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Diversion Reservoir - 2004 Survey Report

Prepared by Robert Mauk and Mark Howell
Inland Fisheries Division
District 2-E, Wichita Falls, Texas

This is the authors' summary from a 29-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.

Diversion was surveyed in 2004-05 using electrofishing, trap netting, and gill netting. The reservoir was surveyed using stratified random sites. The 2004-05 CPUE comparisons made in this summary are compared with the results of Diversion historical averages for the period 1997-2004. A survey of the littoral zone and associated physical habitat types was conducted in 2004 by examining the entire shoreline. A creel survey was conducted from June-November 2002. This report summarizes all survey results and contains a management plan based on the findings.

Reservoir Description

Diversion is a 3,491-acre reservoir located in Archer (dam) and Baylor counties, and was built in 1924. The reservoir is jointly owned by the City of Wichita Falls and Wichita County Water Improvement District No. 2 and is operated primarily for irrigation purposes. It has also been used as an emergency supplemental water source for the city of Wichita Falls. This municipal use is rare since the water is relatively high in salinity and total dissolved solids (TDS). 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 where a $5 daily access fee per vehicle is charged. This is a reduction from the $20 daily access fee per vehicle that had been previously charged until January 1, 2004. Annual permits can be obtained for $200.

Diversion is an impoundment of the Wichita River approximately 20 miles below Kemp Reservoir. Controlled releases from Kemp are used to maintain nearly constant water levels at Diversion. This results in reservoir fluctuations of not more than 2 feet a year. The reservoir has a 234 square mile drainage area, which flows through rolling plains and grasslands. Erosion of Permian outcroppings in the watershed and salt springs result in high concentrations of dissolved salts in the reservoir. Diversion is relatively shallow, with moderately clear water and a basic pH. It has a shoreline length of 28 miles, mean depth of 12 feet, and a maximum depth of 35 feet. Protective cover in littoral areas includes standing timber and over 900 acres of submersed vegetation as observed during the 2004 habitat survey.

Diversion serves as the water supply for the Dundee State Fish Hatchery. On March 16, 2001 a heavy bloom of the toxic golden alga Prymnesium parvum was confirmed in the lower part of the lake. A fish kill occurred at this time but had little impact to the fishery. However, fish hatchery operations were impacted and significant mortalities occurred. During the early months of 2003, 2004, and 2005 the fishery was adversely affected by toxic golden alga blooms and fish kills throughout the reservoir resulting in significant losses of some game fish and a reduction in angling activity.

Fish Community

Management Strategies

Based on current information, the reservoir should be managed with current regulations. Golden alga blooms should be monitored utilizing Dundee fish hatchery incoming water cell counts as an early indicator of possible problems. Perform additional electrofishing (October 2006), trap netting, (November 2006) and gill netting surveys (March 2007) to monitor fish populations. Request 2005 stockings of largemouth bass and channel catfish fingerlings. Conduct a public meeting in 2005 to inform the public of current status of the fishery and future management plans. Because of the persistent golden alga problems and limited success, the walleye stocking program has been discontinued.

Sport Fish Restoration Logo

Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-30-R-30 Statewide Freshwater Fisheries Monitoring and Management Program



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