Kirby Reservoir - 2005 Survey Report
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Prepared by Spencer Dumont and Mukhtar Farooqi
Inland Fisheries Division
District 1-B, Abilene, 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 Kirby Reservoir were surveyed in 2005 using electrofishing and trap nets, in 2006 using gill nets, and in 2005 and 2006 using hoop nets. Anglers were surveyed from March through August 2003 and 2004 with a recreational fishing survey (creel survey). This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
Kirby Reservoir is a 740-acre impoundment located within the city limits of Abilene on Cedar Creek in the Brazos River Basin. Water level has been within three feet of spillway elevation since July 2002. The reservoir was completely dry in early fall 2000. Treated reuse water has been pumped into the reservoir since September 2001 to maintain water level. Habitat features consisted of bulrush, rocks, brush, and mud flats. Two boat ramps and one fishing pier were available to anglers, and bank-fishing access was excellent.
Saugeye have been stocked annually since 2001 (excluding 2003) to provide an additional sport fish. District staff have maintained contact with city officials and encouraged them to maintain a high and stable water level at Kirby Reservoir. The reservoir went completely dry in fall 2000. Forage and sport fish were re-introduced as the reservoir refilled.
- Prey species: Prey species consisted of threadfin shad, gizzard shad, inland silversides, and bluegill. Enough prey fish were available to support quality sport fish populations.
- Catfishes: A quality blue catfish population has been established and reproduction has occurred. Channel catfish have also reproduced, and smaller channel catfish are becoming more abundant. Harvest of channel catfish was high prior to 2005.
- Largemouth bass: Numbers of largemouth bass were low, but size range of fish available to anglers was good. These fish were plump and had significant Florida largemouth bass genetic influence. Angling effort for largemouth bass, after the reservoir refilled, was first documented in 2003 and nearly tripled in 2004.
- White crappie: Growth of white crappie has been extremely fast. Anecdotal evidence suggested that angler catch of crappie in 2005 was exceptional. Numbers of small crappie were well below desired levels in 2004 and 2005, which could negatively impact crappie fishing in coming years.
- Saugeye: An outstanding saugeye population has developed, enough so to support a quality fishery.
- Monitor white crappie population annually.
- Stock saugeye annually and inform anglers about availability of quality saugeye population.
- Increase habitat with placement of artificial habitat structures.
- Survey largemouth bass, forage, catfish, and saugeye populations every other year.
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