Ray Roberts Reservoir - 2007 Survey Report
Prepared by Bruce T. Hysmith and John H. Moczygemba
Inland Fisheries Division
District 2-A, Pottsboro, Texas
This is the authors' summary from a 37-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish populations in Ray Roberts Reservoir were surveyed in 2007 using an electrofisher and trap nets and in 2008 using gill nets. Habitat was last surveyed in 2003. This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
Ray Roberts Reservoir is a 25,600-acre impoundment on the Elm Fork Trinity River north of Dallas-Fort Worth in Denton, Grayson, and Cooke Counties. Water level was below conservation elevation (632.5 feet-mean sea level) from May 2005 to May 2007. Ray Roberts Reservoir has moderate productivity. Habitat features consisted mainly of flooded dead timber, rocky shoreline, dead trees and stumps, native submergent vegetation, and riprap along the dam and railroad bridges.
Important sport fish included blue and channel catfish, white bass, largemouth bass and white crappie. The management plan from 2003 included supplemental electrofishing, a 36-day creel survey/attitude and opinion survey, angler non-compliance verification, water quality history review, and web page update. Adult threadfin shad were stocked in 1985. Channel catfish were stocked in 1986. Florida largemouth bass fingerlings were stocked in 1985, 1987, 1989, 1993, 1994, 2000, and 2001. In 1987, 78 adult Florida largemouth bass were stocked. In 1987 coppernose bluegill fingerlings were stocked. Statewide fish harvest regulations apply to all sport fishes in Ray Roberts Reservoir with the exception of largemouth bass. For largemouth bass, length limit is a 14- to 24-inch slot. Largemouth bass 14 inches and less or 24 inches or greater in length may be retained. Only one largemouth bass 24 inches or greater may be retained each day.
- Prey species: Threadfin shad continued to be present in the reservoir and showed a significant increase in abundance. Electrofishing catch of gizzard shad increased since 2003. Nearly 80% of the gizzard shad were available as prey. Electrofishing catch of desirable prey-size bluegills was high, but there were also good numbers of angler harvestable-size bluegills.
- Catfishes: Gill net catch of blue catfish was high with well over one-half of the sampled population being legal size and in good condition. Angler harvest was very low. Recruitment was evident. Gill net catch of channel catfish dropped below the previous survey, but still high and they were in good condition. Angler harvest was good with some noncompliance. Flathead catfish were present in the reservoir; two were collected.
- White bass: Gill net catch of white bass was good with well over one-half the sample catch was legal size and larger. Angler harvest was good. White bass were in fair to good condition; intermediate to small fish had better body condition compared to larger fish.
- Black basses: Abundance of spotted bass has increased since 2003 with larger fish in good condition. Numbers of largemouth bass almost tripled since 2003, with excellent recruitment and good body condition. Due to high water levels in 2007. Angler harvest of spotted and largemouth was low. Florida largemouth bass alleles were high.
- White crappie: Abundance and body condition of white crappie were very good. One third of the sample population was legal size and larger. Angler harvest was excellent.
- Implement statewide 14-inch minimum length limit for largemouth bass, 5 fish daily bag limit, September 1, 2009.
- Conduct creel survey in the fall of 2009 and spring of 2010.
- Conduct general monitoring with electrofisher, trap nets, and gill nets in 2011-2012.
- Conduct habitat/vegetation survey in 2011.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-30-R-33 Statewide Freshwater Fisheries Monitoring and Management Program