Ray Roberts Reservoir - 2011 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 32-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 2011 using an electrofisher and trap nets and in 2012 using gill nets. Habitat was surveyed in 2011. 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. Impacts of water level fluctuation below conservation elevation (632.5 feet above - mean sea level) between May, 2008 and April, 2012 were minimal. Despite the dewatering of some peripheral tributaries, boat launching facilities were never compromised throughout this reporting period. Ray Roberts Reservoir is moderately productive. Habitat features consisted mainly of flooded dead timber, rocky shoreline, native and non-native submerged 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 2008 included a recommendation to drop the 14- to 24-inch slot length limit, 5 fish daily bag limit for largemouth bass and implement the statewide 14-inch minimum length limit, 5 fish daily bag limit instead. Conduct a roving creel survey in the spring and summer of 2010 to monitor affects of the largemouth bass regulation change. In 2005, 14,839 ShareLunker Florida largemouth bass fingerlings were stocked and 500,719 Florida largemouth bass fingerlings were stocked in 2011. Statewide fish harvest regulations apply to all sport fishes in Ray Roberts Reservoir.
- Prey species: Threadfin shad continued to be present in the reservoir, but fewer numbers. Electrofishing catch of gizzard shad increased since 2007. Numbers of small gizzard shad declined providing only 40% of the population available as prey. Electrofishing catch of desirable prey-size bluegills was high.
- Catfishes: Gill net catch of blue catfish was high, with well over one-half of the sampled population being of legal size and in good condition. Angler harvest was very low and recruitment was evident. Gill net catch of channel catfish continues to decline, while the catch rate of blue catfish continues to increase. Channel catfish were in good condition. Angler harvest was high with some noncompliance. Flathead catfish were present in the reservoir; but only one was collected.
- White bass: Gill net catch of white bass was high with well over one-half the sample catch legal size and larger. Angler harvest was high. White bass were in fair condition.
- Black basses: Although not stocked by TPWD, two lake-record smallmouth bass were caught by anglers in 2010 and 2011, and a sub-adult smallmouth bass showed up in our fall, 2011 electrofishing survey. Abundance of spotted bass more than tripled since 2003 with fish in good condition. While numbers dropped by one-half, largemouth bass were in good condition. Angler harvest of spotted and largemouth bass was low. Florida largemouth bass influence was high within the population.
- 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.
- Conduct general monitoring with electrofisher, trap nets, and gill nets in 2015-2016.
- Conduct habitat/vegetation survey in 2015.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-221-M-2 Statewide Freshwater Fisheries Monitoring and Management Program