Falcon Reservoir 2017 Survey Report media download(PDF 934.8 KB)

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


Falcon Reservoir - 2017 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 2016-2018 using electrofishing and gill netting since the last report (2016). Anglers were surveyed from January through June 2016 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. Water level declined about 10 feet during the survey period (06/2016-05/2018) before abruptly increasing about 20 feet in October 2017. This water level increase, however, was short-lived as water level declined about 13 feet from March through May 2018, and as of May 15, 2018 was 30 feet below conservation pool elevation. In September 2017, occurrence of flooded terrestrial vegetation was low (13%) by historic standards on the Texas-side of the reservoir.

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. On the Mexico side, fish harvest is unregulated and a substantial commercial gill net fishery exists targeting primarily Blue Tilapia according to anecdotal reports. Florida Largemouth Bass (FLMB) fingerlings have been stocked annually in recent years to increase FLMB genetic introgression and in turn, Largemouth Bass trophy potential. Giant salvinia was found growing near a boat ramp in 2016 and was removed.

Fish Community

Management Strategies

Concerning Largemouth Bass, stock FLMB annually, frequently monitor the population, and continue to explore the potential effectiveness of alternative harvest regulations. Assess Alligator Gar population relative abundance, size and age structure to determine effects of daily bag limit increase which was implemented in 2015. Monitor for presence of invasive aquatic species and conduct control activities as needed.

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