Nacogdoches Reservoir - 2012 Survey Report
Prepared by Dan Ashe and Todd Driscoll
Inland Fisheries Division
District 3-D, Jasper, Texas
This is the authors' summary from a 31-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish populations in Lake Nacogdoches were surveyed in 2012 using fall electrofishing and in 2013 using gill netting and spring electrofishing. Anglers were surveyed from March through May 2013 with a creel survey. Historical data are presented with the 2012-2013 data for comparison. This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
Lake Nacogdoches is located on Loco Bayou, a tributary of the Angelina River in the Neches River basin. The City of Nacogdoches is the controlling authority. Primary uses are municipal water supply and recreation. At conservation pool elevation, Lake Nacogdoches is 2,212 surface acres and a mean depth of 15 feet. Water level fluctuations average 2 feet annually. Habitat in the lake consists of submerged and emergent aquatic vegetation (mainly hydrilla and American lotus) and standing timber. Most of the land around the reservoir is used for timber production, agriculture, and residential use.
Important sport fish include Largemouth Bass and White and Black Crappie. The 14- to 21-inch slot-length limit for Largemouth Bass (implemented in 1988) was changed to a 16-inch maximum length limit in 2008. A voluntary trophy bass catch reporting program was implemented in 2009 to assist with evaluation of the length limit. Florida and ShareLunker Largemouth Bass fingerlings were stocked from 2008 - 2011 to maximize trophy bass potential. Hydrilla is present in the reservoir but is not considered problematic.
- Prey species: Abundant prey species included Threadfin Shad, Gizzard Shad, and Bluegill. Electrofishing catch of Gizzard Shad was moderate and stable, but more Gizzard Shad were available as prey in 2012. Electrofishing catch of Bluegill was high, with most fish <5 inches in length and available as prey.
- Catfishes: Historically, abundance of Channel Catfish has been relatively low but a few large fish (> 16 inches) were present. In 2013, catch rates did increase but high Largemouth Bass abundance likely limits recruitment of Channel Catfish. Few anglers target catfish at Lake Nacogdoches (<2% of total fishing effort).
- Black basses: Spotted Bass abundance has increased over past survey years but all fish collected were small (< 12 inches). Largemouth Bass were abundant with stable size structure. Approximately 80% of anglers target black bass. Angler effort has decreased but catch rate was high (1.3 fish/hour). Since 2009, 5,105 Largemouth Bass > 5 pounds were estimated (adjusted for non-reporting) as caught by anglers via a voluntary reporting program (945 > 8 pounds; 290 > 10 pounds). The current Largemouth Bass water body record is 14.02 pounds set in March 1986.
- Crappies: White Crappie and Black Crappie were present in the reservoir. Approximately 20% of anglers target crappies. Directed angling effort in spring 2013 was higher than it was in the previous survey. Angler catch rate was high and 2,376 fish were harvested.
- Continue to manage Largemouth Bass with a 16-inch maximum length limit.
- Continue to monitor trends of hydrilla coverage through annual aquatic vegetation surveys (2013-2016).
- Conduct spring electrofishing surveys in 2015 and 2017 and a spring quarter (March-May) creel survey in 2015 and 2017.
- Conduct standard monitoring with gill nets, fall electrofishing, and an angler access survey in 2016.
- Continue voluntary angler survey to monitor catch of largemouth bass > 5 pounds.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-221-M-3 Inland Fisheries Division Monitoring and Management Program