Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir - 2013 Survey Report
Prepared by John Tibbs and Michael S. Baird
Inland Fisheries Division
District 2-B, Waco, Texas
This is the authors' summary from a 30-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish populations in Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir were surveyed in 2013 using electrofishing and in 2014 with gill netting. Historical data are presented with the 2013-2014 data for comparison. This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir is a 6,430 acre reservoir located in Bell County, Texas. The impoundment was created in 1968 and is operated by the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). Primary water uses include municipal water supply and recreation. Water levels were 10 to 12 feet below conservation pool (622msl) during 2013 and 2014 sampling. Habitat features mainly consisted of natural shorelines.
Sport fishes in Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir have always been managed with statewide regulations. Important sport fish include Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass. The management plan from the 2009 survey report included forming a partnership with the USACE to introduce native vegetation into the reservoir and post invasive species signage at access points throughout the reservoir. Low reservoir levels have prevented native vegetation plantings since the last report. However, Invasive species signage was posted at all access points during summer 2013. Additionally, annual surveys were conducted for noxious vegetation (i.e., Hydrilla), annual stocking requests were made for Smallmouth Bass and Smallmouth Bass recruitment was evaluated with data from the most recent electrofishing survey.
- Prey species: Forage consists primarily of Bluegill, Green Sunfish, Longear Sunfish, Redear Sunfish, and Gizzard Shad. Most were collected at catch rates near historical averages.
- Catfishes: Channel Catfish were collected in good numbers, and most individuals were in good condition.
- White Bass: White Bass catch rates were well above the historical averages, and individuals up to 13 inches were observed.
- Black basses: The Smallmouth Bass catch rate was poor, with only 4 individuals collected during fall 2013 electrofishing. The Largemouth Bass catch rate was above the historical average, the population was balanced, and condition was good.
- White Crappie: White Crappie are present in the reservoir in low numbers.
- Continue managing Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir with existing regulations.
- Conduct general monitoring with electrofishing and gill netting in 2017- 2018.
- Conduct aquatic vegetation and access surveys during summer 2017.
- Continue efforts to educate the public about invasive species and zebra mussel issues and protect the reservoir from zebra mussel introductions.
- Continue stocking Smallmouth Bass, and seek opportunities to plant native aquatic vegetation.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-221-M-4 Statewide Freshwater Fisheries Monitoring and Management Program