San Augustine City Lake - 2014 Survey Report
Prepared by Dan Ashe and Todd Driscoll
Inland Fisheries Division - Jasper District
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 2014 using electrofishing and trap netting and in 2015 using gill netting. Historical data are presented with the 2014-2015 data for comparison. 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 controlling authority, and 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 average three feet annually. Boat and bank access is adequate, with one boat ramp present.
Important sport fish include Largemouth Bass, White and Black Crappie, and Channel Catfish. Historically, hydrilla has been problematic. In 2002, coverage was 75% of the reservoir surface area, and Largemouth Bass growth and body condition were poor. During 2002 and 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%. In 2004, harvest regulations for Largemouth Bass were changed to a 14-18-inch slot length limit due to high recruitment and poor growth related to excessive hydrilla. In 2005, hydrilla coverage was reduced to a manageable level (50 acres), but drought conditions throughout 2006 (coupled with Triploid Grass Carp presence) resulted in the eradication of hydrilla. Although all Triploid Grass Carp likely escaped during a historic flood event in 2008, no hydrilla has been observed since 2007.
- Prey species: Threadfin Shad were abundant in the reservoir. Electrofishing catch of sunfish was poor and primarily consisted of Redbreast Sunfish, Bluegill, and Redear Sunfish; few fish were over 6 inches in length.
- Catfishes: Gill netting indicated an increase in abundance of Channel Catfish over the last three survey periods, which was likely related to the eradication of hydrilla. Lack of vegetative cover reduced Largemouth Bass abundance, which lowered predation on Channel Catfish, and increased nutrients available for preferred food items (i.e., benthic invertebrates).
- Largemouth Bass: Largemouth Bass abundance has declined over the past three surveys, a likely result of declining and poor littoral habitat. Size structure has remained consistent, with most fish < 15 inches in length. Largemouth Bass were in average condition.
- Crappies: White and Black Crappie were present. Since 2010, White Crappie abundance has been high and stable. The majority of the fish collected were > 10 inches in length.
Due to lack of habitat and failed attempts to establish native vegetation, coordinate with the controlling authority to fund and deploy fish attractors in the reservoir to increase angling opportunity. Promote the increase of White Crappie and Channel Catfish populations in local media.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-221-M-5 Inland Fisheries Division Monitoring and Management Program