Diversion Reservoir - 2012 Survey Report
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Prepared by Tom Lang and Robert Mauk
Inland Fisheries Division
District 2-E, Wichita Falls, Texas
This is the authors' summary from an 18-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish populations in Diversion Reservoir were surveyed in 2013 using gill nets. Historical data are presented for comparison purposes. This report summarizes the results of the survey and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
Diversion Reservoir is a 3,491-acre impoundment located in Archer and Baylor counties on the Wichita River, a tributary of the Red River, approximately 30 miles west of Wichita Falls. It was impounded in 1924 and is jointly owned by the City of Wichita Falls and Wichita County Water Improvement District No. 2 and is operated primarily for irrigation. In February 2009, Diversion and Kemp Reservoir above it began service as a secondary municipal water source for the city of Wichita Falls.
The Waggoner Ranch, based in Vernon, Texas privately owns the land surrounding the reservoir. Vehicle and boat trailer access is through a single tollgate on the northeast side. On January 1, 2009, a $15 per person fee for a three-day pass was instituted. Also on January 1, 2009 annual permit fees were raised from $200 to $500. The reservoir elevation is consistent, varying not more than three feet a year except for 2012-2013 when the reservoir reached 5 feet below normal pool caused by the severe drought and elevation conditions at Kemp reservoir, which feeds Diversion. At this elevation, the lone boat ramp is unusable. Diversion is relatively shallow, with moderately clear water. Protective cover in littoral areas includes standing timber and submersed vegetation as observed during the 2012 habitat survey. During the winter/spring months of 2001-2013 the fishery was adversely affected by toxic golden alga blooms resulting in significant losses of game fish and a reduction in angling opportunity
Historically important sport fish included Channel Catfish, White Bass, Largemouth Bass and White Crappie. Fingerling Florida Largemouth Bass and Channel Catfish were stocked in 2005 in response to golden alga fish kills.
The 2012 electrofishing and trap net surveys could not be conducted because low reservoir elevation made launching a boat impossible. A 2013 gill net survey was completed as scheduled.
- Catfishes: Blue Catfish were not sampled in the 2013 gill net survey. Their population has shown a steady decline in abundance since toxic golden alga first affected the reservoir. Channel Catfish abundance was good being one of the highest catch rates observed for the reservoir. A length range of 18-26 inches was sampled in 2013.
- White bass: No White Bass were sampled during the 2013 gill netting survey, just as in the 2009 survey. It is uncertain what the population status is at present.
Continue monitoring the reservoir for golden alga. Survey the reservoir every four years.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-221-M-3 Inland Fisheries Division Monitoring and Management Program