Nocona Reservoir - 2007 Survey Report
Prepared by Bruce Hysmith and John H. Moczygemba
Inland Fisheries Division
District 2-A, Pottsboro, Texas
This is the authors' summary from a 27-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish populations in Nocona Reservoir were surveyed in 2007 using an electrofisher and trap nets and in 2008 using gill nets. Habitat was surveyed in 2007. This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
Nocona Reservoir is a 1,323-acre impoundment on Farmers Creek, a tributary of the Red River, in Montague County. Water level was below conservation elevation (827 ft-msl) from April 2005 until May 2007. The reservoir waters are high in nutrients because of the watershed properties; hence, high productivity. Habitat features consisted mainly of rocky shoreline, flooded dead terrestrial vegetation, and native emergent vegetation. Standing timber was also present.
Important sport fishes include blue and channel catfish, white bass, largemouth bass, and white crappie. The management plan from the 2004 survey report included recommendations to encourage North Montague County Water Supply District to construct outdoor lighting and access facilities compliant with the American Disabilities Act, conduct supplemental electrofishing survey in the fall of 2004 to assess a decline in largemouth bass abundance, conduct supplemental gill netting for blue catfish in spring of 2005, and update the Nocona Reservoir web page on the TPWD web site.
- Prey species: Electrofishing catch rate of gizzard shad was low and has dropped every survey since 1999. Prey-size gizzard shad (7-inch group and below) continued to be low. Record high electrofishing catch rates of threadfin shad and bluegill indicated the prey base was more than adequate, reflecting high nutrient levels.
- Catfishes: Gill net catch rate of blue catfish was much lower than previous surveys. All the sample population was legal size and in poor to excellent condition. Recruitment was not evident. Gill net catch rate of channel catfish was lower than the 2004 survey. One-half of the sample population was legal size. Relative weights were fair. Recruitment was evident.
- Temperate basses: The historical gill net catch rate of white bass was low and during this survey we recorded the lowest catch rate since 1991. The entire sample was legal size, but their body condition was poor. Gill net catch rate of palmetto bass was low and reflected lack of recruitment from supplemental stocking. Only two fish were collected. The last stocking was in 1997. By 2005 the gill net catch rate had begun a serious decline.
- Largemouth bass: Electrofishing catch rate of largemouth bass was high, growth rates were fair, and the fish were in average condition. Electrophoretic samples produced two pure Florida bass and the sample had above the minimum of 20% Florida largemouth bass alleles.
- White crappie: Trap net catch rate of white crappie was a record low. The crappie were in good condition and growth rates were good.
Based on current information, Nocona Reservoir should continue to be managed with existing fish harvest regulations. Investigate over-exploitation of largemouth bass by tournament angling by creel survey, spring 2009. Increase trap netting for white crappie in fall 2011.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-30-R-33 Statewide Freshwater Fisheries Monitoring and Management Program