Oak Creek Reservoir - 2014 Survey Report
Prepared by Mandy K. Scott
Inland Fisheries Division - San Angelo District
This is the authors' summary from a 22-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish populations in Oak Creek Reservoir were surveyed in 2012 and 2014 using electrofishing and trap netting, and in 2013 and 2015 using gill netting. Historical data are presented with the 2014-2015 data for comparison. This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
Oak Creek Reservoir is a 2,375-acre impoundment at conservation pool and is located 45 miles north of San Angelo in the northeast corner of Coke County, Texas, in the Colorado River drainage basin. Primary uses included municipal water supply, recreation, and until 2002, cooling water for a power plant. Water level declined 31 feet from January 1998 to April 2003, severely limiting fish production and angler use. Reservoir water level rebounded by October 2007, when it was less than a foot below conservation level, then steadily declined again. The reservoir was about 26 feet below conservation pool at the time of sampling, and was approximately 423 acres. Habitat consisted of featureless bank and rocky shoreline with standing timber and flooded terrestrial vegetation. There were three public boat ramps available, but none were useable during the sampling period.
Important sport fish included Largemouth Bass, White Crappie, catfishes, and White Bass. Smallmouth Bass were managed under restrictive harvest regulations for seven years, then rescinded after it was found to be ineffective. A variety of fish species have been stocked in the reservoir including Threadfin Shad, Channel and Blue Catfishes, Largemouth Bass, and Smallmouth Bass.
- Prey species: Threadfin Shad were not collected in the most recent surveys although they were present in past samples. Gizzard Shad catch rate declined, especially for larger shad. Several species of sunfish were present but catch rates were low.
- Catfishes: Blue Catfish, Channel Catfish, and Flathead Catfish were moderately abundant and provided anglers with good numbers of legal-sized fish and some large fish.
- White Bass: Catch rate of White Bass was low; this species may have been negatively impacted by recent low water levels and reduced inflows.
- Largemouth Bass: Largemouth Bass catch rate was consistent throughout the past four years and the population had good size structure. Body condition was somewhat poor, but recent reproduction was evident.
- White Crappie: Relative abundance of White Crappie increased, and size structure and body condition were very good.
- Sportfish should continue to be managed with statewide regulations.
- Promote catfish fishery that includes three target species.
- Discuss boat ramp improvements with owner of Sportsman’s Lodge.
- Spread awareness of invasive species threats.
- Conduct electrofishing, trap netting, and gill netting surveys in 2016/2017.
- Conduct additional springtime creel and low frequency electrofishing surveys in 2017/2018.
- Conduct vegetation and access surveys as well as general monitoring with electrofishing, trap nets and gill nets in 2018/2019.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-221-M-5 Inland Fisheries Division Monitoring and Management Program