White River Reservoir - 2010 Survey Report
Prepared by John Clayton and Charles Munger
Inland Fisheries Division
District 1-A, Canyon, Texas
This is the authors' summary from a 23-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish populations in White River Reservoir were surveyed with electrofishing and trap nets in 2010 and gill nets in 2011. This report summarizes the results of the surveys and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings. Historical data are presented for comparison.
At conservation pool (2,372.2 feet MSL), White River Reservoir is a 2,020-acre impoundment constructed in 1963 on the White River, a tributary of the Salt Fork of the Brazos River. The reservoir is located in Crosby County approximately 55 miles east of Lubbock, Texas. Since mid-1999 White River Reservoir has experienced a steady decline in lake levels. A record low was set in September 2008 when the lake reached an elevation of 2,340.7 feet MSL and a surface area of 401 acres. Two substantial rain events have occurred in the watershed since 2008 which resulted in an increase in surface area to 930 acres.
During sampling, the reservoir maintained an elevation near 2,356 feet MSL. White River Reservoir is owned and operated by the White River Municipal Water District as a municipal water supply and for recreational purposes. The reservoir has three boat ramps, and at current lake levels all three ramps are usable. During extremely low water levels there is a temporary launch site in place. There are no facilities for physically challenged anglers.
Sport fish in the reservoir included walleye, white bass, largemouth bass, white crappie, and catfish. Past surveys have shown that white crappie were overabundant in the reservoir and exhibited poor growth. Walleye stockings have been utilized in part to mitigate overabundance of crappie. Florida largemouth bass were stocked in 1982, 2000, 2003, and 2009 in order to maintain a trophy largemouth bass fishery.
- Prey species: Gizzard shad and bluegill served as the primary prey species in the reservoir. The 2010 electrofishing catch rate of gizzard shad was 238.0/h with 91% considered to be suitably-sized prey for sport fish. The 2010 electrofishing catch rate of bluegills was 16.0/h, and all bluegills were equal to or less than 5-inches long making them available as prey.
- Catfishes: Blue catfish 2011 catch rates appeared to be down slightly from past surveys, but the majority of blue catfish sampled were 20 inches or larger in length. Channel catfish 2011 catch rates have also declined with a shift in the population to larger individuals. The 2011 flathead catfish catch rate remained similar to catch rates from previous surveys.
- White bass: Although white bass numbers remained low there was a slight increase in catch rates since 2007.
- Largemouth bass: Since 2006 electrofishing catch rates of largemouth bass have shown a decrease from 63.0/h to 7.0/h in 2010.
- White crappie: White crappie were collected during the 2010 trap net survey at a rate of 51.0/nn; however, size structure continued to remain poor with very few legal-sized fish sampled.
- Walleye: The walleye stocking program was resumed in 2010 due to increased lake levels. Walleye catch rate increased from 0.2/h in 2009 to 4.0/h in 2011.
- Continue stocking program for walleye and Florida largemouth bass.
- Conduct electrofishing survey in 2011 and 2012, trap net survey in 2012, and general monitoring with electrofishing, trap net, and gill net surveys in 2014 – 2015.
- Conduct habitat survey in 2014.
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