Fort Phantom Hill Reservoir 2019 Survey Report media download(PDF 1 MB)

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Fort Phantom Hill Reservoir - 2019 Survey Report

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

This is the authors' summary from a 36-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.

Fish populations were surveyed in fall 2017 and fall 2019 with electrofishing and trap netting in 2016-2018  and by low frequency electrofishing in summer 2017. Historical data are presented with the 2016-2020 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

Fort Phantom Hill Reservoir is a 4,246-acre impoundment constructed on Elm Creek about 15 miles north of Abilene, Texas. It is located in the Brazos River Basin and is primarily used for municipal water supply and recreation. The power plant was closed in 2012. Installation of a breakwater structure was completed in 2012 to reduce wave-action at the main boat ramp, and extension of the boat dock and two boat-ramp lanes was completed in 2012. In 2014, an effluent water discharge system was installed on the central eastern side of the reservoir for water reuse. Water level increased to over conservation pool multiple times during 2016 and 2017. In 2018, water level dropped nearly five feet, but fall 2018 rains and consistent rains in 2019 and winter 2020 kept it to nearly full pool by spring 2020.

Management History

Important sport fish include White Crappie, Hybrid Striped Bass, Largemouth Bass, and catfishes. White Bass are also present and are often targeted with Hybrid Striped Bass. Walleye were stocked 10 times from 1973 to 1995 before requests were discontinued because of poor recruitment and failure to establish a popular fishery. Blue Catfish were introduced in 1974. An 18-inch minimum length limit on Blue Catfish existed from 1993 to 1999 before reverting to the statewide regulation. Threadfin Shad were introduced in 1984. Florida Largemouth Bass were introduced in 1976 and have been stocked 11 times from 1976 to 2017. A 16-inch minimum length limit on Largemouth Bass, in effect from 1994 to 2012, was changed to the statewide 14-inch minimum length limit on September 1, 2012. Since 1977, Palmetto Bass were stocked nearly annually until 2014. Sunshine Bass were introduced in 2014. Palmetto Bass were also stocked in 2014. Sunshine Bass were stocked again in 2015 and 2016, whereas both hybrid types were stocked from 2017-2019.

Fish Community

Management Strategies

Continue to stock Hybrid Striped Bass and evaluate growth between Palmetto and Sunshine Bass. Work with City of Abilene to improve angler access. Continue biennial trap netting surveys to monitor trends of White Crappie relative abundance. Educate public about invasive species threats.

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