Palo Duro Reservoir - 2006 Survey Report
Prepared by Charles Munger and Jason Henegar
Inland Fisheries Division
District 1-A, Canyon, Texas
This is the authors' summary from a 20-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish Populations in Palo Duro Reservoir were surveyed in 2006 using electrofishing. Trap and gill net sampling was not conducted due to very low water levels. 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 100 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. Water levels have declined since 2000. The reservoir has two boat ramps which are currently above the water line. One temporary launch site is in place. There are no handicap specific facilities.
Important sport fish include walleye, white bass, largemouth bass, white crappie, and catfish. White crappie are overabundant in the system and have poor growth. Walleye stocking has been attempted to mitigate the crappie problem. Florida largemouth bass were stocked in 1991 and 1993.
- Prey species: Electrofishing catch of gizzard shad was very high with good availability as prey to most sport fish. Electrofishing catch of bluegills was low with no quality-length fish collected in 2006.
- Catfishes: Blue catfish and channel catfish were abundant in the reservoir and provide a quality fishery. Flathead catfish were present in the reservoir in low numbers.
- White bass: White bass were collected in gill nets for the first time in 2005 and were present in very low numbers. It is unknown if these fish were present in stock tanks in the watershed and washed into the reservoir or if they were deliberately stocked by anglers.
- Largemouth bass: Largemouth bass were present in low numbers. Size structure was poor.
- White crappie: White crappie were abundant in the reservoir but there were few legal-size fish.
- Walleye: Walleye were present in the reservoir. Natural recruitment in the reservoir has been limited and is likely due to high predation by crappie.
- Continue stocking program for walleye with larger fingerlings.
- Conduct electrofishing survey in 2008, gill net survey in 2009, and general monitoring with trap nets, gill nets, and electrofishing surveys in 2010-2011.
- Conduct aquatic vegetation surveys in 2010.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-30-R-32 Statewide Freshwater Fisheries Monitoring and Management Program