Brandy Branch Reservoir - 2015 Survey Report
Prepared by Timothy J. Bister and Lynn D. Wright
Inland Fisheries Division – Marshall 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 Brandy Branch Reservoir were surveyed in 2015 using electrofishing. Anglers were surveyed from December 2015 through February 2016 with a creel survey. 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.
Brandy Branch Reservoir is a 1,257-acre impoundment of Brandy Branch Creek in the Sabine River Basin in Harrison County. It is used for power plant cooling and recreation. Structural habitat is mainly inundated timber. Hydrilla was the most dominant aquatic plant species during the 2015 survey. Eurasian watermilfoil was discovered in 2007 and has expanded in recent years. Giant salvinia was introduced from a boat trailer in 2008 and immediate efforts to eradicate this invasive species were successful. There have been several other giant salvinia introductions; all have been eradicated to date. Tilapia were discovered in the reservoir in 2015. Their presence is likely due to an unauthorized introduction; they were not intentionally stocked by Texas Parks and Wildlife.
Largemouth Bass are the primary sport fish in this reservoir. All sport fish have historically been managed with statewide harvest regulations.
- Prey species: Threadfin Shad were present in the reservoir. Low numbers of Gizzard Shad have been collected during past surveys, but none were observed during the 2015 survey. Electrofishing catch of Bluegills was much lower than past surveys, but Largemouth Bass relative weights (body condition) indicate adequate prey availability in the reservoir.
- Catfishes: Due to historically low density and lack of directed angling effort, no sampling was conducted to survey the Channel Catfish population.
- Largemouth bass: Largemouth Bass population had moderate abundance, good size structure, and adequate recruitment. The number of fish >14 inches was slightly higher in 2015 compared to 2013. Largemouth Bass had fast growth rates; the average age of 14-inch fish was 2 years. Of 30 fish submitted for genetic testing in 2015, 93% were pure Florida Largemouth Bass. Most (98.6%) anglers during the winter 2015/2016 creel survey fished specifically for Largemouth Bass. Angling catch rate of Largemouth Bass during this period was 0.6 fish/h.
- Black Crappie: Due to historically low abundance and limited directed angling effort, no sampling was conducted to survey the Black Crappie population.
- Continue to monitor the reservoir for invasive aquatic plant coverage and new giant salvinia introductions during annual invasive plant surveys and periodic boat ramp inspections.
- Provide technical guidance to the controlling authority related to invasive species management.
- Conduct an additional electrofishing survey in fall 2017, and general monitoring surveys with electrofishing in 2019.
- Access and vegetation surveys will be conducted in 2019.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-221-M-6 Inland Fisheries Division Monitoring and Management Program