Mineral Wells Reservoir - 2010 Survey Report
Prepared by Bruce Hysmith and John H. Moczygemba
Inland Fisheries Division
District 2-A, Pottsboro, Texas
This is the authors' summary from a 20-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish populations in Mineral Wells Reservoir were surveyed in 2010 using an electrofisher and trap nets and in 2011 using gill nets. Habitat was surveyed in 2010. This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
Mineral Wells Reservoir, a 440-acre impoundment located on Rock Creek in Parker County, was constructed in 1920 by the U.S. Army and is situated at the east edge of Mineral Wells. After drought levels in 2009 when the lake was 4 feet low, water level remained near conservation elevation (863 feet above mean sea level) in 2010 and 2011. Most recently, water level was one foot below conservation elevation. Mineral Wells Reservoir has moderate primary productivity. Habitat features consisted mainly of rocky shoreline and native emergent vegetation, especially along the shoreline. There was some standing timber.
Important sport fish include channel catfish, largemouth bass, and white crappie. The management plan from the 2006 survey report included an annual stocking of advanced fingerling channel catfish, which was accomplished from 2008-2010. Additionally, we have a cooperative (park and district staff) creel survey in the planning stage to determine angler harvest information.
- Prey species: Electrofishing catch rate of gizzard shad was a little below average with adequate numbers seven inches and smaller. However, electrofishing catch rate of threadfin shad was the highest on record. Electrofishing catch rate of bluegill was the highest since 1998 and consisted mostly of four-inch and smaller fish. Longear sunfish had the highest electrofishing catch rates on record and provided predominantly four-inch and smaller fish as forage. The prey base for Mineral Wells Reservoir in 2010 was in very good shape.
- Catfishes: Gill net catch rate of channel catfish was high and showed great improvement since 2007. This was probably a result of resumption of the annual stocking of advanced fingerlings.
- Largemouth bass: The electrofishing catch rate of largemouth bass decreased over the 2006 survey, but growth rates increased and body condition was much improved from previous surveys. The improved prey base probably contributed to these improvements.
- White crappie: Trap net catch rate of white crappie was the highest since 1995. Most were 10-inches and longer. The fish were in excellent condition. Growth was still slow, requiring over three years to reach legal size.
- Stock advanced-size channel catfish fingerlings to augment natural recruitment and enhance recreational angling opportunities.
- Work to implement a cooperative creel survey between park personnel and district staff to identify angling trends and the utilization of the stocked advanced-size channel catfish fingerlings.
- Inform the Lake Mineral Wells State Park personnel about new exotic species threats to Texas waters, and work with them to display appropriate signage, educate constituents, and understand appropriate enforcement actions.
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