Lake Arrowhead - 2015 Survey Report
Prepared by Robert Mauk and Tom Lang
Inland Fisheries Division – Wichita Falls District
This is the authors' summary from a 29-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish populations in Arrowhead Reservoir were surveyed in 2015 using electrofishing and trap netting and in 2016 using gill netting. Historical data are presented with the 2015-2016 data for comparison. This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
Arrowhead Reservoir is a 14,969-acre impoundment located on the Little Wichita River in Archer and Clay Counties approximately 20 miles southeast of Wichita Falls. At time of sampling, the water elevation was near full capacity with the shoreline habitat consisting mainly of natural and rocky shoreline. The dam is located in Clay County and the reservoir is owned and operated by the City of Wichita Falls as a municipal and industrial water supply. Arrowhead has a shoreline length of 106 miles and a drainage basin of 832 square miles. Boat access is normally good with five improved public ramp sites around the reservoir. Public access includes 524-acre Lake Arrowhead State Park located on the northwest side near the dam. Bank access is adequate, but the only improved handicapped access is at the State Park. Some standing timber remains in the upper reservoir and backs of coves.
Important sport fish include Blue Catfish, Largemouth Bass, White Bass and White Crappie. Arrowhead is managed under statewide regulations.
- Prey species: Gizzard Shad electrofishing catch rate was slightly below average for the reservoir and were in the size range consumed by predators. The catch per unit effort (CPUE) for Bluegill was well below average. The drought negatively impacted the prey populations because of a lack of spawning habitat. Threadfin Shad have been sampled in previous surveys but were not documented in the recent survey. It is expected that the prey numbers will rebound quickly.
- Catfishes: During the 2016 gill net survey, Blue Catfish CPUE decreased by over half from the previous survey. Most of this decrease can be attributed to a lack of smaller fish, probably related to the four-year drought that ended in early 2015 and the resulting lack of habitat that affected recruitment. No Channel Catfish were sampled during the gill net survey but they are present in the reservoir as they were caught during the trap net survey. Flathead Catfish are also present in the reservoir.
- White Bass: White Bass gill net survey CPUE was up compared to the previous survey but was below the historical average. Over half the bass sampled were 10 inches in length.
- Largemouth Bass: The 2015 electrofishing survey for Largemouth Bass had the lowest catch rate ever. This was the result of a prolonged drought that led to low reservoir elevations that negatively affected the recruitment of young bass. No legal-length bass were sampled. Sampled bass were likely from the 2015 stocking.
- Crappie: The 2015 trap net survey CPUE increased over the previous survey and was near the historical average. Legal-length crappie were all above average in body condition. A Black Crappie was sampled during the survey, the first ever documented.
Request supplemental stocking of Largemouth Bass since their relative abundance was down. Conduct a catfish creel survey in 2016-2017, a traditional creel in 2018-2019, and standard electrofishing, low-frequency electrofishing, and trap netting in 2019-2020.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-221-M-6 Inland Fisheries Division Monitoring and Management Program