Sheldon Reservoir - 2015 Survey Report
Prepared by Alice Best, Niki Ragan and Mark Webb
Inland Fisheries Division – College Station-Houston District
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 Sheldon Reservoir were surveyed in 2015 using electrofishing. Historical data are presented with the 2015 data for comparison. This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
Sheldon Reservoir is a 1,229-acre reservoir in Sheldon Lake State Park on Culpepper Bayou in Harris County, Texas. The reservoir has a drainage area of 4 square miles and a shoreline length of 13.1 miles. The reservoir has a mean depth of 3 feet and a maximum depth of 20 feet. Sheldon Reservoir is a highly productive wetland ecosystem that hosts a diverse community of fish and wildlife species that attract anglers, boaters, and wildlife viewers from across the state.
Sheldon Reservoir is a very important asset to Texas Parks and Wildlife and to the people of Houston. To make the most of this resource, Inland Fisheries Division has worked closely with Sheldon Lake State Park’s and Infrastructure’s staffs to improve the reservoir in conjunction with the development of the Sheldon Environmental Learning Center. Heavy infestations of hydrilla, giant salvinia, and water hyacinth have greatly impeded recreational use at Sheldon Reservoir. However, herbicide treatments in 2011, 2012, 2014, and 2015 have improved the situation.
- Prey species: Although Gizzard Shad were collected in 2015, Threadfin Shad were not. The catch rate of Bluegill and Redear Sunfish in 2015 was lower than in 2012 but still higher than it was in 2008. Most Bluegills were less than 6-inches long and function primarily as prey; however, Redear Sunfish over 6-inches were observed.
- Catfishes: Blue Catfish and Channel Catfish are only present in Sheldon Reservoir as a put-grow-and-take fishery from occasional stockings of surplus fish. Fingerling Blue Catfish were stocked in 2015, but no catfish of either species was collected in 2015.
- Largemouth bass: Electrofishing catch rate of Largemouth Bass in 2015 was lower than it was in 2012 but higher than the 2008. Body condition of collected fish was good, and size distribution was within the recommended range. The lake record Largemouth Bass, caught in 2016, was 10.42 lbs and 25.88 inches.
- Crappie: Both Black Crappie and White Crappie were collected in the past, but only Black Crappie were documented in the current survey.
- Bowfin: Bowfin support a popular fishery in Sheldon Reservoir and were collected in the 2015 electrofishing survey.
The primary challenge at Sheldon Reservoir is aquatic vegetation management and water level management. An integrated pest management strategy has been implemented to address the aquatic vegetation problem. Sheldon Lake State Park staff continue to explore ways to supplement water supply to Sheldon Reservoir in low rainfall years. Electrofishing and angler access surveys will be conducted every four years. Aquatic Nuisance Species surveys will be conducted annually, and efforts to inform the public about the negative impacts of aquatic invasive species and preventive measures will continue.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-221-M-6 Inland Fisheries Division Monitoring and Management Program