McClellan Reservoir - 2009 Survey Report
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Prepared by Charles Munger and John Clayton
Inland Fisheries Division
District 1-A, Canyon, Texas
This is the authors' summary from a 16-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish populations in McClellan 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.
McClellan Reservoir is a 405-acre reservoir located 64 miles east of Amarillo, Texas, on McClellan Creek in the Red River Basin. It is owned and operated by the United States Forest Service as part of the Black Kettle National Grassland and is used for recreational purposes. No water level data is recorded for the reservoir, but it has a history of extreme water level fluctuations. Extensive excavation was done within the basin in 2001 and 2002 to allow for better water retention. The reservoir was approximately 200 acres in 2009. Rains in spring 2010 filled the basin to capacity. Boat access consisted of two public boat ramps. The shoreline is 100% accessible to bank anglers. There are no handicap-specific facilities. Primary habitat was mud bank and cobble.
Important sport fish included white crappie and catfish. The US Forest Service did extensive excavation within the basin in 2001 and 2002 with the goal of improved water retention. The reservoir is managed with statewide regulations and stocked with channel catfish and largemouth bass when water conditions permited. Saugeye were stocked in the reservoir to help manage an overabundant crappie population.
- Prey species: No gizzard shad were collected in 2009 but catch rate of bluegill was high. None of the bluegill were larger than 4 inches.
- Catfishes: Five blue catfish and 17 channel catfish were collected in 2010 and most were ≤12 inches.
- Black basses: Only three largemouth bass were collected in 2009 and all were < 8 inches. These fish may be surviving offspring from stock tanks within the watershed.
- Crappie: Trap net catch rates for white crappie were extremely high but all fish collected were less than 5 inches.
- Saugeye: No saugeye were collected in any gear in 2009 or 2010. Saugeye were stocked in 2008; but likely did not survive the extreme low water levels.
Based on current information, and due to extreme water level fluctuations, the reservoir should continue to be managed with existing regulations. The focus will be on providing a catfish fishery in the next few years, if water levels allow for continued survival. Blue and channel catfish, largemouth bass and bluegill will be requested and stocked as available and as water levels permit. Saugeye were stocked in 2010 to address the overpopulation of white crappie. Black bullhead are overabundant in the reservoir. An attempt will be made to collect and stock blue catfish and flathead catfish to help manage this problem.
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