Lake Welsh 2003 Survey Report media download(PDF 374 KB)

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Lake Welsh - 2003 Survey Report

Prepared by Michael J. Ryan and Michael W. Brice
Inland Fisheries Division
District 3-A, Marshall, Texas

This is the authors' summary from a 22-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.

Lake Welsh was surveyed in 2003-2004 using gill nets, frame nets, and electrofishing to survey the fish community. Aquatic vegetation and access facilities were also assessed. This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.

Reservoir Description

Lake Welsh is located on Swauano Creek in the Cypress River Basin. It was constructed in 1976 by American Electric Power Company (AEP) as a cooling reservoir for lignite-fueled power generation. The reservoir lies within the East Texas Timberlands Land Resource Area. It has a drainage area of approximately 34 square miles. Shoreline length is 27 miles. Water levels are relatively stable; average annual fluctuation is < 3 feet. Supplemental water is pumped from Lake O’ the Pines to maintain water levels. Littoral area (water depth less than 15 feet) accounts for 34% of the reservoir. Thermal stratification occurs at a depth of 20 feet from June through September. Structural habitat is comprised of inundated timber, brush, and creek channels (Ryan and Brice 2000). Aquatic vegetation is present in low densities and covered < 5% of the basin in 2003. Occasional fish kills have occurred during summer months when power production and discharge temperatures are at their highest. High water temperatures associated with adverse weather conditions contributed to a fish kill in the lower end of the reservoir in August 1999 (Ryan and Brice 2000). Threadfin shad, largemouth bass, common carp, channel catfish, flathead catfish, and gizzard shad were killed. The outage of two cooling towers was believed to have contributed to this fish kill. No major fish kills have been reported since the cooling towers were repaired and put back into operation in 2000. A fish consumption advisory issued by the Texas Department of Health (TDH) in 1992 for selenium contamination (all species) was rescinded in October 2003. Access to the reservoir is limited to one public ramp; the parking area is in need of maintenance.

Fish Community

Management Strategies

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Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-30-R-29 Statewide Freshwater Fisheries Monitoring and Management Program

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