Joe Pool Reservoir - 2005 Survey Report
Prepared by Raphael Brock and Thomas Hungerford
Inland Fisheries Division
District 2-D, Fort Worth, Texas
This is the authors' summary from a 31-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish populations in Joe Pool Reservoir were surveyed in 2005 using electrofishing and trap nets and in 2006 using gill nets. This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
Joe Pool Reservoir, a 6,469-acre reservoir located on Mountain Creek (a tributary of the Trinity River), was constructed in 1986 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for flood control, water supply, recreation, and fish and wildlife enhancement. It was opened to public fishing in August 1989. It is located in Tarrant, Ellis and Dallas Counties four miles south of Grand Prairie, Texas. Habitat is composed mainly of rocky habitat, aquatic vegetation in the form of hydrilla, and flooded timber.
Important sport fish include white bass, largemouth bass, white crappie, and channel catfish. Largemouth bass have been intensively managed through harvest regulations and opened with an 18 inch minimum length limit and was changed to a 14-to 21-inch slot length limit in Fall 1992.
Hydrilla was first discovered in Joe Pool Reservoir in 1994. Coverage was less than 1 acre until it expanded to approximately 116 acres in 2003. Although hydrilla is an exotic species and can be problematic, the increase in coverage has increased largemouth population abundance and has appeared to increase growth rates.
- Prey species: Gizzard and threadfin shad are present in the reservoir. However, catch rates of these species remain well below averages of other district reservoirs. The total catch rate and the catch rate of bluegills over 5 inches has increased over the past couple of years.
- Catfishes: For the first time in sampling history, blue catfish were captured by gill netting. Size of blue catfish captured indicates the species is reproducing. An angler catch of a large blue catfish was verified in the fall of 2005. It has yet to be determined how the blue catfish entered into Joe Pool Reservoir as no official stockings were conducted. The catch rate of channel catfish remained near the reservoir average. Flathead catfish are present but none were captured this past survey year.
- White bass: Past gill netting surveys revealed a small population of white bass present in Joe Pool Reservoir. In 2006 white bass were caught at a high rate by gill netting. The increase in the white bass population has resulted in the development of several fishing guide businesses.
- Largemouth bass: The largemouth bass population has increased in abundance which could be attributed to the increase in aquatic vegetation. The catch rate of fish >14 inches in length has increased over the past two samples. Growth rates appear to be improving for fish aged 2 years. Population size structure and body condition continue to be below average.
- White crappie: The white crappie population continued to exhibit fluctuations in abundance with trap net catch rates lower than in previous years.
Because of below average threadfin shad catch rates, threadfin shad will be stocked in the spring annually to increase available forage to sport fishes. Intensive age and growth analysis will be conducted to determine if growth rates are improving and the most appropriate regulation for largemouth bass. Optional electrofishing surveys will be conducted in 2006, 2007, and in 2008, and general monitoring with trap nets, gill nets, and electrofishing surveys in 2009-2010. Aquatic vegetation surveys will be conducted annually to monitor hydrilla coverage.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-30-R-31 Statewide Freshwater Fisheries Monitoring and Management Program