Diversion Reservoir - 2008 Survey Report
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Prepared by Robert Mauk and Mark Howell
Inland Fisheries Division
District 2-E, Wichita Falls, Texas
This is the authors' summary from a 22-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish populations in Diversion Reservoir were surveyed in 2008 using trap netting and electrofishing and in 2009 using gill nets. This report summarizes the results of those surveys and contains a reservoir management plan based on the findings.
Diversion Reservoir is a 3,491-acre impoundment located in Archer (dam) 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 three-day passes was instituted. One or two day passes are no longer offered. 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. Diversion is relatively shallow, with moderately clear water. Protective cover in littoral areas includes standing timber and submersed vegetation as observed during the 2008 habitat survey. During the winter/spring months of 2001-2009 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.
- Prey species:The 2008 gizzard shad catch rate was below average. The electrofishing survey catch rate for sunfishes was low with no bluegill and only a few green and longear sunfish sampled. Bluegill were present in the reservoir as evidenced by their later presence in the 2008 trap net survey. Inland silversides and small carp appeared to be important prey judging by the numbers present and examining the stomach contents of largemouth bass and catfish.
- Catfishes: Blue catfish abundance continued the decline that began in 2001 with the first occurrence of toxic golden alga. However, the fish sampled were in excellent condition and abundant in the lower end of the reservoir. Channel catfish abundance has remained constant since the 2005 gill net survey. A length range of 17-23 inches was sampled in 2009.
- White bass: No white bass were sampled during the year with any sampling gear. It is uncertain what the population status actually is at present.
- Largemouth bass: Largemouth bass abundance as measured by catch rate had increased compared to the 2004 survey. Lengths ranged from 5 -10 inches with all bass sampled being of the 2008 year class. This is encouraging news since this means that in 2008 largemouth bass naturally spawned in the reservoir.
- White crappie: The catch rate for this species more than doubled from the 2006 trap net survey. However, crappie abundance was still down from historical numbers and no legal size fish were sampled. Body condition was excellent.
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-30-R-34 Statewide Freshwater Fisheries Monitoring and Management Program