O.C. Fisher Reservoir - 2008 Survey Report
Prepared by Mandy K. Scott and Mukhtar Farooqi
Inland Fisheries Division
District 1-C, San Angelo, Texas
This is the authors' summary from a 20-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish populations in O.C. Fisher Reservoir were surveyed in 2008 using electrofishing and trap nets, and in 2009 using gill nets. This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
O. C. Fisher Reservoir is a 5,440-acre reservoir at conservation pool on the west side of San Angelo, in Tom Green County. Access to the reservoir is controlled by San Angelo State Park, which surrounds most of the lake basin. The reservoir covered approximately 600 acres at the time of sampling. This hypereutrophic reservoir experiences dramatic water level fluctuations, and has extensive fish habitat mostly in the form of flooded terrestrial vegetation. Boating access is fair, with one lane currently usable at one boat ramp.
Important sport fishes include largemouth bass, white crappie, and catfishes. A low-oxygen fish kill in 2004 devastated all sport fish populations; thereafter, TPWD stocked bluegill, Florida largemouth bass, white crappie, gizzard shad, and blue and channel catfishes. Sport fishes have been managed with statewide regulations.
- Prey species: Gizzard shad catch rate was fairly low, but due to their small size, vulnerability to predators was excellent. Threadfin shad were also present. Bluegill up to 6 inches were present in low numbers.
- Catfishes: Blue and channel catfish populations were improving following intensive stocking of both species in 2005 and 2006. Many small and some large fish were present in 2009, indicating successful reproduction.
- White bass: Although white bass were present in the 1999 and 2001 gill net samples, no white bass have been captured in surveys since the fish kill in 2004.
- Largemouth bass: Although overall catch rate was low, this population has improved since the stocking in 2005, with relative abundance of legally harvestable bass increasing substantially from 2005 to 2008. Body condition was very good.
- White crappie: Overall catch rate, as well as relative abundance of stock-size fish, increased dramatically between 2002 and 2008. In the latest survey, many plump individuals over 12 inches were captured and growth rate to 10 inches was excellent.
Keep informed of watershed issues and participate in local water planning groups, and write informational newspaper article(s) on the importance of water conservation to this and other local fisheries. Assess status of shad population with additional electrofishing, and if appropriate, conduct a management stocking of adult white bass in spring 2010. Conduct additional electrofishing in 2009, additional trap netting in 2010, and standard monitoring in 2012/2013.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-30-R-34 Statewide Freshwater Fisheries Monitoring and Management Program