Wheeler Branch Reservoir 2021 Survey Report media download(PDF 452.3 KB)

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Wheeler Branch Reservoir - 2021 Survey Report

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

This is the authors' summary from a 23-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.

Fish populations in Wheeler Branch Reservoir were surveyed in 2021 using electrofishing and in 2020 and 2022 using gill netting. Historical data are presented with the 2020-2022 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

Wheeler Branch Reservoir is a 180-acre impoundment located within the Paluxy River system in Somervell County, Texas. Maximum depth is 85 feet. Water level is maintained by pumping water from the Paluxy River during periods of high flow. Wheeler Branch Reservoir is an oligotrophic reservoir with water transparencies typically ranging from 10 to 15 feet. Natural habitat features consist of flooded cedars and aquatic vegetation around the periphery, flooded standing timber in deeper water, brush piles, rock piles and ledges.

Management History

Since the reservoir’s opening, Wheeler Branch has been sampled extensively with electrofishing and gill netting, and a year-long angler creel survey was conducted from June 2013 through May 2014. Also in 2013, a public relations campaign began within the district to inform and educate constituents about aquatic invasive species (AIS), in order to prevent their spread into Wheeler Branch Reservoir. Somervell County employees were trained on AIS, and how to inspect boats and trailers entering the reservoir. Recent management efforts include attempting to improve the stocking success of Walleye and Smallmouth Bass, monitoring Channel Catfish abundance, maintaining AIS signage at access points, and including AIS speaking points during conversations and presentations with constituents.

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-3 Statewide Freshwater Fisheries Monitoring and Management Program

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