Palo Duro Reservoir - 2014 Survey Report
Prepared by Charles Munger and John Clayton
Inland Fisheries Division - Amarillo District
This is the authors' summary from a 27-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish Populations in Palo Duro Reservoir were surveyed with electrofishing in 2014. Historical data are presented with the 2014 data for comparison. This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
Palo Duro Reservoir is a 2,413-acre (current pool is approximately 95 acres) impoundment on Palo Duro Creek approximately 13 miles north of Spearman in Hansford County, Texas. The reservoir is owned and operated by the Palo Duro River Authority for municipal water supply. The reservoir drainage area has experienced a drought of record since 2000 resulting in extremely low water levels punctuated by three short-term increases. The reservoir has two boat ramps which are currently out of the water. Two temporary launch sites are in place. There are no handicap-specific facilities.
Important sport fish include White Bass, White Crappie, Blue Catfish and Walleye. White Crappie have a history of overabundance in the system and poor growth. Walleye stocking was attempted to mitigate the crappie problem. Florida Largemouth Bass were stocked in 1991 and 1993.
- Prey species: Electrofishing catch of Gizzard Shad was high with good availability as prey to most sport fish. No Bluegills were caught by electrofishing in 2014.
- Catfishes: Blue Catfish were abundant in the reservoir and provide a quality fishery. Channel Catfish abundance declined during the low water conditions.
- White Bass: White Bass were collected in gill nets for the first time in 2005 and were still present and reproducing in the reservoir. Abundance of White Bass remains low with only a few harvestable-size fish.
- Largemouth Bass: Only one Largemouth Bass was collected by electrofishing in 2014. Their abundance has historically been low.
- White Crappie: White Crappie were abundant in the reservoir, but there were few legal-size fish.
- Walleye: Walleye are present in the reservoir and show indications of natural reproduction despite low water conditions.
- Continue stocking Walleye to increase the population and provide some control of the White Crappie population.
- Conduct trap net surveys in 2015 and 2017, electrofishing surveys in 2016 and 2018, and gill net surveys in 2017 and 2019.
- Conduct habitat and access surveys in 2018.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-221-M-5 Inland Fisheries Division Monitoring and Management Program