Fort Parker Reservoir - 2006 Survey Report
Prepared by Michael S. Baird and John Tibbs
Inland Fisheries Division
District 2-B, Waco, Texas
This is the authors' summary from a 21-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fort Parker Reservoir was surveyed in fall 2006 using a boat electrofisher and trap nets, and spring 2007 with gill nets. This report summarizes survey results and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
Fort Parker Reservoir is a 725-acre impoundment located within Fort Parker State Park in Limestone County, Texas. Mean and maximum water depths are 4 and 8 feet respectively, and the reservoir is moderately productive due to Navasota River inflows. Habitat features consisted of rock, native emergent aquatic plants, overhanging brush and woody debris.
Important sport fish include white bass, largemouth bass, white crappie, and catfish. The 2003 survey report recognized immigration of blue catfish to Fort Parker State Park reservoir from Mexia reservoir just upstream. The blue catfish appeared to be doing well utilizing the abundant forage base, so the 2003 management plan included stocking two-inch blue catfish fingerlings at 100 fish/acre to encourage this new fishery. Advanced fingerlings were actually stocked at approximately 10 fish/acre in fall 2003. Advanced channel catfish fingerlings were stocked at approximately 6 fish/acre in 2004. Northern largemouth bass were also stocked at a rate of 129 fish/acre in 2004. Clarification of the prohibition of trotlines and jug lines within the reservoir was made in the 2003/2004 Outdoor Annual.
- Prey species: Threadfin shad are abundant in the reservoir. Electrofishing catch of gizzard shad was very high, and most were available as prey to sport fish. Electrofishing catch of bluegills was also high, but few were over 6-inches in length. Redear, longear, orangespotted, and warmouth sunfishes were also surveyed in low numbers.
- Catfishes: The blue catfish population is still present with low numbers of legal sized fish available for anglers. The channel catfish population is holding steady with most fish in the quality to preferred size ranges. No flathead catfish were collected in spring 2007.
- White bass: White bass were present in the reservoir in low numbers.
- Largemouth bass: Largemouth bass catch rates were relatively low with few fish in the legal size range; however recruitment and condition appear to be good. Florida largemouth bass genetics remain low as this species has only been stocked once. Northern largemouth bass continue to be stocked and dominate the alleles.
- White crappie: White crappie were present in the reservoir in good numbers. The condition of collected fish was excellent, with good numbers of legal size fish for anglers to keep.
Continue stocking blue catfish to improve a poor catfish fishery. Conduct habitat/vegetation survey in 2009/2010, and continue general monitoring with trap nets, gill nets, and electrofishing surveys in 2010-2011.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-30-R-32 Statewide Freshwater Fisheries Monitoring and Management Program