Palo Pinto Reservoir - 2007 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 21-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish populations in Palo Pinto Reservoir were surveyed with trap nets and electrofishing in 2007 and with gill nets in 2008. This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
Palo Pinto Reservoir is a 2,399-acre impoundment located in Palo Pinto County on Palo Pinto Creek in the Brazos River Basin approximately 79 miles southwest of Fort Worth. It was constructed in 1964 to provide municipal water for Mineral Wells, Texas and cooling water for the Brazos Electric power plant. It has a primarily rocky shoreline with boat docks. At the time of the 2007 habitat survey, the reservoir was 0.5 feet below spillway elevation and a large amount of flooded terrestrial vegetation was documented. Boat access is adequate at the three improved public boat ramp sites. Periodic turbidity, fluctuating water levels and a rocky shoreline inhibit the growth of aquatic vegetation.
Important sport fish include channel catfish, white bass, palmetto bass, largemouth bass, and white crappie. Palo Pinto has always been managed using statewide regulations.
- Prey species: Gizzard shad catch rate was near the historical average for the reservoir indicating adequate forage for game fish. The catch per unit effort (CPUE) for bluegill was much higher than previous surveys.
- Catfishes: Blue catfish were first stocked in 2007 and were not sampled during the 2008 gill net survey which was expected since they likely had not recruited to the sampling gear. The gill net survey for the channel catfish resulted in a catch rate identical to the 2006 survey and the historical average. All channel catfish sampled were of legal size and were in good body condition. Flathead catfish exist in the reservoir, but none were sampled in 2008.
- White bass: White bass CPUE was near the historical average, but was down from 2006 when the highest catch rate ever was measured. There was noticeable improvement in the body condition of the white bass sampled compared to the past.
- Palmetto bass: Two palmetto bass were sampled in 2008 compared to 2006 when twenty palmetto bass were surveyed although the 2008 fish were bigger than any caught in 2006. Palmetto bass were first stocked during 2002 and have been stocked every other year at the stocking rate of five per acre.
- Largemouth bass: Largemouth bass CPUE was near the historical average for the reservoir. Bass body condition was considered good and had improved over the last two electrofishing surveys. A large number of young-of-the year bass were sampled which bodes well for the future. The number of legal size bass sampled has increased since the last survey. Florida largemouth bass alleles for the 2007 year class were low.
- White crappie: The 2007 CPUE was higher than the previous two surveys in 1999 and 2003. The majority of the crappie sampled were young-of the-year indicating natural reproduction continues to be good.
- Stock Florida largemouth bass at a rate of 50/acre in 2008 to increase Florida allele percentage in the bass population.
- Stock blue catfish at a rate of 50/acre in 2008 to complete the species introduction to the reservoir.
- Begin stocking palmetto bass every year at five per acre.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-30-R-33 Statewide Freshwater Fisheries Monitoring and Management Program