Abilene Reservoir 2019 Survey Report media download(PDF 527.9 KB)

If you have difficulty accessing the information in this document, contact the TPWD Inland Fisheries Division for assistance.


Abilene Reservoir - 2019 Survey Report

Prepared by Michael D. Homer and Natalie Goldstrohm
Inland Fisheries Division – Abilene District

This is the authors' summary from a 26-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.

Fish populations in Abilene Reservoir were surveyed by electrofishing in 2017 and 2019 and by trap netting in 2019. This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.

Reservoir Description

Abilene Reservoir is a 640-acre impoundment constructed on Elm Creek in the Brazos River Basin, and it is approximately 18 miles southwest of Abilene, Texas. The reservoir’s primary function is recreation, but it historically provided some municipal water supply to City of Abilene. In 2005, operation and control of the reservoir was transferred from City of Abilene to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) – Abilene State Park. The reservoir experiences extreme water level fluctuations and went completely dry in spring 2014. Between winter 2015 and the spring 2016, the reservoir filled to over conservation pool elevation. During this study period, water level fluctuated between conservation pool elevation and nearly 12 feet below conservation pool elevation.

Management History

After TPWD – Abilene State Park took control of the reservoir, harvest regulations for Blue Catfish and Channel Catfish were changed to a no minimum length limit and a five-fish daily bag limit in any combination. Management stockings of Gizzard Shad and sunfishes were conducted in spring 2016 to reestablish the prey species community following reservoir refill. Following the prey species stockings, Bluegill, Channel Catfish, and Florida Largemouth Bass were stocked in 2016 and 2017. White Crappie were stocked in 2016.

Fish Community

Management Strategies

Prior to 2005, sport fish species were managed with statewide harvest regulations. In 2005, TPWD Abilene State Park assumed control of the reservoir. Blue Catfish and Channel Catfish are managed with no minimum length limit and five-fish daily bag limit (in combination), and fishing is limited to pole-and-line only.

Tandem hoop netting will be conducted in late spring 2024 to sample Channel Catfish. Largemouth Bass and prey items will be surveyed with electrofishing in fall 2020 and 2023. White Crappie will be surveyed with trap netting in fall 2023. Relative abundance, size structure, and mean relative weight data will be collected on targeted sport fish. Access and habitat surveys will be conducted in summer 2023. Develop a plan for boat access improvements to be implemented during extended period of low water level. Inform the public of the threat and negative impacts of invasive species.

Sport Fish Restoration Logo

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

Related Links: