Gilmer Reservoir - 2012 Survey Report
Prepared by Lynn D. Wright and Timothy J. Bister
Inland Fisheries Division
District 3-A, Marshall, 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 Gilmer Reservoir were surveyed in 2012 using electrofishing and trap netting and in 2013 using gill netting. Anglers were surveyed from June 2012 through May 2013 with an access-point creel survey. Historical data are presented with the 2012-2013 data for comparison. This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
Gilmer Reservoir is a 1,010-acre impoundment constructed on Kelsey Creek in the Big Cypress River Basin and controlled by the City of Gilmer. Structural habitat consists primarily of natural shoreline features. Habitat is dominated by hydrilla and limited amounts of native aquatic plants.
Largemouth Bass have been managed with an 18-inch minimum length limit since the reservoir was opened to public fishing. The reservoir has developed a well-known trophy Largemouth Bass fishery. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has stocked Florida Largemouth Bass since 1996 and offspring of ShareLunker broodfish in 2011 to maintain this trophy fishery. Channel Catfish have been stocked in the reservoir, but a self-sustaining population has failed to establish.
- Prey species: Threadfin Shad were abundant and provided a quality prey source. Gizzard Shad were present with over half being vulnerable to predators. Bluegill were the most abundant sunfish species and serve as an additional prey source for Largemouth Bass in the reservoir.
- Catfishes: Only one Channel Catfish was collected during the 2013 gill netting survey and few anglers targeted catfish during the creel period.
- Largemouth bass: Electrofishing catch rates of Largemouth Bass were higher in 2012 than in previous years. Largemouth Bass received the highest percentage of angling effort (61.8%) compared to other species in the reservoir from June 2012 through May 2013. Largemouth Bass had above-average growth and condition, indicating abundant prey availability.
- Crappie: Only two Black Crappies were collected during trap netting in 2012, however, an excellent crappie fishery has developed. Anglers were more successful catching crappie in the 2012/2013 creel survey period compared to past surveys. Directed angling effort and harvest increased in the 2012/2013 survey compared to the 2005/2006 survey. No White Crappies were observed in either the trap netting or creel surveys.
- Conduct electrofishing surveys every other year beginning in 2014 and gill nets in 2017. Angler access will be surveyed in 2016.
- Hydrilla will be inspected annually to monitor access-related issues and to watch for other non-native invasive aquatic vegetation. Technical guidance will be given to the controlling authority regarding invasive aquatic vegetation management as necessary.
- Largemouth Bass will continue to be managed with the 18-inch minimum length limit. The management objective of the 18-inch minimum length limit is to increase the abundance of larger bass in the population by protecting young bass, under conditions of moderate to high growth rates, thereby improving the quality of the fishery.
- Harvest regulation will be evaluated every two years with fall electrofishing and a category-3 growth survey in fall 2016 to ensure management objectives are being met.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-221-M-3 Inland Fisheries Division Monitoring and Management Program