Livingston Reservoir - 2007 Survey Report
Prepared by Jeff Henson and Mark Webb
Inland Fisheries Division
District 3-E, Bryan, Texas
This is the authors' summary from a 35-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish populations in Lake Livingston were surveyed in 2007 using electrofishing, and in 2008 using trap netting and gill netting. Anglers were surveyed from June 2007 to May 2008 with a roving creel survey. This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
Lake Livingston is an 83,277-acre impoundment on the Trinity River in Trinity, Polk, San Jacinto, and Walker Counties, Texas. Lake Livingston was constructed in 1969 by the Trinity River Authority (TRA) and the City of Houston to provide water for municipal, agricultural, and industrial purposes. There is considerable private and commercial real estate development, as well as Lake Livingston State Park and several TRA public parks, around the lower two-thirds of the reservoir.
All sport fisheries at Lake Livingston are regulated under statewide length and bag limits, with the exception of the bag limit (50/angler/day) for channel and blue catfish. Striped bass fingerlings are stocked annually, and the tailrace provides TPWD hatcheries brood-stock for striped bass and palmetto bass production. The primary management challenges are heavy silt loading and infestations of the noxious exotic plants water hyacinth and water lettuce. Florida largemouth bass were stocked periodically.
- Prey species: Gizzard and threadfin shad, bluegill, and longear sunfish are the predominant prey species in Lake Livingston. Other less numerous prey fishes include bullhead minnow, inland silverside, green sunfish, warmouth, redear sunfish, and spotted sunfish.
- Catfishes: Blue, channel, and flathead catfishes occur in Lake Livingston, but blue catfish is the dominant species. Commercial trotlines are still allowed on Lake Livingston for blue and channel catfish. Blue and channel catfish are the most sought-after species by anglers at Lake Livingston.
- White bass: Gill net catch rates and intended angler effort for white bass have increased in the past several years. Angler catch and harvest declined, but both remained high.
- Largemouth bass: Electrofishing catch rates of largemouth bass have historically been low at Lake Livingston. Degraded habitat due to heavy silt loading and shoreline bulkheads limit the amount of available habitat for spawning and survival of juvenile bass. Intended angler effort, catch, and harvest for largemouth bass dramatically declined since 2004.
- Crappie: Though both black and white crappie occur in Lake Livingston, white crappie far outnumber black crappie. Recent trap net catches of white crappie have been high, yet the creel data indicate intended effort, angler catch, and harvest for crappie was very low at Lake Livingston.
- Statewide length and bag limits will continue to be used to regulate sport fish harvest.
- Cooperative efforts with the Trinity River Authority will continue to address exotic noxious vegetation issues.
- A research project directed by Heart of the Hills Research Station is investigating stocking survival of stocked striped bass.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-30-R-33 Statewide Freshwater Fisheries Monitoring and Management Program