Canyon Reservoir - 2011 Survey Report
Prepared by Marcos J. De Jesus and Mukhtar Farooqi
Inland Fisheries Division
District 2-C, San Marcos, Texas
This is the authors' summary from a 34-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish populations in Canyon Reservoir were surveyed in 2011 using electrofishing and in 2012 using gill nets. This report summarizes results of the surveys and contains a fisheries management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
Canyon Reservoir is an 8,308-acre impoundment of the Guadalupe River located in Comal County. It was constructed in 1964 by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers (USACE) for purposes of flood control, water conservation and recreation. Canyon Reservoir has a drainage area of approximately 1,452 square miles and a shoreline length of 90.5 miles. The reservoir lies within the Edwards Plateau ecological area.
Important sport fish include largemouth bass, striped bass, white bass and catfish species. Striped bass were introduced in 1973 and stocked until 1983, then restocked at a lower rate (5/acre) in 1989. White bass were managed under an experimental 12-inch minimum length limit. The regulation was rescinded in 2004 after analysis indicated environmental factors, not angler harvest, were probably more influential in determining white bass population density. Largemouth bass were present in the reservoir and have been managed under statewide regulations. Blue catfish were introduced in 1991 to provide enhanced catfish opportunities for anglers. The management plans from the 2007 survey report included maintaining fish attractor sites; continued annual stockings of striped bass; and increasing or enhancing pier fishing opportunities.
- Prey species: Sunfishes and gizzard shad were the dominant prey species available. Threadfin shad were present in low densities.
- Catfishes: Channel and blue catfish were equally abundant in low densities. Low-frequency electrofishing helped capture many young individuals, not captured with gill nets. Flathead catfish were also present in low densities, with large individuals present.
- Temperate basses: Striped bass and white bass were present in the reservoir. A fish consumption advisory was placed on striped bass in 2006, but limited consumption was allowed and the species still offered excellent catch-and-release opportunity. Striped bass showed reduced abundance with reduced stockings in the past two seasons. Legal-size (≥18 inches) striped bass were still present. White bass abundance declined, probably the result of the 2009 and 2011 droughts.
- Black basses: Largemouth bass abundance was moderate, declining from previous surveys. Reduced abundance was possibly caused by extreme drought conditions in 2009 and 2011. Smallmouth bass were present in low densities.
Annual striped bass stockings should continue to be requested at the present stocking rate of 5/acre. Fish attractor sites should continue to be replenished with brush as needed.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-221-M-2 Statewide Freshwater Fisheries Monitoring and Management Program