Red Bluff Reservoir - 2012 Survey Report
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Prepared by Mandy K. Scott
Inland Fisheries Division
District 1-C, San Angelo, Texas
This is the authors' summary from a 9-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish populations in Red Bluff Reservoir were not surveyed in 2010-2013 due to ongoing poor water quality and golden alga blooms. This report recommends removing the reservoir from normal sampling rotation until conditions improve.
Red Bluff Reservoir is an 11,700-acre (when full) reservoir located on the Pecos River 45 miles north of Pecos on the Loving and Reeves County line; the upper end of the reservoir reaches into New Mexico. It was constructed in 1936 for hydroelectric and irrigation water supply. It has a history of severe water level fluctuations and had approximately 2,260 surface acres of water in 2013. The reservoir has also suffered from toxic golden alga (P. parvum) blooms since the mid-1980s. Since 2001 the algal blooms have suppressed fish populations significantly and prevented the recovery of the fisheries. The reservoir’s conductivity has long been in excess of 4,000 μmhos/cm, making electrofishing ineffective. Habitat consists mainly of rock or gravel shoreline. Shoreline access is good near the dam, and boats can be launched from the gravel shore in the same area.
Catfishes and Largemouth Bass were stocked until the 1980s and Palmetto Bass were present in Red Bluff Reservoir up until 2002; however, golden alga blooms have prevented any stocking success since then. Water quality testing has been conducted to check for golden alga and conditions that promote its growth.
Fish Community, All Species
No fish were collected in gill net surveys in either 2007 or 2009. No fish surveys have been conducted by TPWD since then.
Recent water quality tests have shown a sharp increase in salinity and conductivity, although golden alga cell counts were relatively low.
Keep monitoring for water quality, golden alga presence and toxicity; remove the reservoir from the sampling rotation until water quality improves.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-221-M-3 Inland Fisheries Division Monitoring and Management Program