Waco Reservoir - 2007 Survey Report
Prepared by John E. Tibbs and Michael S. Baird
Inland Fisheries Division
District 2-B, Waco, Texas
This is the authors' summary from a 41-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish populations in Waco Reservoir were surveyed in 2007 using electrofishing and trap nets and in 2008 using gill nets. Anglers were surveyed from June 2007 to May 2008 with a creel. This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
Waco Reservoir is an 8,465-acre impoundment supplied by the North, Middle, and South Bosque Rivers within the Brazos River Basin, McLennan County. Water levels decreased steadily from 2005 through 2006, then peaked 25 feet above conservation pool in the first half of 2007. Shoreline fish habitat was dominated by standing timber, rocky shoreline, inundated stumps, and riprap. Bank and boat access (10 ramps) on the reservoir is good, but there are currently no handicap-specific facilities available.
Important sport fish include largemouth bass, white bass, white crappie, and catfish. The management plan from the 2004 survey report included an evaluation of pre and post pool rise fishery and economic creel data, and plans to work with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on constructing a fishing pier for handicap and bank anglers.
- Prey species: The abundance of forage species such as threadfin shad, gizzard shad, bluegill, and redear sunfish was near or exceeding record catch rates for the reservoir. Many good sized sunfishes were collected.
- Catfishes: The blue catfish population continues to grow with many fish in the quality and preferred size classes. Channel catfish are also holding strong with good body conditions. Almost 25% of all anglers at Waco Reservoir fished for some species of catfish.
- White bass: White bass were present in the reservoir in low numbers. White bass accounted for 11.5% of the fishing effort in the reservoir.
- Largemouth bass: Largemouth bass were collected at higher rates than ever before, and body condition was excellent. Over 40% of all anglers at Waco Reservoir fished for largemouth bass, making it the most popular species to fish for in the reservoir.
- White crappie: White crappie were collected at higher rates than ever before, and body condition was excellent. Crappie accounted for 12.1% of the fishing effort in the reservoir.
Continue managing Waco Reservoir with statewide regulations. Conduct general monitoring with electrofisher and trap nets in 2011 and gill nets in 2012. Also, perform a new littoral habitat survey prior to the 2012 report.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-30-R-33 Statewide Freshwater Fisheries Monitoring and Management Program