Richland Chambers Reservoir - 2010 Survey Report
Prepared by Dan Bennett and Richard A. Ott, Jr.
Inland Fisheries Division
District 3-C, Tyler, Texas
This is the authors' summary from a 35-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish populations in Richland-Chambers Reservoir were surveyed in 2010 and 2011 using electrofishing, gill netting, and trap netting. A structural habitat and an aquatic vegetation survey were conducted in August 2010. Anglers were surveyed from June 2010 through May 2011 with a creel survey. This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir.
Richland-Chambers Reservoir is a 41,356-acre reservoir on the Richland and Chambers Creek tributaries of the Trinity River. Boat access is adequate, but bank angler access is limited. Boats can be launched from 10 boat ramps surrounding the lake, of which 6 are designated as public access. There are no handicap-specific facilities, but most are accessible. Aquatic vegetation was scarce due to high annual water level fluctuation. Anglers expended approximately 87,679 hours of fishing effort and spent an estimated $1,021,728 during the June 2010 through May 2011 creel survey.
Important sportfish include palmetto and white bass, largemouth bass, blue and channel catfishes, and white and black crappie. Supplemental stocking of Florida largemouth bass was conducted in 2010 and 2011. Requests for stocking of palmetto bass have been submitted annually and in most years stockings were accomplished. Supplemental gill netting and trap netting were conducted in 2008 and 2009, respectively, in order to monitor the popular temperate bass, catfish, and crappie fish populations. A creel survey was conducted in 2010 and 2011.
- Prey species: Gizzard shad, threadfin shad, and sunfishes were the most abundant prey species and provided ample prey for sport fish.
- Catfishes: The catfish fishery was tied with crappie as 3rd most popular in Richland-Chambers Reservoir. Blue catfish are typically more abundant than channel catfish. An experimental “trophy” blue catfish regulation was adopted for the reservoir in 2009 to increase the number of large blue catfish.
- Temperate basses: Temperate basses, white bass and palmetto bass, were the most sought-after species group and made up 39% of the directed fishing effort in 2010-2011. Gill net catch rate of palmetto bass declined since 2007, reflecting inconsistent stocking density.
- Largemouth bass: Largemouth bass was the second most sought-after species by anglers at Richland-Chambers Reservoir, and tournament effort comprised 42% of all angler effort for largemouth bass in the 2010-2011 creel survey. Few largemouth bass >14 inches were collected during the fall 2010 electrofishing survey.
- Crappie: White crappie have historically been more abundant than black crappie although similar numbers of both species were harvested in the 2010-2011 creel survey. Crappies were the third most popular fishery, tied with catfish, at Richland-Chambers.
- Stock palmetto bass at 10/acre, and monitor palmetto bass and catfish populations with biennial gill netting in 2013 and 2015.
- Monitor largemouth bass population in 2014 with fall electrofishing.
- Continue to monitor for exotic species presence and educate resource users.
- Provide written and verbal news information on fisheries management activities and issues relevant to Richland-Chambers Reservoir to appropriate media outlets.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-221-M-1 Statewide Freshwater Fisheries Monitoring and Management Program