Fish population of Alamo Lake doing well despite extremely low water level
The Arizona Game and Fish Department completed the annual fall electrofishing trend survey of Alamo Lake in December, 2016. This was a unique year because the elevation of the lake was 1078 feet MSL during the survey which is 51 feet below full pool elevation of 1,129.00 feet MSL!
These annual surveys are performed to gather data on relative abundance, size, and growth of fish in the lake, and to detect any large scale changes in the fish population. All of the fish were collected, weighed, measured, and released unharmed. A total of 2,891 were captured in sixteen survey stations, of which 255 were Largemouth Bass. The largest Largemouth Bass sampled in 2016 was 19.9 inches and 4.6 pounds. Forage fish (Threadfin Shad, Blue Tilapia, and Bluegill) comprised 89 percent of the total catch and should provide abundant food for the sportfish of Alamo Lake.
Despite some of the lowest water levels since Alamo Lake was constructed in 1968, the fish population is doing well. The physical condition of Largemouth Bass in Alamo Lake appears to have improved in the last several years, which corresponds to visual observations and perception of increased numbers of forage fish. A large number of young of year and age-1 Largemouth Bass were captured in the 2016 survey; hopefully these fish will work their way through the population and provide a bright future for the Alamo Lake Largemouth Bass fishery!