Oak Creek Reservoir - 2006 Survey Report
Prepared by C. Craig Bonds and Mandy K. Scott
Inland Fisheries Division
District 1-C, San Angelo, Texas
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 2006 using electrofisher and trap nets, and in 2007 using gill nets. 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 (2,000 feet above MSL) and 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. The water level declined 34 feet from August 1997 to May 2003, severely limiting fish production and angler use. Although reservoir water level rebounded slightly in 2003, 2005, and 2007, reservoir surface area totaled only 870 acres in May 2007. Habitat features consisted of flooded saltcedar and black willow and rocks. One boat ramp provided access, but a decrease in water level of only a few feet would leave it unusable.
Important sport fish include largemouth bass, white crappie, and catfishes. The management plan from the 2002 survey report recommended waiting until the reservoir caught enough water to allow boat access before conducting evaluations of fish populations. 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 collected in low numbers as recently as 2004. Electrofishing catch of gizzard shad was moderately high, and approximately one third of the fish were available as prey to most sport fish. Electrofishing catch of bluegill was moderate, and most were less than 6 inches.
- Catfishes: Blue and channel catfish were stocked in the reservoir in the 1970s and again in 2003 (blue) and 2004 (channel). Blue catfish were the most abundant and exhibited the broadest size distribution compared to other catfishes. Channel catfish were moderately abundant, but few legal-sized fish were present. Flathead catfish were present in the reservoir.
- White bass: White bass were low in abundance.
- Largemouth bass: Florida largemouth bass were initially stocked in the 1980s. Additional stockings were made in 2003 and 2004 to take advantage of rising water levels and increased habitat. Largemouth bass were moderately abundant. Size structure continued to improve over recent years, but remained poor. Body condition and growth of largemouth bass was adequate.
- Smallmouth bass: Smallmouth bass were present in low numbers prior to the onset of falling water levels in 1998. The population was negatively impacted by low water levels and has not recovered.
- White crappie: Abundance, size distribution, growth, and body condition of white crappie were good.
- Conduct electrofishing surveys in 2007, 2008 and 2010. Stocking threadfin shad in April 2008 is contingent on 2007 largemouth bass (<15 inches) relative weights and shad (<6 inches) electrofishing CPUE.
- Conduct trap netting surveys in 2008 and 2010.
- Conduct habitat and access surveys in 2010.
- Conduct gill netting survey in 2011.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-30-R-32 Statewide Freshwater Fisheries Monitoring and Management Program