Martin Creek Reservoir - 2015 Survey Report
Prepared by Timothy J. Bister and Lynn D. Wright
Inland Fisheries Division – Marshall District
This is the authors' summary from a 26-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish populations in Martin Creek Reservoir were surveyed in 2015 using electrofishing and in 2016 using gill netting and baited tandem hoop netting. Historical data are presented with the 2015-2016 data for comparison. This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
Martin Creek Reservoir is located on Martin Creek, a tributary of the Sabine River in Rusk County. Luminant Energy impounded the reservoir in 1974 to provide cooling water for their coal-powered generators. At conservation pool, Martin Creek Reservoir is 4,981 surface acres with a shoreline length of 62 miles and a mean depth of 16 feet. Water level fluctuations average 3 to 5 feet annually.
The management plan from the 2009 survey report included working in conjunction with Martin Creek State Park and Luminant Energy to prevent additional introductions of giant salvinia. Additionally, annual aquatic vegetation surveys were recommended to ensure that a rapid response could occur if giant salvinia was reintroduced. State Park personnel have been vigilant in inspecting boat trailers. Several giant salvinia introductions have been identified and quickly eliminated. Triploid grass carp were stocked from 1996 through 1999 at a rate of 0.6/acre each year to reduce hydrilla that covered about a third of the reservoir. Aquatic vegetation was introduced in 2012, and brushpiles were introduced in 2014. Submersed aquatic vegetation coverage has increased in recent years.
- Prey species: Threadfin Shad were present in the reservoir. Electrofishing catch rates of Gizzard Shad and Bluegill have increased compared to those of previous surveys, and both species served as an excellent prey source for Largemouth Bass in the reservoir.
- Catfishes: Blue Catfish and Channel Catfish were present in the reservoir. The gill netting catch rate of Blue Catfish was lower than it was in the previous survey. The Channel Catfish population continued to have few fish over 12 inches available to anglers. Flathead Catfish were present in the reservoir.
- Largemouth bass: Largemouth Bass abundance has increased compared to that of previous surveys. This is likely due to the recent increase in submersed aquatic plant coverage in the reservoir. Largemouth Bass had fast growth (age at 14 inches long was 2.0 years), but few fish over 14 inches were available to anglers.
- Crappie: White Crappie and Black Crappie have been present in the reservoir, but they usually exist in low density. Also, few anglers have been documented fishing for crappie in the past. Therefore, no sampling was conducted for crappie during this report period.
The threat of giant salvinia introduction to this reservoir is high. Continue to work with state park staff, TPWD Aquatic Habitat Enhancement, and Luminant Energy to monitor and manage for invasive aquatic plant introductions. Conduct annual invasive aquatic plant surveys. Continue to investigate alternative sampling gears to monitor catfish populations.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-221-M-6 Inland Fisheries Division Monitoring and Management Program