Cisco Reservoir - 2011 Survey Report
Prepared by Spencer Dumont
Inland Fisheries Division
District 1-B, Abilene, Texas
This is the authors' summary from a 25-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish populations in Cisco Reservoir were surveyed in 2011 using electrofishing and trap nets and in 2012 using gill nets. This report summarizes survey results and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
Cisco Reservoir is a 1,050-acre impoundment constructed on Sandy Creek, in the Brazos River Basin, approximately 45 miles east of Abilene, Texas. Its primary function was municipal water supply. From 1999 to fall 2004, water level went from 11-feet low to 23-feet low. From late 2004 through 2005 water level increased 10 feet. Water level fell again in 2006 and 2007 before heavy rains in June and July 2007 increased water elevation by 15 feet. Since that time, however, water level steadily declined to nearly 20-feet low by the end of 2011. Fish habitat in 2011 consisted primarily of rock, scattered dead brush, and boat docks. Boat access consisted of one public boat ramp. Bank-fishing access was limited to the boat-ramp area.
Fish populations have been managed with statewide harvest regulations. An attempt to introduce smallmouth bass in the 1990s was unsuccessful.
- Prey species: Prey fish consisted primarily of bluegill and gizzard shad. Low prey abundance had negative effects on some predator species.
- Catfishes: Channel catfish abundance increased, and size of fish available to anglers was excellent; 73% of the channel catfish were at least 12 inches long, and some were as long as 23 inches. Blue catfish were present in low abundance, and size ranged from 21 to 26 inches in length.
- Temperate basses: White bass numbers appeared to be increasing, and most of the fish collected were 11 inches long.
- Largemouth bass: Small (< 14 in long) largemouth bass were abundant, but they were skinny and slow growing. Some big bass were available to anglers; a 14.72-lb lake record was caught in September 2011. Largemouth bass appeared to be negatively impacted by low-water conditions.
- White crappie: Size and abundance of white crappie, in spite of slow growth, supported angling opportunities. White crappie appeared to be less affected by low-water conditions than largemouth bass.
- Inform anglers of panfishing opportunities available at Cisco Reservoir.
- Stock Florida largemouth bass for two consecutive years to increase Florida influence, beginning in 2012.
- Educate the public about negative impacts of invasive species and how to prevent their spread.
- Conduct a low-frequency electrofishing survey to determine presence or absence of blue catfish reproduction.
- Continue biennial electrofishing and trap-net surveys and gill-net surveys every four years.
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