Lake Pinkston - 2007 Survey Report
Prepared by Dan Ashe and Todd Driscoll
Inland Fisheries Division
District 3-D, Brookeland, 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 Pinkston Reservoir were surveyed in 2012 using spring electrofishing and gill netting. Anglers were surveyed March through May 2012 with a creel survey. Vegetation and access surveys were also conducted in 2011. This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
Pinkston Reservoir is an impoundment of Sandy Creek, a tributary of the Attoyac Bayou in the Neches River Basin. The City of Center is the controlling authority. Primary uses are water supply and recreation. This reservoir has a surface area of 447 acres at conservation pool (300 feet msl), a shoreline length of 4 miles, and an average depth of 20 feet. Water level fluctuations average 5 feet annually. Boat access is available with two boat ramps present, but they are in need of repair. Bank access is adequate.
Important sport fish include largemouth bass and white and black crappie. The 14- to 18-inch slot-length limit for largemouth bass (implemented in 1991) was changed to a 14- to 21-inch slot-length limit in 2001. Historically, largemouth bass recruitment into the slot length limit has been good, with fish reaching 14 inches in length by age three. Hydrilla has been problematic over the years, and coverage has exceeded 50% of the reservoir surface area. In 1997, triploid grass carp were stocked at a rate of 7 fish/vegetated acre (2,100 fish total) in an attempt to reduce hydrilla coverage to 30%. Hydrilla coverage declined to 30% coverage during the summer of 2007 but increased to 45% coverage in 2011. Giant salvinia was discovered in the reservoir in 2006. A rapid eradication response was successful and no giant salvinia has been observed since 2006.
- Prey species: A fall electrofishing survey (the method for assessing prey abundance) could not be conducted due to low water and prohibitive hydrilla coverage. However, threadfin and gizzard shad, bluegill, and redear sunfish were observed during the spring 2012 electrofishing survey and were available as prey for predators.
- Catfishes: Although channel catfish were stocked in 1987, no channel catfish have been collected from monitoring surveys since 1989. Reproduction and growth of channel catfish has likely been limited by hydrilla growth that has created conditions favorable for increased catfish predation by largemouth bass.
- Largemouth bass: Largemouth bass were abundant. Size structure has remained consistent from past surveys with a high abundance of fish within the slot-length limit. Largemouth bass had good growth rates, reaching 14 inches in less than three years. The current largemouth bass water body record is 16.90 lbs (February 1986).
- Crappies: White crappie and black crappie were present in the reservoir. No directed angling effort was observed for crappie during the 2008 and 2012 creel surveys.
- Continue to manage largemouth bass with 14- to 21-inch slot length limit.
- Continue to monitor trends of hydrilla coverage through annual aquatic vegetation surveys (2012-2015).
- Conduct additional biennial spring electrofishing surveys in 2014 and 2016 and a spring quarter (March-May) creel survey in 2016.
- Conduct standard monitoring with gill netting and fall electrofishing in 2015.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-221-M-2 Statewide Freshwater Fisheries Monitoring and Management Program