Kemp 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 19-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish populations in Kemp Reservoir were surveyed in 2013 using electrofishing. Historical data are presented with the 2013 data for comparison. This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
Kemp Reservoir is a 15,104-acre impoundment located on the Wichita River in the Red River Basin approximately 50 miles west of Wichita Falls. It had a primarily natural and rocky shoreline. The reservoir elevation has fluctuated greatly the last 4 years from 2 feet above conservation pool (1,144.0 mean sea level) to >25 feet below. Kemp water quality is somewhat saline and highly conductive. It has had annual golden alga blooms since 2002 that have had an adverse effect on the fish populations.
Historically important sport fish include Striped Bass, White Bass, Largemouth Bass, White Crappie, and catfishes. Golden alga fish kills began in 2002 and have continued annually since. In response, Striped Bass were stocked in 2002, 2004, and 2005 with no apparent recruitment to the fishery. Excess fry from state hatcheries were stocked in 2009. In 2005, Florida Largemouth Bass fingerlings were stocked but not a single Largemouth Bass was sampled in 2009. Channel Catfish were stocked in 2005 and 2009. Blue Catfish were stocked in 2002. Kemp has always been managed with statewide regulations.
- Prey species: The Gizzard Shad survey catch rate was the lowest ever documented possibly because of high conductivity at time of survey. No Bluegill or other sunfishes were collected. In the past, Bluegill abundance was extremely low but they were present.
- Catfishes: The planned 2014 gill net survey did not occur because of extreme low reservoir elevations. Blue Catfish have not been collected since the 2004 gill net survey. Channel Catfish were sampled in September, 2010 using a non-standard gill net survey. Flathead Catfish were last observed during the May 2004 gill net survey.
- Temperate basses: The planned 2014 gill net survey did not occur because of extreme low reservoir elevations. White Bass were collected during a non-standard gill net survey performed during the Fall of 2010. No Striped Bass were caught during the 2010 gill net surveys. The last capture of a Striped Bass occurred in 2006.
- Black bass: Historically, Spotted Bass were the most abundant bass species, but their presence has not been documented since golden alga blooms began in 2002. In 2013, one Largemouth Bass was sampled during the electrofishing survey, the first since 2005 when they were stocked earlier in the year.
- White Crappie: The planned 2014 trap net survey did not occur because of extreme low reservoir elevations. In the past, White Crappie have always been present but in low abundance near where the river enters the reservoir.
Conduct general monitoring with trap nets, gill nets and electrofishing surveys in 2017-2018.
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