Nocona Reservoir - 2015 Survey Report
Prepared by John H. Moczygemba and Dan Bennett
Inland Fisheries Division – Denison District
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 Nocona Reservoir were surveyed in 2015 using electrofishing and trap netting. Habitat was surveyed in 2015. Historical data are presented with the 2015 data for comparison. This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
Nocona Reservoir is a 1,362-acre impoundment of Farmers Creek, a tributary of the Red River, in Montague County. From July 2010, to May 2015, water level remained below conservation elevation (827.5 ft-msl). On June 18, 2015, the elevation peaked at 833.45 ft-msl, 5.95 feet above conservation elevation and has remained near conservation level. Habitat features consisted mainly of rocky shoreline, and native emergent vegetation.
Important sport fishes include Largemouth Bass and White Crappie. Blue and Channel Catfish as well as White Bass are available to anglers. The management plan from the 2011 survey report included recommendations to promote the Largemouth Bass and White Crappie fisheries and educate the controlling authority of invasive species dangers.
- Prey species: Electrofishing catch rate of Gizzard Shad was the highest on record. Prey-size Gizzard Shad (7-inch group and below) abundance greatly improved. Electrofishing catch rates of Bluegill were well above average. The 2015 flooding provided excellent spawning conditions for the forage base. However, Threadfin Shad were not collected for the first time since 1999 and are a missing component for a diverse forage community.
- Catfishes: Blue and Channel Catfish were not sampled during this survey. They are present and available to anglers.
- Temperate basses: White Bass were not sampled during this survey. They are present in low abundance and available to anglers. Stocking of Palmetto Bass was discontinued in 1997, and they are no longer considered present in Nocona Reservoir.
- Largemouth Bass: Electrofishing catch rate of Largemouth Bass was well above the average (91.9/h) and they were in excellent condition. Largemouth Bass had an excellent spawn due to the 2015 flooding. Although few legal bass were collected, the successful spawn in 2015 will provide excellent fishing in the future. The Florida Largemouth Bass genetic influence has declined.
- White Crappie: Trap net catch rate of White Crappie was a record. The crappie were in good condition and growth rates were good. The 2015 flood also provided excellent spawning conditions. There were good numbers of legal size fish available to the anglers.
Based on current information, Nocona Reservoir should continue to be managed with existing fish harvest regulations. Threadfin Shad adults will be stocked to re-establish this important component of the forage base. Florida Largemouth Bass stockings were recommended to increase growth potential in the Largemouth Bass population. Inform the North Montague County Water Supply District about new exotic species threats to Texas waters, and work with them to display appropriate signage and educate constituents.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-221-M-6 Inland Fisheries Division Monitoring and Management Program