Navarro Mills Reservoir - 2012 Survey Report
Prepared by Richard A. Ott, Jr. and Jacob D. Norman
Inland Fisheries Division
District 3-C, Tyler, Texas
This is the authors' summary from a 25-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish populations in Navarro Mills Reservoir were surveyed in 2012 using electrofishing and trap netting and in 2013 using gill netting. 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.
Navarro Mills Reservoir is a 4,336-acre impoundment on Richland Creek, a tributary of the Trinity River. It was constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) in 1963 to provide flood control and water for municipal and industrial purposes. Boat and bank angler access are excellent. Handicap-specific facilities are present in the parking lot and restrooms near three of the boat ramps. Water is turbid but is high in productivity; mean TSI chl-a is 52.9 (Texas Commission on Environmental Quality 2011), therefore classified as eutrophic. Land use surrounding the reservoir is primarily agricultural (row cropping) and contributes to high turbidity and siltation. Navarro Mills Lake is operated by USACE; therefore, there is no residential shoreline development and angler access is excellent.
Important sport fish include Largemouth Bass, Blue and Channel Catfish, White Bass, and White Crappie. No stocking has been conducted at Navarro Mills Reservoir since the last survey report. Fish community surveys are conducted every four years. Statewide harvest regulations are in effect for all species.
- Prey species: The prey community is dominated by Threadfin and Gizzard Shad. Although several sunfish species are present, their low abundance and poor size distribution limit angling opportunity.
- Catfishes: Although Channel Catfish are still present, their abundance has decreased and Blue Catfish now dominate the catfish community. Size distribution and body condition of Blue Catfish is good and they provide excellent angling opportunity.
- White bass: White Bass abundance has increased compared to previous years and is likely related to inflows in spring 2012. Angling opportunity is very good.
- Black basses: Relative abundance of Largemouth Bass continued to be low and size distribution was poor. Population dynamics of Largemouth Bass are likely limited by high turbidity, extreme water level fluctuation, and a commensurate lack of submerged aquatic vegetation.
- Crappie: Relative abundance of crappie continued to be high but size distribution was dominated by fish below legal length. Crappie growth is moderate and condition of adult fish is very good.
Conduct electrofishing, trap netting, and angler access and aquatic vegetation surveys in 2016, and gill netting in 2017. Continue soliciting assistance from interested angler groups in constructing and placing artificial structures as fish attractors. Maintain communication with USACE regarding the threat of invasive species, particularly zebra mussels.
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