Falcon Reservoir 2019 Survey Report media download(PDF 661.7 KB)

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Falcon Reservoir - 2019 Survey Report

Prepared by Mitchell Nisbet and Randall Myers
Inland Fisheries Division – San Antonio District

This is the authors' summary from a 39-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.

Fish populations in Falcon Reservoir were surveyed in 2018-2020 using electrofishing and in 2018 using gill netting. The reservoir sport fishery was quantified in 2019 using a creel survey. Historical data are presented for comparison. This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.

Reservoir Description

Falcon Reservoir (83,654 acres when full) borders Mexico and was constructed in 1954 on the Rio Grande River. The reservoir experiences extreme water level fluctuations due to variable rainfall and water releases for downstream agricultural irrigation. Fisheries habitat was poor during the study period. Water level ranged from 22 to 38 feet below conservation pool elevation, and occurrence of flooded terrestrial vegetation was low (13%).

Management History

Fish harvest is regulated according to the standard statewide restrictions, except for Alligator Gar. The daily bag limit for Alligator Gar is 5 fish/day. In 2019, Starr and Zapata counties, which encompass Falcon Reservoir, commercial fishing for catfish spp. was legalized by the Texas Legislature (Parks and Wildlife Code, Title 7, Chapter 351). On the Mexico side, fish harvest is unregulated and a substantial commercial gill net fishery exists targeting primarily Blue Tilapia. Florida Largemouth Bass (FLMB) fingerlings were stocked annually in recent years to maintain FLMB genetic introgression and in turn, Largemouth Bass trophy potential.

Fish Community

Management Strategies

Sport Fish Restoration Logo

Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-221-M-3 Inland Fisheries Division Monitoring and Management Program