Purtis Creek State Park Lake - 2012 Survey Report
Prepared by Jacob D. Norman and Richard A. Ott, Jr.
Inland Fisheries Division
District 3-C, Tyler, Texas
This is the authors' summary from a 37-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish populations in Purtis Creek State Park Lake were surveyed in Fall 2012 using electrofishing and trap netting and in Spring 2013 using electrofishing and gill netting. Historical data are presented with the 2012-2013 data for comparison. This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
Purtis Creek State Park Lake is a 349-acre reservoir on Purtis Creek, a tributary of the Trinity River. The impoundment was constructed by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department in 1985 for recreation and flood control purposes. Boat and bank access are both good and the park maintains two handicap-accessible fishing piers.
Important sport fish include sunfishes, Largemouth Bass, Channel and Blue Catfish, and White Crappie. Hydrilla surveys have been conducted annually, and treatments with herbicide and triploid Grass Carp have been conducted in accordance with an integrated pest management plan. Electrofishing has been conducted in the fall and spring each year to monitor the Largemouth Bass population managed by a catch-and-release harvest regulation. Prior to September 1, 2008, anglers were allowed to retain one fish greater than 21 inches to be weighed at a lake-side weigh station and immediately released or donated to the TPWD ShareLunker program. This regulation was modified in 2008 so that only fish 24 inches and longer can be donated or released. Genetic analysis of Florida Largemouth Bass alleles was previously assessed in 2002 and has remained stable. The lake was included in the Operation World Record (OWR) program in 2005. Two stockings of OWR fish were conducted in 2006 and 2008.
- Prey species: Threadfin Shad were still abundant in the reservoir in 2012. Electrofishing catch rates of gizzard produced a high percentage of fish available as forage. Electrofishing catch rates of Bluegill, Redear Sunfish and Redbreast Sunfish ≤4 inches were also high, providing excellent prey availability for sport fishes.
- Catfishes: A small number of large (>25 inches) Blue Catfish were collected during gill net surveys in 2013. Recruitment of catfishes in Purtis Creek State Park Lake has historically been low, and supplemental stocking of Channel Catfish advanced size fingerlings has been conducted to attempt to supplement this fishery. Gill net surveys in 2013 produced higher catch rates of Channel Catfish than previous years.
- Temperate basses: No White Bass were collected prior to 2005. In 2009, White Bass were abundant in the reservoir as gill net catch rates increased to a historical high. However, 2013 gill net surveys produced only one White Bass
- Largemouth bass: Largemouth Bass remain a popular fishery at Purtis Creek State Park Lake, and a catch-and-release regulation is set to maintain high angler catch rates. Fall electrofishing catch rates remained consistent, although the number of large fish (>20 inches) collected during sampling efforts has declined slightly since 2006.
- Crappie: White Crappie were abundant in the reservoir and provide an important fishery. Trap net catch rates for 2012 were excellent, doubling catches from 2004 and 2008 combined. Close to half (43%) of all crappie collected were over the 10 inch minimum length limit.
- Conduct biennial fall (even years) and spring (odd years) electrofishing to further assess the Largemouth Bass population dynamics.
- Conduct an angler creel survey in 2015 to assess Largemouth Bass fishing pressure.
- Request surplus Channel Catfish fingerlings and broodfish when available to maintain the population.
- Conduct annual summer vegetation surveys.
- Conduct trap netting survey in 2016 and a gill netting survey in 2017.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-221-M-3 Inland Fisheries Division Monitoring and Management Program