Kemp Reservoir - 2009 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 28-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish populations in Kemp Reservoir were surveyed in 2009 using electrofishing and trap nets and in 2010 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 the 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 elevation has fluctuated greatly the last 4 years from 3 feet above conservation pool (1,144.0) to 9 feet below. Kemp water quality is somewhat saline and highly conductive. It has had annual golden alga blooms since 2002 that have had an adverse effect on the fish populations.
Historically important sport fish include striped bass, white bass, largemouth bass, white crappie, and catfish. Golden alga fish kills began in 2002 and have continued annually since. In response, striped bass were stocked in 2002, 2004, and 2005 with no apparent recruitment to the fishery. Excess fry from state hatcheries were stocked in 2009. In 2005, Florida largemouth bass fingerlings were stocked but not a single largemouth bass was sampled in 2009. Channel catfish were stocked in 2005 and 2009. Blue catfish were stocked in 2002. Kemp has always been managed with statewide regulations.
- Prey species: The gizzard shad survey catch rate was the highest ever documented and the index of vulnerability (IOV) was quite high indicating adequate forage for game fish. The CPUE for bluegill and other sunfishes was relatively low as it has been for all electrofishing surveys conducted since golden alga was documented in 2002.
- Catfishes: Blue catfish have not been collected since the 2004 gill net survey. Only one channel catfish has been observed in gill nets since 2004. However, several channel catfish were caught during the 2009 trap net survey and two stockings have occurred since 2005. Flathead catfish were last observed during the May 2004 gill net survey.
- Temperate basses: No white bass and striped bass were caught during the 2010 gill net survey although white bass were caught in trap nets in 2009. White bass have historically done well at the reservoir, despite the annual golden alga problems. Striped bass have not fared as well.
- Black bass: Historically, spotted bass were the most abundant bass species, but their presence has not been documented since golden alga blooms began in 2002. In 2009, no largemouth bass were sampled during the electrofishing survey. Largemouth bass were stocked in May 2005 and the survey in October 2005 documented the highest electrofishing catch rate recorded for the reservoir with many young of the year present. Anglers reported catching several sublegal bass during 2008.
- White crappie: Only two fish were collected during the 2009 survey. While never showing high relative abundance during past trap net surveys, the 2009 catch rate was extremely low and matched the 2004 catch rate indicating the population has been negatively impacted by golden alga. During the last two surveys, all crappie collected came from the upper reservoir.
- Supplementally stock only if surplus fish are available from state hatcheries or if golden alga fish kills cease.
- Conduct an additional Fall gill netting survey in 2010 since Spring surveys coincide with golden alga blooms.
- Conduct general monitoring with trap nets, gill nets and electrofishing surveys in 2013-2014.
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