Buffalo Springs Reservoir - 2008 Survey Report
For assistance with accessibility on any TPWD documents, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Prepared by Charles Munger and John Clayton
Inland Fisheries Division
District 1-A, Canyon, Texas
This is the authors' summary from a 19-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish populations in Buffalo Springs Reservoir were surveyed in the fall of 2008 using trap nets and electrofishing and the spring of 2009 using gill nets. This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
Buffalo Springs is a 225-acre reservoir that was impounded in 1960 on Yellowhouse Draw, a tributary of the North Fork of the Double Mountain Fork of the Brazos River, located 5 miles southeast of Lubbock, Texas. It is owned by the Lubbock County Water Control and Improvement District Number 1 and used for recreational purposes. Water levels are stable and nutrient levels are extremely high. A large portion of the fish habitat was cattail. Bank and boat access was good and handicap specific facilities were good. The reservoir has experienced Prymnesium parvum (golden algae) kills beginning in 2003 which had a major impact on the fisheries.
The sport fisheries have been managed with statewide regulations. Intensive striped bass stocking was used to manage an overabundant gizzard shad population with good success. The reservoir historically had a high quality largemouth bass fishery.
- Prey species: The electrofishing catch rate for gizzard shad in 2008 was 310.0/h with an index of vulnerability (IOV) of 91 indicating the majority of the population was less than 8 inches in length and available to most predators. The electrofishing catch rate for bluegill in 2008 was 39.0/h. The population was dominated by fish 4 inches or smaller.
- Catfishes: Blue catfish were stocked in 2003 and 2007 following the P. parvum fish kills. None have been collected in gill nets since 2001. No channel catfish were collected in gill nets in 2009. This is much lower than historic samples and was likely due to repeated P. parvum fish kills.
- Temperate bass: There were no white bass caught in gill nets since 2001 when the catch rate was 3.6/nn. The gill net catch rate for striped bass was 0.4/nn in 2009 and was much lower than previous samples. All fish collected appeared to be from the 2008 stocking.
- Largemouth bass: The 2008 electrofishing catch rate for largemouth bass was 10.0/h, similar to the 2006 catch rate of 7.0/h. Size structure was poor.
- White crappie: The trap net catch rate for white crappie was 8.2/nn in 2008 and the population appeared to be recovering from repeated fish kills. Only one legal-size fish was collected in trap net surveys.
Based on current information, the reservoir should continue to be managed with existing regulations. Redbreast sunfish adults should be obtained from another source and stocked in an attempt to reestablish this quality population. Continue stocking striped bass to help maintain control of the gizzard shad population. Striped bass should be stocked on an alternating basis at a rate of 15/acre and 40/acre in two consecutive years and then have two years of no stocking based on protocols used during the research project by Schramm, et al. (2000). The reservoir should be monitored for P. parvum and associated fish kills. Mitigation of kills by stocking should be conducted as soon as practical.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-30-R-34 Statewide Freshwater Fisheries Monitoring and Management Program