The reservoir has high nutrient productivity. Habitat features consisted of bulkhead, rip-rap, and native submerged and emergent aquatic vegetation.
Important sport fish include Blue and Channel Catfish, Largemouth Bass, and White and Black Crappie. Management recommendations included stocking Blue Catfish fingerlings, supplemental sampling for White Crappie, and recommendation to clean the dam of excessive terrestrial vegetation. From 2009 to 2011 264,253 Blue Catfish fingerlings were stocked.
- Prey species: Electrofishing catch rate of Gizzard Shad was high. The relative abundance of prey-size Gizzard Shad (≤7 inches) was high and much improved from 2008. Threadfin Shad catch remains high. Bluegill catch rate remained excellent.
- Catfishes: Gill net catch rate of Blue Catfish was highest on record, probably due to the stockings from 2009-2011. Legal size Blue Catfish made up 71% of the sample population and in good condition. Growth was good and recruitment of the stocked fish was good. Gill net catch rate of Channel Catfish was good, but has declined over the previous eight years. Most of the sample population was legal size and in good condition. Growth was good and there was recruitment.
- White Bass: White Bass were collected for the first time when three mature females were collected in gill nets. Their effect on the other sportfishes is uncertain.
- Black basses: Spotted Bass are present in the reservoir. Electrofishing catch rate of Largemouth Bass has declined. The structure of the sample population was good with 20% of the sample population being legal, growth was good, and the bass were in good condition and recruitment was high.
- Crappie: Trap net catch rate of White Crappie rebounded from the last survey with the highest catch rate since 2004. Legal-size White Crappie made up 35% of the sample population. Condition was excellent for most individuals. Growth was good. The trap net catch rate of Black Crappie was low. Condition was excellent for most individuals.
- Based on current information, Bonham City Reservoir should continue to be managed with existing fish harvest regulations.
- The controlling authority will be informed of excessive terrestrial growth on dam and erosion of edges of north public boat ramp.
- A gill netting survey will be conducted in 2015 to check the status of the White Bass population.
- The City of Bonham will be informed about new exotic species threats to Texas waters, and work with them to display appropriate signage and educate constituents.
- General monitoring with electrofisher, trap nets, and gill nets will be conducted in 2016-2017.
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