Lake Somerville - 2012 Survey Report
Prepared by Michael Homer Jr. and Mark Webb
Inland Fisheries Division
District 3-E, Snook, Texas
This is the authors' summary from a 35-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish populations in Lake Somerville were surveyed in 2012 using electrofishing and trap netting and in 2013 using gill netting. Anglers were surveyed from June 2012 through May 2013 with a creel survey. 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.
Lake Somerville is an 11,456-acre flood-control reservoir constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Yegua Creek in Burleson, Lee, and Washington counties, Texas. Principle tributaries are Middle Yegua, West Yegua, and Nails creeks. Lake Somerville has a drainage area of approximately 1,006 square miles and a shoreline length of 104 miles.
Important sport fishes include White Bass, Palmetto Bass, Largemouth Bass, Crappies, and Channel and Blue Catfish. Since 2009, annual gill netting and annual stockings of Palmetto Bass have been conducted. Crappie and catfish populations have been monitored every four years. Hydrilla and water hyacinth have been introduced and treated in the lake.
- Prey species: Threadfin Shad and Gizzard Shad were the predominant prey species in Lake Somerville and most were available as prey. Bluegill and Longear Sunfish were the most common sunfish prey. Other less important prey species included Bullhead Minnow, Pugnose Minnow, Inland Silverside, Green Sunfish, Warmouth, and Redear Sunfish.
- Catfishes: Channel Catfish were the dominant catfish species, offering good angling opportunities. Blue Catfish, although less numerous, also support a fishery. Flathead catfish were also present in the reservoir but in low relative abundance.
- Temperate basses: White Bass and Palmetto Bass were both present in Lake Somerville. Palmetto Bass have been stocked annually with the recent exceptions of 2010 and 2012.
- Largemouth bass: Largemouth Bass were abundant with a good size distribution available to anglers. Florida bass fingerlings were stocked in 2008 and 2010. The 2009-2010 creel survey indicated that Largemouth Bass were the most popular species among anglers at Lake Somerville.
- Crappie: Both White Crappie and Black Crappie were moderately abundant with legal-size fish up to 14 inches long available to anglers. According to the most recent creel survey, Crappie were the second-most targeted species group at Lake Somerville.
- TPWD will monitor the temperate basses and catfish biennially with spring gill nets.
- Largemouth Bass and their prey will be monitored by electrofishing and crappies by trap netting in the fall of 2016.
- Exotic vegetation surveys will be conducted annually to monitor changes in hydrilla abundance.
- Angler effort and catch will be monitored with a creel survey from March 2014 through February 2015. An angler access survey will be conducted in 2016.
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