Palo Pinto Reservoir 2003 Survey Report media download(PDF 505.6 KB)

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Palo Pinto Reservoir - 2003 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 25-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.

Palo Pinto Reservoir was surveyed in 2003-04 using gill netting, electrofishing, and trap netting. This was the third time that these surveys were conducted using randomly selected sites. The catches per unit effort (CPUE) comparisons made in this summary are contrasted with catch rates observed during Palo Pinto surveys from 1996-2002. This report summarizes these survey results and contains a fisheries management plan based on their findings.

Reservoir Description

Palo Pinto is located 79 miles southwest of Ft. Worth, Texas. The 2,399-acre impoundment was constructed in 1964 in Palo Pinto County provides municipal water for Mineral Wells, Texas and cooling water for the Brazos Electric power plant. The lake has a shoreline length of 18 miles and a mean depth of 16.5 feet. Boat access is adequate at three improved public boat ramp sites. Periodic turbidity, fluctuating water levels, and a rocky shoreline inhibit the growth of aquatic vegetation. The heated effluent from the power plant may cause water temperatures too hot for optimum fish habitat during summer months (Hysmith 1982).

Fish Community

Management Strategies

Turbidity and a lack of aquatic vegetation serve to inhibit sport fish populations at Palo Pinto. Considering these factors, more stringent regulations would probably accomplish little to improve present sport fish populations. Continuing an every other year supplemental stocking for palmetto bass at the rate of 5/acre is recommended. Supplemental sampling of the forage base in 2000 and 2003 showed more than adequate forage to support this conservative stocking plan. Considering that stocking supplemental channel catfish had little effect, consideration should be given to initiating a population of blue catfish. Blue catfish have never been documented at the reservoir, but have done well when stocked at other district lakes. There is an identified need for additional sport fish and stocking blue catfish fingerlings at Palo Pinto would meet the current stocking criteria. It is therefore recommended that Palo Pinto be stocked with 50 blue catfish fingerlings per acre both in 2005 and 2006.

Sport Fish Restoration Logo

Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-30-R-29 Statewide Freshwater Fisheries Monitoring and Management Program

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