Meredith Reservoir - 2010 Survey Report
Prepared by Charles Munger and John Clayton
Inland Fisheries Division
District 1-A, Canyon, Texas
This is the authors' summary from a 33-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish Populations in Meredith Reservoir were surveyed in 2010 using electrofishing and trap nets and in 2011 using gill nets. Anglers were surveyed with a creel survey from April 2010 to September 2010. This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
Meredith Reservoir is an impoundment on the Canadian River 35 miles northeast of Amarillo, Texas. It was built in 1965 to provide municipal and industrial water. It experiences substantial water level fluctuations and covered approximately 3,264 acres during 2010-2011. First documented golden alga kill occurred 20 December, 2010 into March, 2011. Angler and boat access was adequate but only one boat ramp was usable in 2010 due to low water. There were two handicap accessible fishing piers. Habitat was primarily silt and rock, with some non-native macrophytes.
Important sport fish included walleye, white bass, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, white crappie, and catfish. Walleye were managed with a two under 16 inches regulation to improve angler catch rates and size of fish caught. Smallmouth bass were placed under a 12-15 inch slot limit in 1992 in an effort to increase the number of larger fish. Largemouth bass, crappie, and catfish have been managed under statewide regulations.
- Prey species: Gizzard shad continued to be present in the reservoir. Electrofishing catch rate for gizzard shad has declined, but about 80% of gizzard shad available as prey to most sport fish. The electrofishing catch rate of bluegills declined since 2008.
- Catfishes: The channel catfish population has remained stable with good angler catch rates. No flathead catfish were collected in spring gill nets in 2011. No anglers were documented as targeting flathead catfish by rod and reel.
- White bass: Gill net catch rates of white bass declined slightly in 2011. White bass are still a popular sport fish with anglers and provided the majority of harvest from the reservoir.
- Black basses: Smallmouth bass relative abundance was similar to previous samples. Size structure was poor with no fish over 13 inches. There was little directed angling pressure toward this species. The electrofishing catch rate of largemouth bass has remained below 10 fish/h since 2008. Directed angling pressure toward largemouth bass was low.
- Crappies: Both white and black crappies are present in the reservoir, though white crappie are more abundant. Trap net catch rates have increased since 2008. Crappie were a popular sport fish in the reservoir but <10% of anglers sought crappie.
- Walleye: The walleye population has remained relatively stable and was reproducing during record low water levels. Walleye were the most popular sport fish in the reservoir and some reached 16 inches by age 2.
- Continue monitoring of sport fish populations to determine impact of increased chlorides due to drought conditions, monitor golden alga blooms, and finalize the zebra mussel response plan.
- Conduct gill net, electrofishing, and creel surveys annually, and general monitoring with trap nets in 2012 and 2014.
- Conduct a habitat survey in 2011.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-221-M-1 Statewide Freshwater Fisheries Monitoring and Management Program