Lake Hawkins - 2007 Survey Report
Prepared by Kevin W. Storey and Aaron K. Jubar
Inland Fisheries Division
District 3-B, Tyler, Texas
This is the authors' summary from a 20-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish populations in Lake Hawkins were surveyed in 2007 using electrofishing and in 2008 using gill netting and electrofishing. Aquatic vegetation and habitat surveys were conducted on Lake Hawkins during August 2007. Due to a hydrilla problem beginning in 2005, additional vegetation surveys were conducted on a quarterly basis from fall 2005 through spring 2008. 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 floating aquatic vegetation. Hydrilla and Eurasian watermilfoil are also present in the reservoir. Standing timber is present in large quantities in the northern portion of the lake. The shoreline is historically comprised of native emergent and floating vegetation, along with boat docks.
Largemouth bass is the most important sport fish. The management plan from the 2003 survey report recommended monitoring the Florida largemouth bass allele frequency using liver samples from age-0 largemouth bass collected during fall electrofishing. Florida largemouth bass were stocked most recently in 1990. The monitoring of invasive aquatic species in Lake Hawkins is a priority because the diversity of aquatic species in the lake is a unique situation.
- Prey species: Historically, clupeids have been low in abundance in Lake Hawkins. The predominant prey species in the reservoir include bluegill, redear sunfish, and other less abundant sunfish species. Electrofishing catch of gizzard shad was very low, with only large individuals collected. A small number of threadfin shad were also collected. Electrofishing catch of bluegills was low, and few bluegills were over 6 inches. Redear sunfish are also present in the reservoir in moderate abundance, with many ≥6 inches.
- Catfishes: No catfish were sampled in the reservoir during the spring 2007 gill net survey. Although channel catfish were stocked as recently as 1992, this species remained rare in Lake Hawkins.
- Largemouth bass: Few largemouth bass were caught during electrofishing in fall 2006, due to extremely dense hydrilla growth that limited the effectiveness of this sampling gear. Following significant hydrilla reduction in 2007, electrofishing catch rates of largemouth bass increased five-fold compared to 2006. Despite the improved catch rates in 2007, size structure of the population was poor, with few individuals of legal-size (≥14 inches).
- Crappies: Black crappie have historically occurred in low abundance. No fall trap net survey was conducted during 2007.
Conduct additional vegetation surveys on a quarterly basis to monitor the hydrilla infestation and make management recommendations based on survey findings. Continue with standard monitoring using electrofishing and gill netting surveys in 2011-2012.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-30-R-33 Statewide Freshwater Fisheries Monitoring and Management Program