Graham Reservoir - 2009 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 37-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish populations in Graham Reservoir were surveyed in 2009 using electrofishing and trap nets and in 2010 using gill nets. A 12-month creel survey was conducted June 2008-May 2009. This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
Graham Reservoir is a 2,396-acre impoundment located on Salt Creek in the Brazos River Basin approximately two miles northwest of Graham. The water level has been within five feet of full pool since January 2006. Graham Reservoir has moderate to high productivity. Habitat features consisted of standing timber, rocks, emergent aquatic vegetation, and abundant flooded brush and trees. There are three public boat ramps and limited bank-fishing access.
Important sport fish include white bass, palmetto bass, largemouth bass, white crappie and catfish. Palmetto bass have been stocked annually since 2004 (with the exception of 2009. Blue catfish were introduced into Graham Reservoir sometime in the late 1990s by unknown sources.
- Prey species: Threadfin shad continued to be present in the reservoir. Electrofishing catch rates of gizzard shad and bluegill were near historical averages. Gizzard shad size structure has continued recent trends towards larger sizes to where only 66% of the population is vulnerable to largemouth predation. Redear sunfish abundance has increased significantly compared to previous surveys.
- Catfishes: Channel catfish abundance was up slightly over the previous two surveys. Blue catfish abundance has greatly expanded since 2002 and should be an excellent resource for anglers. Flathead catfish were present in the reservoir.
- Temperate basses: White bass and palmetto bass were both present in the surveys. The white bass 2010 gill net catch rate was down from previous surveys, but many white bass were on their spawning run and not vulnerable to our nets. Palmetto bass abundance has been steadily increasing in recent years with good body condition.
- Largemouth bass: Although catch rate was below the historical average, it is still higher than other district reservoirs. Catch rate of legal sized bass (14 inches) was half what was found in 2006, but still considered good. Body condition was fair to good.
- Crappie: White crappie abundance and size distribution continued to be good; about one in four adult white crappie collected were 10 inches or longer. Black crappie, which were first sampled in 2005, were sampled in much higher abundance in 2009. They have become well established at Graham and accounted for 25% of the crappie sampled.
Stock palmetto bass every year at a rate of 5-10/acre, depending on prey availability in order to provide a trophy species and large pelagic predator. Gill net and electrofish every other year and trap net every four years.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-30-R-35 Statewide Freshwater Fisheries Monitoring and Management Program