Graham Reservoir - 2013 Survey Report
Prepared by Tom Lang and Robert Mauk
Inland Fisheries Division
District 2-E, Wichita Falls, Texas
This is the authors' summary from a 33-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish populations in Graham Reservoir were surveyed in 2013 using electrofishing and trap netting and in 2014 using gill netting. Anglers were surveyed from June 2013 through May 2014 with a creel survey. Historical data are presented with the 2013-2014 data for comparison. 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. The water elevation was full in 2012 but has been on a steady decline since and is currently >11 ft. below full pool. Graham Reservoir has moderate to high productivity. Habitat features consisted of natural shoreline, standing timber, and rocks at time of survey. There are three public boat ramps and limited bank-fishing access.
Important sport fish include White Bass, Palmetto Bass, Largemouth Bass, White Crappie and catfish. Palmetto Bass were stocked in 2011 and 2013. Blue Catfish were introduced into Graham Reservoir sometime in the late 1990s by unknown sources.
- Prey species: Threadfin Shad continued to be present in the reservoir. Electrofishing catch rates of Gizzard Shad were near the historical average and Bluegill were at record lows. Gizzard Shad size structure has continued recent trends towards smaller sizes to where now 89% of the population is vulnerable to predation. Redear Sunfish abundance was down compared to previous surveys.
- Catfishes: Channel Catfish abundance was about average for the reservoir. Blue Catfish abundance has greatly expanded since 2002 and should provide an excellent angling opportunity. Flathead Catfish were present in the reservoir.
- Temperate basses: White Bass and Palmetto Bass were both present in the surveys. The White Bass 2014 gill net catch rate was an all-time high probably because White Bass could not enter the tributaries on their spawning run due to of low water conditions, thus they were vulnerable to our sampling gear. Palmetto Bass abundance has been steadily increasing in recent years with good body condition.
- Largemouth Bass: Although catch rate was below the historical average, it was still higher than other district reservoirs. Body condition was fair to good. Largemouth Bass were the second most sought after species in the 2008 and 2013 creel surveys but the number targeting Largemouth Bass decreased by two-thirds with the decrease coming from tournament anglers who were well represented in 2009 but were totally absent from the creel survey in 2013.
- Crappie: White Crappie abundance and size distribution continued to be good. Black Crappie, which were first sampled in 2005, are still present in low abundance. They have become established at Graham and accounted for 10% of the crappie sampled. Crappie were the most sought after species in the last two creel surveys.
Stock Palmetto Bass every year at a rate of 5-10/acre, depending on prey availability in order to maintain the population. Gill net and electrofish every other year and trap net every four years.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-221-M-4 Inland Fisheries Division Monitoring and Management Program