Kurth Reservoir - 2014 Survey Report
Prepared by Dan Ashe and Todd Driscoll
Inland Fisheries Division - Jasper District
This is the authors' summary from a 21-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Largemouth Bass in Kurth Reservoir were surveyed in 2013 and 2015 using spring electrofishing. Reservoir permit holders were surveyed in 2015 with a mail-out questionnaire. Historical data are presented with the 2014-2015 data for comparison. 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. The City of Lufkin is the controlling authority and primary use of the reservoir is recreation. At conservation pool, 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 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 and Black Crappie. Largemouth Bass are managed with a 16-inch maximum length limit, which was implemented in 2013. All other sport fish are managed with statewide regulations. Hydrilla was first documented in Kurth Reservoir in 1999, and coverage reached 34% by 2002. In 2002, a vegetation management plan was developed and 2,000 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 high (approximately 40 - 48% of surface area).
- Prey species: Fall electrofishing surveys, when prey abundance is normally assessed, could not be conducted due to dense vegetation coverage. However, Threadfin and Gizzard Shad, Bluegill, and Redear Sunfish were observed during the spring 2013 and 2015 electrofishing surveys, and growth rates of Largemouth Bass reflect adequate prey abundance.
- Catfishes: Historically, catfish abundance at Kurth Reservoir has been limited. No Blue Catfish were caught during the last two gill net surveys. Channel Catfish catch rates from the last three survey years ranged from 0 – 0.8/nn. Gill netting was discontinued in 2015.
- 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. The 2014 angler mail-out questionnaire indicated that trophy fish were also relatively abundant, as 672 Largemouth Bass in the weight range of 7-9.9 pounds and 46 fish > 10.0 pounds were estimated as caught.
- Crappies: Black Crappie were present in the reservoir. Angler catch (0.6/hour) and total spring quarter harvest (669 fish; March through May 2011) reflected an adequate crappie population.
- Continue to monitor hydrilla coverage via annual aquatic vegetation surveys.
- Conduct spring electrofishing surveys in 2017 and 2019.
- Conduct angler mail-out survey in 2019, including questions concerning the sunfish and crappie fisheries.
- Continue to request Florida Largemouth Bass stockings.
- Communicate with the City of Lufkin regarding status of approved 2012 Boating Access Grant funds.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-221-M-5 Inland Fisheries Division Monitoring and Management Program