New Ballinger Reservoir - 2004 Survey Report
Prepared by Mandy K. Scott and Brian E. Van Zee
Inland Fisheries Division
District 1-C, San Angelo, Texas
This is the authors' summary from a 16-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
New Ballinger Reservoir was surveyed in 2005 using gill nets. Due to low water level in fall 2004, the reservoir was not sampled with electrofishing or trap nets. This report summarizes the results of the survey and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
New Ballinger Reservoir is a 591-acre impoundment located on Valley Creek in the Colorado River basin approximately 10 miles west of Ballinger, Texas. It was constructed in 1984 for municipal water supply and recreation. The reservoir’s water level dropped dramatically during the period from 1997-2004, and the boat ramp was closed to the public for several of those years. Intense rains in November 2004 caused the springs in Valley Creek watershed to begin flowing again, returning the reservoir to conservation pool elevation by March 2005. Boat and shoreline access are good, and habitat is primarily flooded salt cedar. Watershed land use is primarily ranching.
- Blue catfish: Gillnet CPUE increased slightly from 1995 (0.8/NN) to 1998 (1.6/NN) to 2005 (2.8/NN). All fish collected were of harvestable size (12”) in each sample year, and there were several quality-size (≥20”) fish in 2005. Condition was good with all fish having relative weights ≥100. The severe water fluctuations did not seem to have an effect on this population.
- Channel catfish: Gillnet CPUE declined from 1995 (2.6/NN) to 1998 (1.6/NN) to 2005 (0.2/NN). The population relative abundance currently appears to be very low. It is likely that the recent low water levels, and perhaps competition with blue catfish, have negatively affected channel catfish reproduction and recruitment.
- White bass: No white bass were collected in 2005, although gillnet CPUE was 10.8/NN in 1998.
- Walleye: No walleye were collected in 2005. In 1995, walleye CPUE was 2.4/NN, with lengths ranging from 20-24”. Walleye CPUE declined to 0.4/NN in 1998.
Continue to rebuild the fisheries in the coming year by stocking fingerling channel catfish at 50/acre, in addition to the adult gizzard shad, largemouth bass, and white crappie, and fingerling Florida largemouth bass and walleye that were stocked in spring 2005. Conduct an additional round of trap net sampling in fall 2006 and gill net sampling in spring 2007 to monitor the recovery of catfish, crappie, and walleye populations after restocking. Also, conduct a new habitat survey on the reservoir in late summer or early fall of the next standard report year, 2008.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-30-R-29 Statewide Freshwater Fisheries Monitoring and Management Program