Lake Welsh - 2015 Survey Report
Prepared by Lynn D. Wright and Timothy J. Bister
Inland Fisheries Division – Marshall District
This is the authors' summary from a 24-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish populations in Lake Welsh were surveyed in 2015 using electrofishing and in 2016 using hoop netting. Anglers were surveyed from December 2015 through February 2016 with a creel survey. 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.
Lake Welsh is a 1,333-acre cooling reservoir for coal-fueled power generation. The reservoir is located in Titus County on Swaunano Creek in the Big Cypress River Basin. Habitat features consist of standing timber, rocky shoreline, riprap, native aquatic plants, and hydrilla.
Sport fish include Largemouth Bass and Channel Catfish. Largemouth Bass have been managed under an 18-inch minimum length limit, 5 fish daily bag limit since September 1994. All other sport fishes in Lake Welsh have been managed with statewide regulations. Florida Largemouth Bass stockings in 1975 and 1976 were successful in establishing the Florida Largemouth Bass genetics in the population. In 2011, fish attractors (sunken Christmas trees) were deployed at 6 locations in the reservoir.
- Prey species: Threadfin Shad were present in the reservoir. Gizzard Shad have not been collected since 1993. Electrofishing catch of Bluegill in 2015 was higher than previous years. Few Bluegill were over 5-inches long, which provided excellent prey for Largemouth Bass.
- Catfishes: The Channel Catfish abundance was low and only 4% of the total angling effort targeted Channel Catfish in the winter creel period. Flathead Catfish were present in the reservoir.
- Largemouth bass: Largemouth Bass were more abundant in 2015 than the previous surveys and exhibited quality size structure and condition. Largemouth Bass growth was fast. The average age of 14-inch Largemouth Bass was 1.5 years. Almost all (96%) of angling effort during the 2015/2016 winter creel survey was directed for Largemouth Bass.
- Conduct electrofishing surveys in 2017 and 2019 and a required aquatic vegetation survey in 2019.
- Additional vegetation surveys will be conducted from 2016-2018 to monitor changes in hydrilla.
- Largemouth Bass will continue to be managed under the current 18-inch minimum length limit.
- All other sport fish will continue to be managed under statewide harvest regulations.
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