Sweetwater Reservoir - 2014 Survey Report
Prepared by Natalie Goldstrohm and Michael Homer Jr.
Inland Fisheries Division - Abilene District
This is the authors' summary from a 13-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish populations in Sweetwater Reservoir were not surveyed in fall 2014 and spring 2015 due to extreme low water level and fish kills caused by golden alga blooms.
Sweetwater Reservoir is a 630-acre reservoir located 12 miles southeast of Sweetwater, Texas, in the Brazos River Basin on Bitter and Cottonwood creeks, tributaries of the Clear Fork. It is owned and operated by the City of Sweetwater and is used for municipal, industrial, and recreational purposes. Water level began dropping in 1998 and declined 38 feet over a nine year period. In July 2007, water level increased substantially and was nearly full. Since then, the water level had continuously dropped reaching 27.5 feet below conservation pool (CP) as of May 2015. Toxic golden alga blooms caused major fish kills in March 2003 and winter 2014. An additional fish kill was caused by golden alga in winter 2015. Boat access consists of one public-use ramp, and bank access was limited to the boat ramp area and park.
Historically, important sport fish have included Channel Catfish, Largemouth Bass, and White Crappie. A 14- to 18-inch slot limit on Largemouth Bass was implemented in September 2001. Sport and forage fishes were reintroduced in 2007 and 2008 after the reservoir nearly filled in 2007.
No data were collected due to extreme low water level and golden alga kills.
- Based on current information, the reservoir should continue to be managed with existing regulations.
- If waterbody conditions allow for survival of fishes, stockings of Bluegill, Channel Catfish, and Largemouth Bass will be requested as part of the drought recovery plan and to reestablish sport fish populations.
- Survey of fish populations will resume once stocked species become established.
- A meeting to discuss possible extension of the main boat ramp will be planned with the City of Sweetwater.
- Inform the public of the threats and impacts of golden alga and invasive species.
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