Graham Reservoir - 2005 Survey Report
Prepared by Spencer Dumont and Mukhtar Farooqi
Inland Fisheries Division
District 1-B, Abilene, Texas
This is the authors' summary from a 25-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish populations in Graham Reservoir were surveyed in 2005 using electrofishing and trap nets and in 2006 using gill nets. This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
Graham Reservoir is a 2,396-acre impoundment located on Salt Creek in the Brazos River Basin approximately two miles northwest of Graham. Water level was at or near full pool since mid October 2005. From 2002-2004, the reservoir had low and dropping water levels. Graham Reservoir had moderate to high productivity. Habitat features consisted of standing timber, rocks, and abundant flooded brush and trees. There are three public boat ramps and limited bank-fishing access.
Since 1999, the requested annual stocking rate of palmetto bass has been 5 fish per acre because of limited food availability and relatively poor growth of palmetto bass. Palmetto bass were not stocked in 2000, 2001, and 2003 because of golden alga problems in the hatchery. Anecdotal evidence suggested that blue catfish were introduced into Graham Reservoir by anglers sometime in the late 1990s.
- Prey species: Threadfin shad continued to be present in the reservoir. Electrofishing catch of gizzard shad and bluegill was low.
- Catfishes: Few channel catfish were available to anglers, but 65% of the channel catfish in the 2006 survey were legal length (12 inches) or longer. The blue catfish population has expanded since 2002 and should be an excellent resource for anglers; 78% of the blue catfish collected were legal length (12 inches) or longer, and fish up to 24-inches long were collected. Flathead catfish were present in the reservoir.
- Temperate basses: White bass and palmetto bass were present in the reservoir. The white bass population was in terrific shape with many fish in the 10-to 15-inch size range available to anglers. Palmetto bass have steadily declined since 1997.
- Largemouth bass: Reproduction of largemouth bass was good in 2005. This should translate into good numbers of adult largemouth bass in coming years. Although numbers of adults appeared to be lower than in previous years, the size distribution of these fish was good; 33% of the adults were legal length (14 inches) or longer.
- White crappie: White crappie abundance and size distribution continued to be good; about 20% of the adult crappie collected were legal length (10 inches) or longer.
- Increase stocking rate of palmetto bass to 10-15/acre.
- Transfer Graham Reservoir from Abilene inland fisheries district office to Wichita Falls inland fisheries district office.
- Conduct electrofishing survey in 2006 to determine status of largemouth bass population and gill net survey in 2008 to track blue catfish and palmetto bass populations.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-30-R-31 Statewide Freshwater Fisheries Monitoring and Management Program