Buffalo Creek Reservoir - 2010 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 26-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish populations in Buffalo Creek Reservoir were surveyed in 2010 using trap nets and electrofishing and in 2011 using gill nets. A nine month creel survey was conducted from June–Nov 2009 and March–May 2010. This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
Buffalo Creek Reservoir is a 1,577-acre impoundment located on the North Fork of Buffalo Creek in the Red River Basin approximately 20 miles west of Wichita Falls. It has a primarily rocky shoreline with flooded terrestrial habitat. Aquatic vegetation has recently become established. Buffalo Creek water can be turbid at times.
Important sport fish include largemouth bass, white crappie, and catfish. Northern largemouth bass were stocked in 2005 and 2006. Florida largemouth bass were stocked in 2008 and channel catfish were stocked in 2005. The stockings were in response to extended periods of low water in previous years that adversely impacted fish populations. Buffalo Creek has always been managed with statewide regulations.
- Prey species: The gizzard shad catch rate was below the historical average and consisted of a large portion (43%) of individuals that were too large for largemouth bass to consume. Total catch rate (CPUE) for bluegill was near the historical average.
- Catfishes: Blue catfish CPUE doubled over the two previous surveys, though most were below the 12-inch minimum length limit. Channel catfish CPUE had greatly increased, but like the blue catfish CPUE consisted mainly of sub-legal fish. Flathead catfish were present in low density.
- Largemouth bass: Largemouth bass had the second highest electrofishing catch rate ever recorded for the reservoir, with many bass sampled over the minimum length limit. Body condition was average.
- White crappie: The catch rate decreased from the 2006 trap net survey, but was higher than the reservoir’s historical catch rate. However, the 2006 sample consisted mostly of smaller crappie six inches or less in length. The size structure improved in 2010, with larger specimens ≥14 inches in length observed in the survey. During the creel survey, crappie up to 16 inches were measured. Crappie growth was above the regional average.
Conduct general monitoring with trap netting, gill netting, and electrofishing surveys in 2014-2015. Continue habitat improvement along the dam by annually placing brush piles and half-felling trees beside the dam.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-221-M-1 Statewide Freshwater Fisheries Monitoring and Management Program