Ray Hubbard Reservoir - 2004 Survey Report
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Prepared by Thomas Hungerford and Raphael Brock
Inland Fisheries Division
District 2-D, Fort Worth, Texas
This is the authors' summary from a 36-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Ray Hubbard Reservoir was surveyed in 2004 using electrofishing and trap nets, and in 2003 and 2005 using gill nets. An annual creel survey was conducted from June 1, 2004 through May 31, 2005. This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
Ray Hubbard Reservoir is a 22,745-acre impoundment constructed on the East Fork of the Trinity River by the City of Dallas in 1968 to provide water for municipal and industrial purposes, and recreation. Ray Hubbard Reservoir is located one-mile east of Rockwall and lies within Dallas, Collin, Rockwall and Kaufman counties. The reservoir is surrounded by urban development and is part of the Dallas-Ft. Worth metroplex. The reservoir has a 1,074 square-mile watershed that lies in the Blackland Prairies vegetation area and is primarily used for agricultural and residential development. The reservoir is 13 miles long and 3 miles wide (widest point). It contains 490,000 acre feet of water at conservation elevation (435.5 ft-msl), and has a maximum depth of 40 feet. Angler and boat access is adequate. At the time of sampling the fishery habitat was primarily dead trees, emergent vegetation, and eroded banks. Hydrilla once covering 199 acres in 2000 has decreased significantly. A creel survey was conducted on Ray Hubbard Reservoir from June 1, 2004 to May 31, 2005.
- Prey species: An electrofishing catch rate of 243.0/hour for gizzard shad was lower than previous years and lower than the district average of 270.0/hour. The index of vulnerability (IOV) (i.e., percentage of individual gizzard shad less than 8 inches total length thought to be vulnerable to largemouth bass predation) for 2004 was 67, which was lower than the two previous samples but still indicates the majority of gizzard are available for predators (DiCenzo et al. 1996). The 2004 threadfin shad catch rate of 216.5/hour was lower than the previous sample but higher than the district average of 204.0/hour. The catch rate for bluegill in 2004 was 100.0/hour, which was higher than the previous year’s sample and lower than the district average of 160.0/hour. The catch rate for longear sunfish was 59.0/hour for the 2004 sample which was similar to the previous year’s sample and also lower than the district average of 87.0/hour.
- Catfishes: The gill netting catch rate for blue catfish in 2005 was 10.5/net night which is the second highest catch rate on record with numerous fish over 20 pounds being captured. The 2005 catch rate was higher than the district average of 1.9/net night. Size distribution of the blue catfish was above average as indicated by a PSD value of 38. Only 4% of the total angling effort on Ray Hubbard is directed toward blue catfish. However catch rates were high (1.4 fish/hour) and anglers usually kept the blue catfish they caught as indicated by the harvest rate of 1.2 fish/hour. The gill netting catch rate for channel catfish in 2005 was 3.7/net night and was similar to the 2003 catch rate but lower than the district average of 5.6/net night. Over 15% of the total angling effort (second only behind largemouth bass) on Ray Hubbard Reservoir is directed toward channel catfish. This high percentage of directed could be the result of anglers not recognizing the difference between the two species. Anglers seeking catfish in general accounted for 11% of the total angling effort.
- Temperate basses: The 2005 white bass gill netting catch rate was 9.1/net night, which was lower than the previous sample, but higher than the district average of 8.0/net night. White bass were the fourth most sought after species in Ray Hubbard Reservoir (11% of total angling effort) slightly behind white crappie. Angler catch rate of white bass was high with slightly over 2 fish/hour being caught. The palmetto bass gill netting catch rate was 4.1/net. No palmetto bass were captured in 2003 or 2001. Thus annual stockings have benefited the population. Palmetto bass reach harvestable size between ages 2 and 3. In 1997, data indicated that fish age 2 were in poorer condition and were growing slower than in years past. Therefore no fish were stocked in 1997 and 1998 and the stocking rate for subsequent years was reduced to 10 fish/acre. However in 1999 palmetto bass were stocked at only 2.5 fish/acre and no fish were stocked in 2000, or 2001 due to poor hatchery production. Creel data suggest that not many anglers directly seek palmetto bass (2% of total angling effort). This could be the result of poor catch rates (0.0 fish/hour) caused by the decline in the population which resulted by recent inconsistent stockings.
- Largemouth bass: The largemouth bass electrofishing catch rate for 2004 (65.5/hour) was much lower than the catch rate in 2000 (96.0/hour) and lower than the district average of 126.0/hour. However the size distribution of largemouth was adequate (PSD= 53; RSD-14= 33). Largemouth bass are the most sought after species in Ray Hubbard Reservoir (18% of total angling effort). However, angler catch rates were low (0.33 fish/hour). Largemouth bass reach legal size at age 2. Electrophoretic analyses indicate the percentage of the Florida bass alleles is 50.0% for the 2004 sample, with a Florida bass genotypic influence of 7.1%.
- White crappie: The trap netting catch rate for white crappie in 2004 was 13.7/net night, which was similar to the 2000 catch rate and similar to the district average of 16.4/net night. The white crappie size distribution was above average (RSD-10= 50). White crappie were the third most sought after species in Ray Hubbard Reservoir (12% of total angling effort). Angler catch rate of white crappie was high with slightly over 1 fish/hour being caught.
Based on current information, existing regulations should be maintained on Ray Hubbard Reservoir. The stocking of palmetto bass should be continued as long as forage species are adequate. The palmetto bass and catfish fishery will be monitored by gillnetting on a bi-annual basis with the next sample collected in 2007. Ray Hubbard Reservoir has a tremendous blue catfish population which needs to be better publicized to increase angler utilization. Because of the low catch rate of largemouth bass and the past history of the reservoir producing trophy largemouth bass, electrofishing will be conducted annually. Florida largemouth bass will also be requested for stocking based on past trophy production.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-30-R-30 Statewide Freshwater Fisheries Monitoring and Management Program