Houston County Reservoir - 2012 Survey Report
Prepared by Michael Homer Jr. and Mark Webb
Inland Fisheries Division
District 3-E, Snook, 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 Houston County Reservoir were surveyed in 2012 using electrofishing and trap netting and in 2013 using gill netting. 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.
Houston County Reservoir is a 1,523-acre impoundment of Little Elkhart Creek within the Trinity River basin and near Crockett, Texas. The reservoir is located within the Piney Woods physiographic region, and the surrounding soil types include Freestone-Kenny and Kaufman-Trinity. Houston County Reservoir was constructed in 1966 for municipal and industrial purposes, and it has been managed by Houston County Water Conservation and Improvement District I.
Important sport fish include Largemouth Bass and sunfishes. All sport fishes except Largemouth Bass found in the reservoir are managed under the current statewide regulations. Largemouth Bass harvest is regulated by a 14- to 21-inch slot limit and a 5-fish daily bag limit. Florida Largemouth Bass were introduced in the mid-1970s and have been stocked numerous times; the most recent stocking occurred in 2010. Historically, hydrilla has been problematic in the reservoir, and water hyacinth was recently discovered and is expanding. The hydrilla was treated with fluoridone in 2011.
- Prey species: The 2012 survey indicated Bluegill and Threadfin Shad were the most abundant prey species in Houston County Reservoir. Other prey included Gizzard Shad, Redear Sunfish, Green Sunfish, Bullhead Minnows, and Blacktail Shiners. Houston County Reservoir has historically supported a significant sunfish fishery.
- Catfishes: The gill net catch rates of Channel Catfish continued to be low in the reservoir. Flathead Catfish remained present.
- White bass: White Bass were present in the reservoir, but gill net catch rates suggest that they are present in low abundance.
- Black basses: The electrofishing catch rate for Largemouth Bass was higher than that reported in the 2009 survey report. Size structure and body condition of largemouth bass is good. Spotted Bass relative abundance was higher than previously reported, but most were small and unlikely to support a significant fishery. Black basses accounted for the majority of the directed effort in the 2006 creel survey and continue to be a popular fishery.
- Crappie: Crappie were historically not well-represented in the trap net surveys; none were caught in the 2012. However, this species has provided a significant fishery in the past.
Electrofishing is conducted every two years; whereas, trap netting, gill netting, and angler access surveys occur every four years. Aquatic vegetation is surveyed annually. Requests for Florida Largemouth Bass are submitted on a regular basis according to TPWD stocking criteria.
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