Sam Rayburn Reservoir 2008 Survey Report media download(PDF 759.4 KB)

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Sam Rayburn Reservoir - 2008 Survey Report

Prepared by Todd Driscoll and Dan Ashe
Inland Fisheries Division
District 3-D, Jasper, Texas

This is the authors' summary from a 37-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.

Fish populations in Sam Rayburn Reservoir were surveyed in 2008 using electrofishing and in 2009 using gill netting. Anglers were surveyed from June 2008 through May 2009 with a creel survey. This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir.

Reservoir Description

Sam Rayburn Reservoir is an 111,422-acre impoundment of the Angelina River in Jasper, Tyler, Angelina, Nacogdoches, San Augustine, and Sabine counties in southeast Texas. Water level fluctuations average 6.7 feet annually. Aquatic habitat
consisted of aquatic vegetation (primarily hydrilla and American lotus) and standing timber.

Management History

The black bass fishery is the most popular at Sam Rayburn Reservoir (65 - 80% of annual angling effort, which includes over 400 bass tournaments per year). Approximately 10 - 20% of anglers target crappie and 4 - 8% target catfish. Angler interest in more restrictive length limits for largemouth bass and potential biological and economic impacts of bass tournaments prompted research in 2004 - 2009. Results indicated that the proportion of the largemouth bass population harvested was relatively low (9%) and more restrictive length limits would provide little benefit. In addition, impacts of tournaments on the largemouth bass population were low (only 5% of population retained by tournament anglers) but tournament expenditures were high (73% of total). Florida largemouth bass (FLMB) have been stocked annually since 1994 to increase abundance of large bass (>8 pounds). In 2008, giant salvinia was found in the reservoir. Numerous introductions via boat trailers have occurred. Most plants have been removed, but giant salvinia persists in two locations (<5 total acres) and additional spread is likely.

Fish Community

Management Strategies

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Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-30-R-34 Statewide Freshwater Fisheries Monitoring and Management Program