Waco Reservoir 2019 Survey Report media download(PDF 675.5 KB)

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Waco Reservoir - 2019 Survey Report

Prepared by John E. Tibbs and Michael S. Baird
Inland Fisheries Division – Waco District

This is the authors' summary from a 33-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.

Fish populations in Waco Reservoir were surveyed in 2018 with gill nets and in 2019 with electrofishing and trap nets.  This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.

Reservoir Description

Waco Reservoir is an 8,465-acre impoundment of the North, Middle, and South Bosque Rivers within the Brazos River Basin, McLennan County. Water level was two feet low during the spring 2018 gill net survey, two and a half feet low during the summer 2019 vegetation survey and approximately three feet low during the 2019 electrofishing and trap net surveys Fish habitat at the time of sampling was dominated by natural, rock, and gravel shorelines. Bank and boat access (12 ramps) to the reservoir is abundant.

Management History

Important sport fish include Largemouth Bass, White Bass, Hybrid Striped Bass (HSB), White Crappie, and catfishes. Sport fish have always been managed with statewide regulations, with the exception of Blue Catfish which have been regulated with a 30 to 45-inch slot limit since 2009. The management plan from the 2012 survey report focused on annual monitoring of noxious vegetation, enhancing aquatic habitat with native vegetation, additional monitoring of HSB and addressing potential aquatic invasive species (AIS) threats. Two years later, zebra mussels were found at a single location on the lake, and management efforts have largely concentrated on AIS ever since. Although an alternate stocking regime for HSB was initiated in 2016 to evaluate fry versus fingerling stockings, those efforts were changed to an evaluation of Palmetto vs Sunshine Bass fingerling performance as part of a statewide evaluation. Aquatic habitat enhancement remains a management priority yet has many challenges on Waco Reservoir.

Fish Community

A gill net survey was not conducted in spring 2020 due to the Covid 19 outbreak and associated state shelter-in-place orders.  Spring 2018 gill net data are the most recent data available for these species.

Management Strategies

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

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