Stamford Reservoir - 2014 Survey Report
Prepared by Michael D. Homer Jr. and Natalie Goldstrohm
Inland Fisheries Division - Abilene District
This is the authors' summary from a 13-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish populations in Stamford Reservoir were not surveyed from 2014-2015 because of extreme prolonged drought conditions.
Stamford Reservoir is roughly a 5,120-acre impoundment of Paint Creek, a tributary of the Clear Fork of the Brazos River Basin approximately 10 miles southeast of Haskell, TX. The reservoir is used for municipal and industrial water supply for the City of Stamford; it is also used for flood control and recreation. Water level steadily dropped since 2010 and had declined by about 17 ft. below conservation pool level by spring 2015. Heavy rains and water transfer efforts from California Creek (water scalping method) in May 2015 increased water level to nearly two ft. below conservation pool level. Previously surveyed habitat features consisted of featureless shoreline and dead brush as well as plant species including bulrush, Illinois pondweed, American lotus, duckweed, button bush, sago pondweed, salt cedar, and cattail. There were two inaccessible public boat ramps and limited bank-fishing access. Golden alga is established in the reservoir. Golden alga caused the first documented toxic bloom for Stamford Reservoir in late winter 2015 which resulted in a severe, lake-wide fish kill.
Florida Largemouth Bass were introduced in Stamford Reservoir in the late 1970s. Stockings of Blue Catfish, palmetto bass, and Walleye also occurred during the 1970s. Palmetto bass and Walleye stockings were largely unsuccessful so stocking programs for these species were discontinued after 1982. An additional Blue Catfish stocking occurred in 1991. Water level began to drop in 1993 and reached 16 ft. below conservation pool in 2000. Once water level increased to a suitable elevation during 2001-2002, Florida Largemouth Bass and Channel Catfish were stocked.
No data were collected for fish populations because of prolonged drought preventing access to the reservoir as well as golden alga caused a toxic bloom that resulted in a severe fish kill.
Golden alga has become established in the reservoir, and routine monitoring for the species will be conducted by periodically collecting water samples and water quality data. Based on current information, and due to extreme water level fluctuations, sportfishes should continue to be managed with existing statewide regulations. The focus will be on providing Largemouth Bass and Blue Catfish fisheries since the lake level improved and golden alga cell levels had subsided to allow for continued survival of the species. Largemouth Bass fingerlings were be requested and stocked as available and as water level and water quality conditions permit. Upon catching significant rainfall, catfish fisheries will be sampled to assess if supplemental stockings are needed to restore these fisheries. Access will be monitored.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-221-M-5 Inland Fisheries Division Monitoring and Management Program