Lake Welsh - 2011 Survey Report
Prepared by Lynn D. Wright and Timothy J. Bister
Inland Fisheries Division
District 3-A, Marshall, Texas
This is the authors' summary from a 21-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish populations in Lake Welsh were surveyed in 2011 using electrofishing and in 2012 using gill netting. 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 lignite-fueled power generation located on Swaunano Creek in the Big Cypress River Basin. The reservoir is located in Titus County. Habitat features consist of standing timber, rocky shoreline, riprap, and native aquatic plants.
Important 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: Prey fish were limited to sunfish species. No threadfin shad or gizzard shad were collected. The electrofishing catch rate of all sunfish species in 2011 was higher than 2009 with the majority of these fish available as prey.
- Catfishes: Channel catfish were present in high numbers with fish ranging from 8 to 25 inches collected during spring gill netting. Most catfish were above the minimum length limit, but few large fish were collected. Body condition was above average for most inch groups.
- Largemouth bass: Largemouth bass were less abundant in 2011 than the 2009 and 2007 surveys, but exhibited good size structure and growth. Body condition was above average for most inch groups and initial growth was fast.
- Conduct electrofishing surveys in 2013 and 2015, a gill netting survey in 2016, and an aquatic vegetation survey in 2015.
- Additional vegetation surveys will be conducted from 2012-2014 and a winter quarter creel will be conducted from December 2015 through February 2016.
- 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-2 Statewide Freshwater Fisheries Monitoring and Management Program