Mountain Creek Reservoir - 2004 Survey Report
Prepared by Raphael Brock and Thomas Hungerford
Inland Fisheries Division
District 2-D, Fort Worth, Texas
This is the authors' summary from a 21-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Mountain Creek Reservoir was surveyed in 2004 using electrofishing and trap netting, and in 2005 using gill netting. This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
Mountain Creek Reservoir, a 2,710-acre reservoir located on Mountain Creek (a tributary of the Trinity River), was constructed in 1937 by Dallas Power and Light. It was primarily built as a cooling reservoir for a power plant. It is located in Dallas County four miles southeast of Grand Prairie, Texas. At conservation elevation (457-ft mean-sea-level), the reservoir contains 22,840 acre feet of water. It has an average depth of 8.5 ft and a maximum depth of approximately 26 ft. The reservoir is located in the Blackland Prairies vegetational area. The watershed is primarily industrial and residential. The northwest side of the reservoir is owned by the City of Dallas which purchased the property from the U.S. Navy. Angler and boat access is inadequate. There is no handicap specific facility on the reservoir. At the time of sampling the fishery habitat was primarily rip-rap and native emergent vegetation. In April 1996, the Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS) declared Mountain Creek Reservoir a prohibited area for the possession of all fish species due to their contamination with PCB’s.
- Prey species: The electrofishing catch rate of 150.0/hour for gizzard shad was lower than in previous years and lower than the district average of 270.0/hour. The index of vulnerability (IOV) (i.e., percentage of individual gizzard shad less than 8 inches total length thought to be vulnerable to largemouth bass predation) for 2004 was 93 which indicates a high percentage of gizzard is available for predators (DiCenzo et al. 1996). The 2004 threadfin shad electrofishing catch rate was 10.0/hour which was much lower than the district average of 204.0/hour. Bluegill and longear sunfish are the two principal sunfishes and their catch rates for 2004 were 77.0/hour and 111.0/hour, respectively. The 2004 bluegill and longear sunfish catch rates are much higher than previous years catches but lower than the district averages of 160.0/hour and 87.0/hour, respectively.
- Channel catfish: The gill netting catch rate for channel catfish in 2005 was 2.2/net night which was lower than the two previous years catch rate, and lower than the district average of 5.6/net night. This is the third sample in a row in which catch rates have declined. The population consists of legal sized fish as indicated with RSD–12 equal to 100.
- White bass: The white bass gill netting catch rate for 2005 was 3.6/net night which was higher than in 2001, but lower than in 1998. The 2004 catch rate is lower than the district average of 8.0/net night. Size distribution of white bass caught was poor as indicated by an RSD-10 value of 6.
- Black bass: The largemouth bass electrofishing catch rate for 2004 (122.0/hour) was similar to catch rates in 2000 and 1997, and the district average of 126.0/hour. Largemouth bass reached legal size by age 3. No age 2 largemouth were collected in the age and growth sample. In 2000 the electrophoresis indicated that the percentage of the Florida bass alleles in the bass sample was 27.3%. No electrophoresis was conducted in 2004.
- White crappie: Mountain Creek Reservoir continues to have an outstanding white crappie population. The frame netting catch rate for white crappie in 2004 was 52.0/net night which was much higher than the district average of 16.0/net night. The population consisted of many fish greater than 10 inches. In 2004, the catch rate for fish > 10 inches was 12.0/net.
Due to the TDSHS ban on possession of fish from Mountain Creek for PCB contamination, existing regulations should be changed to catch-and-release only to reflect the fish possession ban regulation. Management strategies that complement the catch-and-release regulation need to be developed. In the spring 2001, angler complaints were received concerning the inability to submit lake records. After consulting with TDSHS, no modification of the ban could be developed. With the addition of a former TPWD employee to TDSHS, efforts are being made to modify current fish possession ban to allow fish harvest for lake records only. With access to the reservoir limited by the poor condition of the only public boat ramp, the controlling authority, Exelon Energy, has been contacted for improvements.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-30-R-30 Statewide Freshwater Fisheries Monitoring and Management Program