Lake Waxahachie - 2013 Survey Report
Prepared by Jacob D. Norman and Richard A. Ott, Jr.
Inland Fisheries Division
District 3-C, Tyler, Texas
This is the authors' summary from a 25-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish populations in Lake Waxahachie were surveyed in 2013 using electrofishing and trap netting, and in 2014 using gill netting. An aquatic vegetation survey was conducted in July 2013. Historical data are presented with the 2013-2014 data for comparison. This report summarizes these survey results and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
Lake Waxahachie is a 656-acre reservoir on Prong Creek, a tributary of the Trinity River, Texas, built to provide water for municipal and industrial purposes. Persistent low water levels frequently limit boat access to one of three public ramps; bank angler access is also limited. There are no handicap-specific facilities. Prolonged periods of low water levels and the subsequent lack of available habitat have resulted in limited year-class strength of several species.
Important sport fishes include Channel Catfish, Blue Catfish, White Bass, Largemouth Bass, White Crappie and Black Crappie. Blue Catfish were stocked in 2003, 2005 and 2007, and have been closely monitored during gill netting in 2009 and 2013. Fluctuating water levels have kept the spread of hydrilla to a minimum; however vegetation surveys were conducted to monitor abundance of hydrilla and native aquatic species.
- Prey species: Both Gizzard Shad and Threadfin Shad are relatively abundant, providing adequate forage for sport fishes. Bluegill, Redear Sunfish, and Longear Sunfish all add to the prey base at Lake Waxahachie.
- Catfishes: Gill net catch rates of Channel Catfish were moderate, and within the longterm average for the reservoir. Blue Catfish catch rates have increased over the last two surveys, indicating successful recruitment from stockings in 2003, 2005, and 2007.
- White bass: White Bass recruitment is inconsistent and abundance is low, likely due to variable water levels and drought conditions.
- Largemouth bass: Largemouth Bass numbers have remained high and relatively stable over the last several surveys; however, the population is still dominated by smaller, sublegal fish.
- Crappie: White and Black Crappie catch rates have remained relatively stable and adequate over the last three surveys. In the 2013 survey, more legally-harvestable fish were collected than in previous surveys.
- Standard electrofishing, trap netting and gill netting will be conducted in 2017- 2018 to monitor sport- and prey-fish populations.
- Monitor the success of Blue Catfish stockings through low frequency electrofishing in 2016 and gill netting in 2018.
- Conduct age and growth analysis on Blue Catfish to determine age structure and identify possible natural recruitment.
- Conduct aquatic vegetation survey in 2017 to monitor the abundance of hydrilla and native aquatic macrophyte communities.
- Discuss boat ramp improvements and fishing pier construction with the city of Waxahachie to improve angler access.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-221-M-4 Inland Fisheries Division Monitoring and Management Program