Toledo Bend 2019 Survey Report media download(PDF 1.3 MB)

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Toledo Bend Reservoir - 2019 Survey Report

Prepared by Todd Driscoll and Dan Ashe
Inland Fisheries Division – Jasper District

This is the authors' summary from a 44-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.

Fish populations in Toledo Bend Reservoir were surveyed in 2019 using electrofishing, and in 2020 using gill netting and electrofishing. Anglers were surveyed from June 2019 through May 2020 with a creel survey. Historical data are presented with the 2019-2020 data for comparison. This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan for the Texas side of the reservoir based on those findings.

Reservoir Description

Toledo Bend Reservoir is a 181,600-acre (70,469 acres in Texas) impoundment of the Sabine River in Newton, Sabine, and Shelby counties in southeast Texas. Water level fluctuations average 3 feet annually, but in 2019 the reservoir was lowered 7 feet below full pool for spillway repairs. Historically, aquatic habitat consisted of over 10,000 surface acres of aquatic vegetation (primarily hydrilla and American lotus) but coverage has declined considerably in recent years. The primary aquatic habitat is standing timber.

Management History

Historically, the black bass fishery has been the most popular at Toledo Bend Reservoir, accounting for 65 to 85% of annual angling effort. Approximately 10 to 20% of anglers target crappie. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) has stocked Florida Largemouth Bass (FLMB) annually since 1990 (except 2006 and 2014) to increase abundance of bass > 8 pounds. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) also stocks FLMB annually. Joint efforts with LDWF have resulted in standardization of all recreational harvest regulations. In 1998, giant salvinia was discovered in Toledo Bend Reservoir. In 2013, plant coverage reached the historic high (9,314 acres) and impeded angler access. Since then, water level fluctuations coupled with increased herbicide treatments of commercial and TPWD applicators have resulted in extensive reductions in coverage during most years.

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-221-M-6 Inland Fisheries Division Monitoring and Management Program