Lake Holbrook - 2004 Survey Report
Prepared by Aaron K. Jubar and Kevin W. Storey
Inland Fisheries Division
District 3-B, Tyler, Texas
This is the authors' summary from a 24-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Lake Holbrook was surveyed during the period June 2004 to May 2005 using electrofishing, trap netting, gill netting, a littoral zone habitat survey, an aquatic vegetation survey, and an angler access and facilities survey. This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
Lake Holbrook is located in Wood County, Texas on Lankford Creek, a tributary of the Sabine River. It was constructed by Wood County for flood control and recreation. The reservoir contains few aquatic plants. Boat docks and standing timber comprise the majority of the structural habitat along the shoreline. Since the last management report was prepared in 2000, the controlling authority has improved angler access by making significant repairs to both public boat ramps.
- Prey species: Gizzard shad catch rate in 2004 (57.0 fish/hour) was similar to 1998 (54.0 fish/hour) but lower than 2000 (100.0 fish/hour). In 2004, the majority of gizzard shad collected were 10 inches or larger; the population mode was11 inches, an unavailable prey size for most adult largemouth bass. This population is supplemented by an abundant threadfin shad population (electrofishing catch rate: 121.0 fish/hour). Threadfin shad were established following a stocking of adult fish by TPWD personnel in May 2004. Prior to fall 2004, threadfin shad had not been collected in population sampling since 1998. Bluegill catch rate was lower in 2004 (95.0 fish/hour) than in 1998 (211.0 fish/hour) or 2000 (465.0 fish/hour). The size range of the population has remained consistent with a mode of 3 or 4 inches. Catch rate of redear sunfish (12.0 fish/hour) was similarly lower than in 1998 (30.0 fish/hour) or 2000 (80.0 fish/hour). Prey fish populations appear adequate for adult largemouth bass as evidenced by relative weights in excess of 90.
- Catfishes: Channel catfish catch rate in spring 2005 (3.2 fish/net night) was higher than in previous years (1998; 0.2 fish/net night, 2001 12.0 fish/net night). Fish up to 23 inches were collected, and there was evidence of limited recruitment. Channel catfish relative weights were generally above 90, indicating adequate prey populations. Although blue catfish were stocked in 1982, none were collected in 2005. Current and past sampling results indicate a limited catfish fishery exists in Lake Holbrook.
- Black bass: Largemouth bass catch rate in 2004 (57.0 fish/hour) was similar to 2002 (58.0 fish/hour) but lower than in 2000 (80.0 fish/hour). The size structure of the largemouth bass population was similar across years with few fish above the minimum length limit (14 inches). Florida largemouth bass were last stocked in 2000. In fall 2004, 12.5% of a sample of age-0 largemouth bass were pure Florida largemouth bass (FLMB). The percentage of FLMB alleles in this sample (51.6%) was higher than in previous samples. The significance of these results must be tempered by considering the small sample size.
- Crappie: Catch rate of white crappie in 2004 (1.9 fish/net night) was lower than 2000 (2.6 fish/net night) and higher than 1998 (0.2 fish/net night). The majority of fish collected were above the 10-inch minimum length limit. The mean age of white crappie at 10.5 inches (n=15) was 1.0 years. In spring 2003, the Lake Holbrook Homeowner’s Association purchased 10,800 advanced fingerling blackstripe black crappie to supplement the lake’s population. The choice of the black-stripe color variant of black crappie makes evaluation of the effectiveness of stocking easier. The catch rate of black crappie was higher in 2004 (0.5 fish/net night) than in previous years although it was lower than white crappie. Additional fish were collected in trap netting in January 2005 and through angling in December 2004 and January 2005. In the age and growth sample, 34 fish from the 2003 age class were collected and 10 of these fish (29%) were black-striped. It was discovered after stocking that the black-stripe color variant occurs naturally in the Lake Holbrook population; 14% (1 in 7) of the 2002 age class were found to possess this trait. The overall contribution of the 2003 stocking of black-stripe crappie to the Lake Holbrook population may therefore be lower. The effective increase in abundance of the 2003 year class as a result of the 2003 stocking was estimated at 15%. The mean age of black crappie (collected in fall 2004) at 10.06 inches (n=12) was 1.25 years.
Lake Holbrook has demonstrated the potential to produce trophy largemouth bass; the current lake record of 11.6 pounds was established in 2000. The influence of FLMB should be monitored and additional stockings of fingerlings at 100 fish/acre should be conducted beginning in spring 2006. The threadfin shad population will continue to be monitored and additional stockings will be conducted if necessary. Additional stockings of black-stripe crappie may also be considered. Harvest of all sport fishes should continue to be restricted according to the statewide harvest regulations.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-30-R-30 Statewide Freshwater Fisheries Monitoring and Management Program