Davy Crockett Reservoir - 2013 Survey Report
Prepared by John H. Moczygemba and Bruce Hysmith
Inland Fisheries Division
District 2-A, Pottsboro, Texas
This is the authors' summary from a 29-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish populations in Davy Crockett Reservoir were surveyed in 2013 using electrofishing and trap netting and in 2014 using gill netting. Habitat, vegetation, and angler access was surveyed in 2013. This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
Davy Crockett Reservoir is a 355-acre impoundment located on Dixon and Sandy Creeks approximately 14 miles northeast of Bonham. A water level drawdown has kept the reservoir 6.5 feet low since spring 2013. Davy Crockett Reservoir has high biological productivity. Habitat features consisted of open water, natural shoreline, and native aquatic vegetation (floating-leaved, emergent, submersed; greater than 55% coverage).
Important sport fish included Channel Catfish, Largemouth Bass, and crappies. The management plan from the 2010 survey report included a recommendation to stock advanced sized Channel Catfish to supplement low recruitment to legal size. Advanced Channel Catfish were stocked in 2010 and 2011. The plan also included the introduction of Threadfin Shad. They were stocked successfully in 2011. Electrofishing sampling indicated their establishment in the forage base. The 14- to 18-inch slot length limit for Largemouth Bass was evaluated with a creel in spring 2011 and winter electrofishing. Habitat surveys have revealed an increase in emerged and submerged vegetation in this reservoir.
- Prey species: Electrofishing catch rate of Gizzard Shad was low, with only 6% of the Gizzard Shad available as prey. Threadfin Shad catch rates dropped from previous survey, but still provided prey. However, they may have been killed during extreme cold temperatures of the winter of 2013-2014. Electrofishing catch rates of Bluegill declined over previous years. They still remained an important prey and recreational species. The drawdown may have affected catch rates.
- Channel catfish: Gill net catch rate of Channel Catfish was higher than past surveys and the entire sample population was legal length and in excellent condition. Aging indicated all collected fish were from stocking years and there was no evidence of reproduction. Growth was excellent. There was a viable fishery.
- Largemouth bass: Electrofishing catch rate of Largemouth Bass was down again but fish were collected in and over the slot. Size structure has improved. Supplemental sampling also showed fish in and above the slot. Largemouth bass had good growth below the slot and grew through the slot quickly. They were generally in good condition. They were the most sought after fish by anglers with some harvest.
- Crappies: White Crappie catch rates dropped and body condition was adequate. Black Crappie catch rates were higher than White Crappie and highest on record. Crappie were the second most sought after fish by anglers and harvest was good with fish up to 15 inches being harvested.
- The Channel Catfish population may benefit from stocking advanced size fingerlings.
- The existing slot length limit on Largemouth Bass will be kept. Sample the Largemouth Bass population.
- Due to possible winter (2013-2014) kill of Threadfin Shad, stock adult Threadfin Shad to ensure forage diversity.
- Encourage U.S. Forest Service to install and maintain lighting between existing boat ramp and boarding/fishing pier at the east campground and to repair boat ramp.
- Monitor American lotus and advise U.S. Forest Service on treatment if needed.
- Inform U.S. Forest Service about new exotic species threats to Texas waters, and work with them to display appropriate signage, educate constituents, and understand appropriate enforcement actions.
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