Richland Chambers Reservoir - 2006 Survey Report
Prepared by Patrick A. Beck and Richard A. Ott, Jr.
Inland Fisheries Division
District 3-C, Tyler, 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.
The Richland Chambers fish community was surveyed from June 2006-May 2007 using electrofishing, gill nets, and trap nets. A vegetation survey was conducted in September 2006. An access creel survey, conducted from June 2006-November 2006 and March 2007–May2007, collected angler use and harvest information. This report summarizes results of the surveys and contains a management plan based on those findings.
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 drought. Anglers expended approximately 97,870 hours of fishing effort and spent an estimated $1,213,312 during the summer, fall, and spring creel surveys.
Important sport fish include sunfishes, largemouth bass, white bass, palmetto bass, blue catfish, channel catfish, white crappie and black crappie. Supplemental largemouth bass sampling was conducted in 2004 and stockings were conducted in 2006. Supplemental gill net sampling for temperate basses and catfishes was conducted in 2005. An additional access creel survey was conducted in 2004-2005.
- Prey species: Threadfin shad were present in the reservoir and electrofishing catch rate was higher than in previous surveys. Electrofishing catch rate of gizzard shad and threadfin shad was good. Catch rates of sunfishes ≤4 inches was low but overall prey availability was adequate for sport fishes.
- Catfishes: Angling success of catfish at Richland Chambers was excellent. The catfish community was dominated by blue catfish, and gill net catch rates were high. Channel catfish were present but occurred at lower abundance.
- Temperate basses: White bass and palmetto bass were the most sought after species and made up 45% of the directed fishing effort in 2006-2007. The gill net catch rate of white bass has declined from 2002 and may be related to poor year class strength resulting from low river flows. Gill net catch rate of palmetto bass was higher than any previous survey.
- Largemouth bass: Largemouth bass were the second most sought after species by anglers at Richland Chambers during 2006-2007. Electrofishing catch rate of fish ≥8 inches was similar to 2004, but body condition of largemouth bass remains poor for most size classes. Florida largemouth bass stockings were continued to enhance the fishery.
- Crappie: Crappie were the third most sought after sportfish during creel surveys in 2004-2005 and 2006-2007. Both white crappie and black crappie were present and trap net catches of white crappie were the highest on record. Overall angler catch rate of crappie was good.
- Conduct fall electrofishing in 2008 to assess largemouth bass relative abundance, size distribution, and growth.
- Conduct supplemental daytime electrofishing survey in fall 2008 to collect at least 30 age-0 largemouth bass for genetic analysis and thus assess the success the Florida largemouth bass stockings of 2006 and 2007.
- Conduct spring gill netting in 2009 to monitor palmetto bass stocking success.
- Continue to offer technical assistance to the controlling authority in hydrilla management.
- Continue to promote Richland Chambers Reservoir by way of news releases.
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