Halbert Reservoir - 2014 Survey Report
Prepared by Jacob Norman and Richard A. Ott, Jr.
Inland Fisheries Division - Tyler South District
This is the authors' summary from a 21-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish populations in Lake Halbert were surveyed in 2014 using electrofishing and trap netting and in 2015 using gill netting. Vegetation and angler access surveys were conducted in August 2014. This report summarizes results of these surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
Lake Halbert is a 531-acre reservoir on Elm Creek, a tributary of the Trinity River, constructed by the City of Corsicana in 1921 to provide water for municipal and industrial purposes. Boat access is adequate, and a fishing pier is available. In addition, shoreline access is available in the park along the west bank. A prolonged drought in 2005-2006 reduced reservoir capacity to approximately 28% and the reservoir was closed to recreation. Littoral habitat fluctuates accordingly with water level.
Important sport fish include White Bass, Palmetto Bass, White Crappie, and catfish. Due to limited natural littoral habitat, partners have been sought to collaborate and construct artificial habitat structures, however, no interested parties have been identified to date. Local news media outlets have been contacted regarding the Blue Catfish fishery potential, since the first collection of Blue Catfish in 2003. The city of Corsicana (controlling authority) was notified of the potential spread of invasive species following the construction of a pipeline connecting Lake Halbert to Richland Chambers Reservoir
- Prey species: Threadfin Shad were present in the reservoir. Electrofishing catch of Gizzard Shad was excellent, and most were available as prey to sport fish. Electrofishing catch of Bluegills was low, however all Bluegills were under 4 inches and available to most sport fish.
- Catfishes: Blue Catfish were not collected prior to 2003 but since have become the dominant catfish species. Channel Catfish continue to exhibit low abundance and few are of legal length. Flathead Catfish were present in the reservoir.
- White Bass: White Bass continued to exhibit inconsistent recruitment and low abundance, likely due to limited spawning habitat. Body condition from the 2015 survey was above average, and over half of the fish were > 15 inches.
- Largemouth Bass: Largemouth Bass were present in low numbers and few legal-size fish were available to anglers. Body condition was average. Largemouth Bass have historically persisted at low densities in Lake Halbert.
- Crappie: Black Crappie were present, but at very low density. Trap net catch rate of White Crappie was good in the 2014 survey. Both size distribution and Wr of White Crappie were also good. Growth of White Crappie was excellent, with most fish reaching legal size after one year.
- Collect additional Blue Catfish data through low-pulse electrofishing in 2016 to further characterize population size structure.
- Conduct general monitoring surveys with trap nets, gill nets, and electrofishing surveys in 2018-2019.
- Promote the potential Blue Catfish and White Crappie fisheries through appropriate media outlets.
- Inform the public about the negative impacts of aquatic invasive species.
- Access and vegetation surveys will be conducted in 2018.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-221-M-5 Inland Fisheries Division Monitoring and Management Program