Lady Bird Lake - 2011 Survey Report
Prepared by Marcos J. De Jesus and Mukhtar Farooqi
Inland Fisheries Division
District 2-C, San Marcos, Texas
This is the authors' summary from a 27-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish populations Lady Bird Reservoir were surveyed in 2011 using electrofishing and in 2012 using gill nets. This report summarizes results of the surveys and contains a fisheries management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
Lady Bird Reservoir is a stable-level, 469-acre impoundment of the Colorado River located in the city of Austin, Travis County, Texas. Prior to 2007 the reservoir was named Town Lake. The reservoir runs through the mid-section of the city and was constructed in 1960 for purposes of flood control, municipal and industrial water supply and recreation. The reservoir is owned and operated by the City of Austin. The reservoir lies within the Edwards Plateau ecological area and has shoreline length of 18.3 miles and a drainage area of approximately 38,240 square miles. Some of the adjacent land has been developed into city parks. Other shoreline areas have been developed by private businesses.
Important sportfish included largemouth bass, channel catfish, and common carp. Largemouth bass were managed under a 14-inch minimum length limit until September 1, 2000 when a 14- to 21-inch slot length limit was initiated. Prior to this more restrictive length limit, harvest may have been limited due to an imposed fish consumption advisory. The Florida sub-species of largemouth bass was stocked in 1998 to improve largemouth bass growth potential. In 2009, a harvest restriction was implemented to protect trophy-sized common carp; only one carp 33 inches or greater may be retained per day.
- Prey species: Sunfishes (primarily redbreast sunfish and bluegill) were the predominant prey species available.
- Common carp: The data indicates that Lady Bird Reservoir has a low density carp population dominated by larger individuals.
- Catfishes: Channel catfish and flathead catfish were present in low density.
- Largemouth bass: Largemouth bass were abundant, in good condition, and population size structure was good.
The reservoir’s fish population should continue to be managed with existing harvest regulations. Aquatic vegetation surveys should continue to be conducted annually to monitor for the potential establishment of hydrilla, and for changes to the aquatic vegetation community that could be attributed to the emigration of grass carp from upstream Austin Reservoir. Continue collection of information on grass carp and common carp populations in collaboration with the Carp Anglers Group.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-221-M-2 Statewide Freshwater Fisheries Monitoring and Management Program