Coleto Creek Reservoir - 2005 Survey Report
Prepared by John Findeisen and Todd Neahr
Inland Fisheries Division
District 1-E, Mathis, Texas
This is the authors' summary from a 31-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish populations in Coleto Creek Reservoir were surveyed in 2005 using trap nets and electrofishing and in 2006 using gill nets. Anglers were surveyed from June 2005 through May 2006 with a roving creel survey. This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
Coleto Creek Reservoir is a 3,100-acre reservoir located on Coleto Creek in the Guadalupe River Basin 13 miles southwest of Victoria. Regulated by the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority, it receives water from Coleto Creek and several smaller tributaries and is used as a power plant cooling supply and for recreation. Approximately 600 acres are used for cooling ponds and are inaccessible to anglers. Water level is typically stable. Substrate is composed primarily of clays, deep loams and small rock. Littoral habitat consisted of many native and exotic species of aquatic vegetation and flooded timber.
Important sport fish species include blue, channel, and flathead catfish, white bass, largemouth bass, and white and black crappie. Palmetto and red drum had been previously stocked in the reservoir. The 2002 management plan focused on issues with largemouth bass, relative abundance of palmetto bass, lack of creel data, and hydrilla. Extra largemouth bass sampling was conducted and age and growth data were acquired. Stocking of palmetto bass was discontinued due to low gill net catch rates and low angling pressure. Both voluntary (2002-2004) and roving creel surveys (June 2005 – May 2006) were implemented to obtain data. Hydrilla and water hyacinth restricted access to some areas of the reservoir; these problematic areas were treated with herbicides and bio-control organisms.
- Prey species: Gizzard shad and bluegill were the primary forage species present in Coleto Creek Reservoir. Gizzard shad abundance appeared to be increasing, with the majority being available to predators. Bluegill abundance was good but few bluegill were over 6-inches in length.
- Catfishes: Blue, channel, and flathead catfish were present in the reservoir with channel catfish being the most abundant. Channel catfish abundance was increasing with many legal size fish available.
- Temperate basses: Palmetto bass are assumed no longer present in the reservoir, as evidenced by no catches in either the 2006 gill net survey or during the roving creel survey. White bass were present in the reservoir and abundance has increased.
- Largemouth bass: Largemouth bass continued to be abundant in the reservoir. Results from the 2005-2006 creel survey indicated many largemouth bass over 18-inches in length were caught by anglers. Largemouth bass growth rates to legal size were good.
- Crappie: Black and white crappie were present in the reservoir with white crappie being most abundant. White crappie abundance increased and many anglers reported catching close to the daily bag limit of crappie during the summer months.
- Red drum: Red drum were stocked in 2001 but no red drum have been collected in any of the management surveys. However, some anglers have harvested red drum as evidenced by the photographs in the GBRA Coleto Creek Reservoir headquarters office.
Continue to monitor angling pressure and angler catch and harvest rates by conducting creel surveys. Continue to work with GBRA on controlling milfoil and hydrilla in problematic areas and water hyacinth throughout the reservoir.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-30-R-31 Statewide Freshwater Fisheries Monitoring and Management Program