Braunig Reservoir - 2013 Survey Report
Prepared by John A. Dennis and Randall A. Myers
Inland Fisheries Division
District 1-D, San Antonio, Texas
This is the authors' summary from a 30-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish populations in Victor Braunig Reservoir were surveyed in 2013 using electrofishing and in 2014 using gill netting. Historical data are presented with the 2013-2014 data for comparison. This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
Victor Braunig is a 1,298-acre reservoir located on the southeast side of San Antonio in Bexar County. It was built in 1964 by City Public Service Energy for power plant cooling and later opened for recreation. Recreation access is controlled by Thousand Trails Management Services, Inc., and paid entry is required. Water level is maintained at or near conservation pool by pumping from the San Antonio River. Aquatic plants, primarily bulrush, cattails, and brittle naiad, typically occupy up to 10% of the reservoir. Boat angling effort was 35,600 hours and angler expenditures were $194,893 in 2009-2010.
Important sport fishes include Red Drum, Palmetto Bass, and Channel Catfish. Stockings of Red Drum and Palmetto Bass were required to maintain their populations. Stockings have occurred most years since the mid-70s. All sport fish are managed with statewide regulations, except Red Drum and Largemouth Bass. Red Drum have a minimum size limit of 20 inches but do not have a maximum length limit. Largemouth Bass harvest regulations were changed from the statewide 10-inch minimum length limit (MLL), 10 fish daily bag limit (DBL) to a 21-inch MLL, 2-fish DBL in 1985. The harvest regulations were again changed in 1995 to an 18-inch MLL, 3-fish DBL. The DBL was raised to 5 in 1995. Florida Largemouth Bass (FLMB) were first stocked in 1976 and were last stocked in 1987. Sub-adult Northern Largemouth Bass were purchased and stocked by CPSE in 2004, 2006, 2007, and 2008.
- Prey species: Despite a decrease in abundance and increase in size of Gizzard Shad, adequate forage was available to most predators because of the abundance of Threadfin Shad, Bluegill, other sunfishes, Blue Tilapia, and Rio Grande Cichlids.
- Catfishes: Channel Catfish abundance declined, but still provided a popular fishery.
- Palmetto bass: Palmetto Bass abundance increased and fish reached harvestable size about two years after stocking.
- Largemouth bass: Largemouth Bass abundance was low and only supports a marginal fishery.
- Red drum: Red Drum supported a popular fishery, but gill net catch rates were variable.
- Continue stocking Palmetto Bass fingerlings at 30 fish/acre and Red Drum fingerlings at 200 fish/acre.
- Develop a Hybrid striped bass identification poster and work with Thousand Trails Management Services, Inc. to post it at the entrance of the reservoir.
- Explore alternative sampling protocols for Red Drum.
- Inform the public about the negative impacts of aquatic invasive species.
- Conduct general monitoring surveys with a 6-month creel survey in 2015, gill nets in 2016 and 2018, and electrofishing, access, and vegetation surveys in 2017.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-221-M-4 Inland Fisheries Division Monitoring and Management Program