Kemp Reservoir - 2005 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 29-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish populations in Kemp Reservoir were surveyed in 2004 using trap nets, in 2005 using electrofishing and in 2006 using gill nets. This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
Kemp Reservoir is a 15,104-acre impoundment located on Wichita River in the Red River Basin approximately 50 miles west of Wichita Falls. It has a primarily rocky shoreline with some submerged aquatic and flooded terrestrial habitat. The reservoir was within 5 feet of conservation pool (1,147.1) from January of 2005 through January 2006. Kemp water quality is somewhat saline and highly conductive. It has had annual golden alga blooms since 2002 that have had a severe adverse affect on fish populations.
Historically important sport fish include striped bass, white bass, largemouth bass, white crappie, and catfish. The 2001 management plan recommended stocking striped bass annually at the rate of 5 to 10 per acre depending on prey availability. Striped bass were stocked in 2002 at a rate of 7.7 fish/acre, in 2004 at 2.5 fish/acre and in 2005 at 9.9 fish/acre. In 2005, Florida largemouth bass fingerlings were stocked at the rate of 12.9 per acre and channel catfish at the rate of 19.1 per acre in response to golden alga mortality in previous years. Kemp has always been managed with statewide regulations.
- Prey species: The gizzard shad survey catch rate was slightly below average for the reservoir and the index of vulnerability (IOV) was very high indicating adequate forage for game fish. The CPUE for bluegill and other sunfishes was relatively low.
- Catfishes: Blue catfish were well represented in the gill net survey of 2004, but were not sampled in the 2005 or 2006 surveys. However, anglers were observed harvesting blue catfish later in those years. The channel catfish population continued to show low abundance after the golden alga related mortalities that have occurred since 2002. Flathead catfish were last sampled during the May 2004 gill net survey.
- Temperate basses: White bass and striped bass were present, but few white bass were sampled in 2006 and none were sampled in 2005. However, the fall 2004 trap net sample had high numbers of young white bass indicating excellent reproduction during that year. In 2006, only the 2005 year class of striped bass was sampled.
- Black bass: Historically, spotted bass were the most abundant bass species, but they’ve rarely been documented since golden alga blooms began in 2002. In 2005, largemouth bass had the highest electrofishing catch rate recorded for the reservoir, but all of the fish sampled were less than 11 inches. Florida bass influence was high as expected since the reservoir was stocked during spring 2005. However, pure Florida largemouth bass did not make up 100% of the genetic sample which indicated there are still resident largemouth bass that have survived the alga blooms and are reproducing.
- White crappie: Only 2 fish were sampled during the 2004 survey. While never showing high relative abundance during past trap net surveys, the 2004 catch was extremely low indicating the population has been negatively impacted by golden alga.
- Discontinue stocking of striped bass until annual golden alga blooms cease.
- Consider management stocking of white crappie if annual golden alga blooms cease by collecting from other lakes and transporting to Kemp.
- Conduct general monitoring with trap nets, gill nets, and electrofishing surveys in 2009-2010.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-30-R-31 Statewide Freshwater Fisheries Monitoring and Management Program