Georgetown Reservoir - 2013 Survey Report
Prepared by Mukhtar Farooqi and Marcos J. De Jesus
Inland Fisheries Division
District 2-C, San Marcos, Texas
This is the authors' summary from a 38-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish populations in Georgetown Reservoir were surveyed in 2013 using electrofishing and in 2014 using gill netting. Historical data are presented with the 2013-2014 data for comparison. This report summarizes results of the surveys and contains a fisheries management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
Georgetown Reservoir is a 1,297-acre impoundment of the North San Gabriel River located in Williamson County, Texas. The dam was constructed in 1980 by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers for purposes of flood control, municipal water supply and recreation.
Important sport fish included White Bass, Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, catfish species and Palmetto Bass. Palmetto Bass were stocked annually starting in 2003, with the exception of 2010, 2012, and 2014. Sunshine Bass were stocked instead of Palmetto Bass in 2014. Smallmouth Bass were stocked from 2006 through 2008, and from 2010 to 2011, but stocking was terminated once it was determined that the population could not support a fishery. Stockings of Blue Catfish were made in 2000 and 2001 in an attempt to establish a fishery for this species. Florida Largemouth Bass were stocked in 1986. Largemouth Bass have been managed since 1993 with a 14- to 18-inch slot-length limit. An analysis of that length limit change suggested it had been successful in increasing density and angler catch rate of bass greater than 14 inches in length. Angler harvest of sub-slot bass was not sufficient to improve growth under the slot length limit.
- Prey species: Gizzard Shad, Redbreast Sunfish and Bluegill were the predominant prey species available. Threadfin Shad, Longear Sunfish, Green Sunfish, Warmouth, and Redear Sunfish were also available as forage. The forage base was adequate to support sport fish.
- Catfishes: Blue and Channel Catfish were present in low densities, but Channel Catfish were the dominant catfish species present. Flathead Catfish were not present but were recorded in previous surveys in low densities.
- Temperate basses: White Bass abundance increased since the previous survey; fish up to 15 inches in length were present. On average, White Bass growth to harvestable size was average for this species. The gill net catch rate of Palmetto Bass in 2014 was higher than in 2010 and was composed of sub-legal size fish, the majority of which were age-1.
- Largemouth bass: Largemouth Bass abundance in 2013 was moderate to low. The population was dominated by individuals less than 14 inches in length, while the largest fish caught was 20 inches in length. Body condition was adequate. Growth was below average.
- Smallmouth bass: Smallmouth Bass were present in low numbers. Only two were collected in the 2013 electrofishing survey. Similar numbers were recorded in the previous standard survey (2009). In 2011, an additional survey targeting Smallmouth Bass also resulted in similar catch rates.
Based on current information, the reservoir should continue to be managed with existing regulations. Subject to availability, Palmetto Bass or Sunshine Bass (collectively known as Hybrid Striped Bass) should continue to be stocked until the viability of this fishery has been determined. The status of the Hybrid Striped Bass population should be documented with an additional gill net survey in 2016. 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-4 Inland Fisheries Division Monitoring and Management Program