Weatherford Reservoir - 2015 Survey Report
Prepared by John H. Moczygemba and Dan Bennett
Inland Fisheries Division – Denison District
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 Weatherford Reservoir were surveyed in 2015 using electrofishing and trap netting and in 2016 using gill netting. Habitat was surveyed in 2015. Historical data are presented with the 2015-2016 data for comparison. This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
Weatherford Reservoir is a 1,158-acre impoundment on the Clear Fork Trinity River in Parker County. Water level was below conservation elevation (896 ft-msl) for most of the period between May 2012 and May 2015. Since the 2015 flood in May and June the water levels have remained near the conservation elevation. Extremely nutrient rich reservoir waters were probably enhanced by runoff from domestic habitation in the watershed. Habitat features consisted mainly of bulkhead and rocky and natural shoreline with numerous boat docks and piers.
Important sport fishes included Channel Catfish, Largemouth Bass, and White Crappie. The management plan for the 2012 survey report included a recommendation to promote the Largemouth Bass fishery, encourage the City of Weatherford to renovate the one public ramp to make it usable during low water conditions, and educate controlling authority on invasive species dangers.
- Prey species: Abundant Gizzard and Threadfin Shad, as well as plentiful sunfish species, provided an excellent prey base.
- Channel catfish: The Channel Catfish population has remained stable throughout past surveys. Recruitment was evident and 97% of the sample population was legal size and larger. Fish were in good condition with catfish above 16 inches in excellent condition.
- White Bass: Gill net catch rate of White Bass has steadily declined over the past four surveys from a high in 1996. This year few White Bass were collected.
- Largemouth Bass: The Largemouth Bass sample indicated a record abundance made up of mostly 2015 young-of-the-year. The Largemouth Bass size structure has improved. Due to the abundant forage produced by the 2015 flood, Largemouth Bass were in great condition. Florida Largemouth Bass alleles in the Largemouth Bass population were still high.
- White Crappie: The sample of White Crappie exhibited the highest recorded abundance. The overall body condition was great, especially crappie 11 inches and above. Growth was good and 32% of the sample population was 10 inches and larger.
Based on current information, Weatherford Reservoir should continue to be managed with existing fish harvest regulations. The improvements in the Largemouth Bass population should be communicated to constituents via TPWD social media and news releases. Educate the City of Weatherford about new exotic species threats to Texas waters, and work with them to display appropriate signage and educate constituents.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-221-M-6 Inland Fisheries Division Monitoring and Management Program