Lake Bryan - 2013 Survey Report
Prepared by Mark Webb, Mike Gore and Alice Best
Inland Fisheries Division
District 3-E, Snook, Texas
This is the authors' summary from a 18-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish populations in Lake Bryan were surveyed in 2013 using electrofishing and trap netting 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.
Lake Bryan is a 732-acre reservoir in Brazos County, Texas, built by Bryan Texas Utilities (BTU) to provide water for power-plant cooling. The lake has a small watershed with a water-well owned by BTU to help maintain water level. The lake is located within a public park, and access for both boat and bank angling is excellent. The primary fish habitat is limestone riprap and scattered native emergent vegetation.
Primary sport fishes in Lake Bryan include Largemouth Bass, Blue Catfish, Channel Catfish, White Crappie, and Black Crappie. A variety of sunfish species are also present. Sport fish species are managed under statewide length and bag limits with the exception that the Largemouth Bass population has been under an 18-inch minimum length limit since September 1996. The number of Largemouth Bass and sunfishes captured in electrofishing has increased since the 2009 survey. Catfishes and crappies have remained relatively stable with the exception that Blue Catfish are now present.
- Prey species: Bluegill, Longear Sunfish, Threadfin Shad, and tilapia comprised most of the available prey. However, catch rates were low. Bluegill were the most abundant of the sunfish species and all were < 7 inches in length.
- Catfishes: Channel Catfish and Blue Catfish were both available to anglers although densities were low. Blue Catfish were noted for the first time in the 2010 gill net sample following stocking in 2009.
- Largemouth bass: Although relative abundance of Largemouth Bass was not high in electrofishing, it was consistent with historical data and indicated fish up to 18 inches were available to anglers. Body condition of Largemouth Bass was fair.
- Crappie: Both White Crappie and Black Crappie were present in Lake Bryan. Although catch rates in trap nets were low, anecdotal information indicates a crappie fishery exists at Lake Bryan.
Low primary productivity limits the Lake Bryan fishery. Although fertilization is a feasible management strategy, BTU has shown little interest in cooperative fisheries management. Staff will consider a reduction in length limit for Largemouth Bass from the current 18-inch minimum length limit to the statewide 14-inch minimum length limit. Staff will also conduct water salinity sampling to determine Lake Bryan’s suitability for Red Drum stocking.
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