Kickapoo Reservoir - 2005 Survey Report
Prepared by Mark Howell 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 in Kickapoo Reservoir were surveyed in 2005 using trap nets and electrofishing 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.
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 with flooded terrestrial habitat. The reservoir was within 10 feet of conservation pool (1,045 msl) from January of 2003 through January 2006. Kickapoo water quality is considered good for municipal use, but at times turbid.
Important sport fish include catfish, white bass, largemouth bass, and white crappie. The 2001 management plan recommended maintaining the genetic integrity of the existing pure northern strain largemouth bass population as a possible source for Texas parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) hatchery brood stock. The reservoir is popular for its white crappie population. Kickapoo has always been managed with statewide regulations.
- Prey species: Gizzard shad catch rate was higher than average for the reservoir indicating adequate forage for game fish. The CPUE for bluegill was also higher than previous surveys.
- Catfishes: Blue catfish were well represented in the gill net survey of 2006, but catch per unit effort (CPUE) was down slightly from 2002. The gill net survey for the channel catfish population showed a low abundance. The channel catfish CPUE was down considerably from surveys completed in 1997 and 2002. However, anglers were observed harvesting channel catfish during the March-May 2006 creel survey. Flathead catfish exist in the reservoir but none were observed in 2006.
- White bass: Few white bass were sampled in 2006 unlike 2002 when record numbers of white bass were surveyed. However, the 2006 creel survey had high numbers of young white bass reported as caught indicating adequate reproduction has occurred during the last two years.
- Largemouth bass: Largemouth bass had the lowest electrofishing catch rate recorded for the reservoir, primarily because of an abundance of flooded terrestrial vegetation that made electrofishing near shore extremely difficult. Subsequent largemouth bass tournaments in 2006 have reported excellent catches of legal size bass. Recent (2006) genetic analysis has continued to verify that only northern strain largemouth bass are present in the reservoir.
- White crappie: The 2005 CPUE was lower than the 2001 survey but higher than in 2000. Natural reproduction continues to be good with adequate abundance of legal-size fish. Crappie were the most sought after species during the March–May 2006 creel survey.
- Maintain the genetic integrity of the existing largemouth bass population as a pure northern strain population by not introducing Florida strain largemouth bass.
- Continue conducting periodic electrophoretic testing when largemouth bass are collected.
- Kickapoo is recognized by anglers as an excellent crappie reservoir, and historically has been under utilized by anglers seeking other species.
- Populations of catfish, white bass, and largemouth bass are in good shape and should be promoted to increase angler effort.
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