Kickapoo Reservoir - 2009 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 at Kickapoo Reservoir were surveyed in 2009 using trap nets and electrofishing and in 2010 using gill nets. This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan based on those findings.
Kickapoo Reservoir is a 6,028-acre impoundment located on the Little Wichita River in the Red River Basin approximately 30 miles west of Wichita Falls. It has a primarily rocky shoreline with flooded terrestrial habitat. The reservoir was within 10 feet of conservation pool (1,045 msl) from January of 2006 through March 2010. Kickapoo water quality is considered good for municipal use, but tends to be turbid from surrounding clay soils.
Important sport fish include catfish, white bass, largemouth bass and white crappie. The 2006 management plan recommended maintaining the genetic integrity of the existing pure northern strain largemouth bass population as a defined source for Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) hatchery brood stock program. The reservoir is popular for its white crappie population. Kickapoo has always been managed with statewide regulations.
- Prey species: Gizzard shad catch rate was slightly below average for the reservoir but was still considered as an abundant prey base for game fish. The catch per unit effort (CPUE) for bluegill was lower than previous surveys.
- Catfishes: Blue catfish were well represented in the 2010 gill net survey, but CPUE was down slightly from 2006. The 2010 gill net survey did not collect any channel catfish and only one was caught during the 2006 survey. There is still an extant population as evidenced by capture in trap nets and by the 2006 creel survey. Flathead catfish also observed during the 2010 gill net survey.
- White bass: Few white bass were sampled in 2010, but the catch rate was up compared to the 2006 survey. It is believed that the white bass were on their spawning run so were not very vulnerable during the gill net survey.
- Largemouth bass: Largemouth bass had a slightly higher electrofishing catch rate than the 2005 survey, but were still below the historical average. The reservoir had recently been at a low elevation and adequate habitat for spawning and nursery areas was lacking. Genetic analysis in 2009 again showed that only northern strain largemouth bass were present and that no Florida largemouth influence has been observed.
- White crappie: The 2009 trap net CPUE was higher than the 2005 survey and was near the historical average for the reservoir. Natural reproduction continued to be good with an adequate abundance of legal-size fish >10 inches. The majority of legal sized crappie were located in the lower half of the reservoir while sublegal crappie dominated the upper portion. Crappie growth was below the regional average until age 2, at which point it became average to above average.
- Maintain the genetic integrity of the existing largemouth bass population as a pure northern strain population by not introducing any Florida strain largemouth bass. Continue conducting electrophoretic testing every four years when largemouth bass are collected.
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