San Augustine City Lake - 2006 Survey Report
Prepared by Dan Ashe and Todd Driscoll
Inland Fisheries Division
District 3-D, Jasper, 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 San Augustine City Lake were surveyed in 2006 using electrofishing 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.
San Augustine City Lake is an impoundment of Carrizo and Caney creeks. The City of San Augustine is the reservoir’s controlling authority. Primary uses are water supply and recreation. This reservoir has a surface area of 200 acres, a shoreline length of 5.5 miles, and a mean depth of 10 feet. Water level fluctuations are estimated to average 3-feet annually. Boat and bank access is adequate, with one boat ramp present.
Important sport fish include largemouth bass, white and black crappie, and catfish. The management plan from the 2002 survey report included changing the 18-inch minimum length limit for largemouth bass to a 14-18 inch slot length limit. The slot length limit was implemented in 2004. Based on electrofishing results from the fall of 2006 it does not yet appear that the slot length limit has had the desired effect of producing increased numbers of quality-size largemouth bass. Growth rates of largemouth bass appeared to improve since March 2003; however body condition was less than adequate despite a plentiful forage base. Hydrilla has been problematic over the years, covering approximately 75% of the reservoir surface area in 2002. From 2002-2003, triploid grass carp were stocked at a rate of 4/vegetated acre (600 fish total) in an attempt to reduce hydrilla coverage to 10-15%. Since these stockings hydrilla coverage has steadily declined with 16% coverage observed during the summer of 2006.
- Prey species: Threadfin shad were present in the reservoir. Electrofishing catch of bluegill was high, with few were over 6 inches in length. Other prey species included redbreast, longear and redear sunfish.
- Catfishes: Numbers of channel catfish have declined indicating poor recruitment. Recruitment of channel catfish is likely limited by the excessive hydrilla growth that may be creating conditions favorable for increased catfish predation by largemouth bass.
- Largemouth bass: Largemouth bass were relatively abundant. Size structure has remained consistent from past surveys with most fish < 15 inches in length. Largemouth bass had good growth rates and were in average condition. The current largemouth bass water body record is 13.13 lbs set in March 2006.
- Crappie: Relative abundance and size structure of crappie is good. Both white and black crappies were present but white crappie were the predominant species.
- Continue to manage largemouth bass with 14-18 inch slot length limit.
- Continue to monitor trends of hydrilla coverage through annual aquatic vegetation surveys.
- Conduct electrofishing and gill net monitoring surveys in 2010 and 2011, respectively.
- Conduct annual aquatic vegetation surveys (2007-2010).
- Conduct access and structural habitat surveys in 2010.
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