Kurth Reservoir - 2006 Survey Report
Prepared by Dan Ashe and Todd Driscoll
Inland Fisheries Division
District 3-D, Jasper, Texas
This is the authors' summary from a 19-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish Populations in Kurth Reservoir were surveyed in 2006 using trap nets and in 2007 using gill nets and electrofishing. Anglers were surveyed from March through May 2007 with an access creel. This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
Kurth Reservoir is an impoundment on a small, unnamed tributary of the Angelina River in the Neches River Basin. Abitibi Consolidated is the controlling authority; primary uses of the reservoir are water supply for their paper mill and recreation. At conservation pool (197.5 ft. msl), Kurth Reservoir is 726 acres in size, has a shoreline length of 15 miles, and a mean depth of 15 feet. Boat and bank access is adequate, with one boat ramp present. Habitat in the lake consists primarily of flooded timber and aquatic vegetation (primarily hydrilla). Most of the land surrounding the reservoir is used for timber production.
Important sport fish include largemouth bass, white and black crappie, and catfish. The fishery is managed under current statewide regulations. Hydrilla was first discovered at Kurth Reservoir in 1999, and coverage reached 34% in 2002. In 2002, a vegetation management plan was developed and 1,000 triploid grass carp were stocked at a rate of 5 fish/vegetated acre in an attempt to reduce hydrilla coverage to 10-15%. Since triploid grass carp were stocked, hydrilla coverage has remained at about 20%.
- Prey species: A fall electrofishing survey (the method for assessing prey abundance) could not be conducted due to excessive vegetation coverage. However, threadfin and gizzard shad, bluegill, and redear sunfish were observed during the spring 2007 electrofishing survey and were available as prey for predators.
- Catfishes: The gill net catch rate of both channel and blue catfish has declined steadily over past surveys. No catfish were caught in the 2007 gill net survey indicating poor recruitment. Kurth Reservoir supports only a limited catfish fishery.
- Temperate basses: Palmetto bass were stocked annually from 1994-1998. Although an abundant population was established, angler interest in the fishery never developed and stocking was discontinued. As expected, gill net catch rates have declined over time.
- Largemouth bass: Largemouth bass were relatively abundant in spring electrofishing surveys. Population size structure indicated good recruitment and an abundance of fish 10 - 18 inches in length. Largemouth bass were the most sought-after species at Kurth Reservoir.
- Crappie: White and black crappie were present in the reservoir. Angler catch (1.3/hour) and total spring quarter (March-May 2007) harvest (1,189 fish) reflected an abundant crappie population.
- Continue to monitor hydrilla coverage via annual aquatic vegetation surveys.
- Conduct a spring electrofishing survey in 2009.
- In 2010-2011 a fall electrofishing, spring electrofishing, gill net, and access point survey will be conducted.
- Recommend Florida largemouth bass stockings in 2008-2009 if pure Florida largemouth bass genotypes in the population are < 20%.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-30-R-32 Statewide Freshwater Fisheries Monitoring and Management Program