Kickapoo 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 28-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish populations at Kickapoo Reservoir were surveyed in 2013 using trap netting and electrofishing. Historical data are presented with the 2013-2014 data for comparison. This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan based on those findings.
Kickapoo Reservoir is a 6,028-acre impoundment located on the Little Wichita River in the Red River Basin approximately 30 miles west of Wichita Falls. It has a primarily rocky shoreline. The reservoir elevation has been consistently dropping since 2011 to it’s current elevation 14-feet below conservation pool (1,045 msl). Kickapoo water quality is considered good for municipal use, but tends to be turbid from surrounding clay soils.
Important sport fish include catfishes, White Bass, Largemouth Bass and White Crappie. Past management plans recommended maintaining the genetic integrity of the existing pure northern strain Largemouth Bass population as a defined source for Texas Parks and Wildlife Department hatchery brood stock program. The reservoir is popular for its White Crappie fishery. Kickapoo has always been managed with statewide regulations.
- Prey species: Gizzard Shad catch rate was at an all-time high for the reservoir and provides an abundant prey base for game fish. The catch per unit effort (CPUE) for Bluegill was at an all-time low with none captured. Historically, Bluegill have been found in low abundance.
- Catfishes: A 2014 gill netting survey was not completed as scheduled because extreme low reservoir elevations made launching a boat impossible. Blue Catfish historically have been abundant while Channel Catfish and Flathead Catfish have been present. In 2013 a new lake record Blue Catfish weighing 49.15-pound was caught.
- White Bass: A 2014 gill netting survey was not completed as scheduled because extreme low reservoir elevations made launching a boat impossible. White Bass historically have been present in low abundance.
- Largemouth Bass: Largemouth Bass, with the exception of one survey, have never been very abundant. In 2013, only four bass were sampled compared to six in 2009. The reservoir had recently been at extremely low elevation and adequate habitat for spawning and nursery areas was lacking. Genetic analysis in 2011 showed that only northern strain largemouth bass were present and that no Florida largemouth influence has been detected.
- White Crappie: The 2013 trap net CPUE was the lowest ever recorded and well below the historical average for the reservoir. The legal sized White Crappie that were sampled exhibited good body condition.
Maintain the genetic integrity of the existing Largemouth Bass population as a pure northern strain population by not introducing any Florida strain Largemouth Bass. If reservoir elevation increases appreciably, consider requesting a supplemental stocking of northern Largemouth Bass. Continue conducting electrophoretic testing every four years when largemouth bass are collected.
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