Palo Duro Reservoir - 2010 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 22-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish Populations in Palo Duro Reservoir were surveyed in 2010 with electrofishing and trap nets and 2011 with gill nets. This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
Palo Duro Reservoir is a 2,413-acre (current pool is approximately 815 acres) impoundment on Palo Duro Creek approximately 13 miles north of Spearman in Hansford County, Texas. The reservoir is owned and operated by the Palo Duro River Authority for municipal water supply. Water levels declined from 2000 until July, 2010 when a single storm resulted in a 46 foot water level rise. The reservoir has since lost about 15 feet of elevation. The reservoir has two boat ramps which are currently out of the water. One temporary launch site is in place. There are no handicap-specific facilities.
Important sport fish include white bass, white crappie, and blue catfish. White crappie have a history of overabundance in the system and poor growth. Walleye stocking was attempted to mitigate the crappie problem. Florida largemouth bass were stocked in 1991 and 1993.
- Prey species: Electrofishing catch of gizzard shad was very high with good availability as prey to most sport fish. No bluegills were caught by electrofishing in 2010.
- Catfishes: Blue catfish were abundant in the reservoir and provide a quality fishery. Channel catfish abundance has declined during the low water conditions.
- White bass: White bass were collected in gill nets for the first time in 2005 and have increased in abundance. White bass were introduced from an unknown source.
- Largemouth bass: No largemouth bass were collected by electrofishing in 2010. Their abundance has historically been low.
- White crappie: White crappie were abundant in the reservoir, but there were few legal-size fish.
- Walleye: No walleye were collected by any method in 2010 or 2011. Natural recruitment in the reservoir has been limited.
- Continue stocking program for walleye to establish a population.
- Conduct electrofishing survey in 2012, gill net survey in 2013, and general monitoring with trap nets, gill nets, and electrofishing surveys in 2014-2015.
- Conduct habitat surveys in 2012.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-221-M-1 Statewide Freshwater Fisheries Monitoring and Management Program