Lake Fork 2021 Survey Report media download(PDF 1.5 MB)

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Lake Fork - 2021 Survey Report

Prepared by Kevin W. Storey and Evan Cartabiano
Inland Fisheries Division – Tyler North District

This is the authors' summary from a 43-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.

Fish populations in Lake Fork were surveyed in 2019 through 2021 using electrofishing and in 2022 with gill nets. Anglers were surveyed from June through May 2018/2019 and 2020/2021 with a creel survey. Historical data are presented with the 2018-2022 data for comparison. This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.

Reservoir Description

Lake Fork is a 26,841-acre impoundment located on Lake Fork Creek, a tributary of the Sabine River, approximately five miles northwest of Quitman, Texas and approximately 70 miles east of Dallas, Texas. Primary water uses included municipal water supply and recreation. Prior to a six-foot reservoir drawdown that began in November 2021 water level has remained within 3.0 feet of conservation pool since 2016. Lake Fork has moderate to high productivity. Habitat features consisted of natural shoreline, submersed and emergent vegetation, standing timber and boat docks.

Management History

Important sport fishes include Largemouth Bass, crappies, and Channel Catfish. The 16- to 24-inch slot-length limit continues to be evaluated through electrofishing surveys, and accesspoint creel surveys. Florida Largemouth Bass were introduced in small reservoirs in the lake basin prior to impoundment and stockings of fingerlings have taken place annually since 1995. Recent efforts to mitigate the loss of fish habitat due to reservoir ageing have included planting buttonbush and several native aquatic species along the lake shoreline. Management of giant salvinia and water hyacinth continues to be a priority

Fish Community

Management Strategies

Continue stocking Florida Largemouth Bass to maintain the potential catch of trophy fish. Collaborate with the Lake Fork Sportsman Association, Sabine River Authority and other partners in ongoing habitat improvement efforts. Work with TPWD Aquatic Habitat Enhancement team and SRA to manage water hyacinth and giant salvinia. Inform Lake Fork anglers about ongoing management and research efforts. Continue managing Largemouth Bass with a 16-to-24-inch protective slot limit.

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

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