Lake Arrowhead - 2007 Survey Report
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Prepared by Mark Howell and Robert Mauk
Inland Fisheries Division
District 2-E, Wichita Falls, Texas
This is the authors' summary from a 32-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish populations in Arrowhead Reservoir were surveyed in 2007 using trap nets and electrofishing, in 2008 using gill nets and from June 2007 – May 2008 with a creel survey. This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
Arrowhead Reservoir is a 14,969-acre impoundment located on the Little Wichita River in Archer and Clay counties approximately 15 miles southeast of Wichita Falls. At time of sampling, the water elevation was near full capacity with the shoreline habitat consisting mainly of flooded terrestrial vegetation. Aquatic vegetation was present in beneficial amounts. The reservoir elevation exceeded the spillway for the first time in 11 years during July 2007 and has been fluctuating between 2 to 12 feet below spillway elevation during the last four years. The dam is located in Clay County and the reservoir is owned and operated by the City of Wichita Falls as a municipal and industrial water supply. Arrowhead has a shoreline length of 106 miles and a drainage basin of 832 square miles. Boat access is normally good at the six improved public ramp sites. Public access includes 524-acre Lake Arrowhead State Park located on the northwest side near the dam. Bank access is adequate, but the only improved handicapped access is at the state park. Some standing timber remains in the upper reservoir and backs of coves.
Important sport fish include catfish, white bass, largemouth bass, and white crappie. Arrowhead is managed under statewide regulations.
- Prey species: Gizzard shad catch rate was the highest ever recorded for the reservoir. Threadfin shad were also collected indicating plentiful forage for game fish. The catch per unit effort (CPUE) for bluegill was also high.
- Catfishes: During the 2008 gill net survey, blue catfish had a higher gill net CPUE than channel catfish. In fact, the 2008 blue catfish CPUE was higher than it had ever been at Arrowhead. The gill net survey for channel catfish showed an increase in relative abundance from the 2004 survey, especially for sub-legal fish. Flathead catfish persist in the reservoir with the CPUE increasing from previous surveys.
- White bass: White bass CPUE was low compared to previous surveys but was probably more a function of the timing of the sampling as opposed to an actual decline in abundance. Evidence of relatively high white bass abundance was observed during the 12-month creel survey. Growth rates remained above ecological region averages.
- Largemouth bass: The 2007 electrofishing survey for largemouth bass had the highest catch rate ever recorded at Arrowhead. High water elevations helped increase littoral habitat which led to good natural reproduction. Florida bass stockings during 2005 and 2006 when the reservoir elevation was on the rise also accounted for a good number of sampled fish. Growth rates were above reservoir historical averages.
- White crappie: The 2007 CPUE was higher than the two previous trap net surveys. Recruitment continues to be good with adequate abundance of legal-size fish. Legal size crappie were all above average in body condition. Growth was improved and well above average with crappie taking less than three years to reach legal size.
Populations of catfish, white bass, largemouth bass, and white crappie are in good shape and should be widely promoted for anglers to enjoy.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-30-R-33 Statewide Freshwater Fisheries Monitoring and Management Program