Lake Hawkins - 2015 Survey Report
Prepared by Kevin W. Storey and Dan Bennet
Inland Fisheries Division – Tyler North District
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 Lake Hawkins were surveyed in 2013 and 2015 using electrofishing. Aquatic vegetation surveys were conducted annually to monitor hydrilla coverage. An access survey was conducted in August 2015. This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
Lake Hawkins is a 634-acre impoundment located in Wood County, Texas, on Little Sandy Creek, a tributary of the Sabine River. The reservoir was constructed by Wood County for flood control and recreation. Habitat consists primarily of native submerged and emergent aquatic vegetation. Hydrilla and Eurasian watermilfoil are present in the reservoir. There is a small amount of standing timber in the reservoir and it is generally limited to the northern half of the lake.
Largemouth Bass and sunfish are the most important fisheries in Lake Hawkins. These populations have been monitored through biennial electrofishing since 2009. Florida Largemouth Bass were initially stocked in 1975, and last stocked in 2010, to improve the trophy potential of the lake. Crappie and catfish are present in the lake; however, sampling has been discontinued for these species due to poor catch rates. Periodic vegetation surveys were conducted to monitor hydrilla in the lake, and the controlling authority stocked the remaining 100 triploid Grass Carp on their permit in 2014 in response to a slight increase in hydrilla coverage.
- Prey species: Gizzard and Threadfin Shad were present but historically their abundance has been low due to limited primary productivity. The predominant prey species in the reservoir were sunfishes, the most abundant of which were Bluegill, Redear Sunfish, and Redbreast Sunfish. Bluegill were the most numerous species but larger Redbreast and Redear Sunfish (> 7 inches) were present and provide an anecdotally popular fishery.
- Catfishes: Channel Catfish were stocked most recently in 1992, but few fish have been collected in population sampling. Catfish recruitment is likely limited due to predation by Largemouth Bass in this clear water lake.
- Largemouth bass: Largemouth Bass provide a popular fishery and are positively influenced by the abundant aquatic vegetation and sunfish community. Electrofishing catch rate of Largemouth Bass was higher in 2015, although few individuals of legal-size (≥14 inches) were collected.
- Crappies: Black Crappie have historically occurred in low abundance. Optional sampling with trap netting has traditionally collected few fish and has been discontinued.
Conduct annual vegetation surveys to monitor coverage of hydrilla and Eurasian watermilfoil and make appropriate management recommendations based on survey findings. Continue with standard monitoring using electrofishing and access surveys in 2019-2020 along with Largemouth Bass-only electrofishing in 2017 to collect an age and growth sample. A roving creel survey is planned for March through May 2020.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-221-M-6 Inland Fisheries Division Monitoring and Management Program