TPWD District Fisheries Office

PO Box 835
Canyon, Texas 79015
(806) 655-4341
Caleb Huber, Biologist

About the Area

Local Information


Palo Duro Reservoir

Quick Links: Fishing Regulations | Angling Opportunities | Cover & Structure | Tips & Tactics

This area is experiencing a drought which may affect fishing and boat ramp access. Before you go, check the current lake level or contact the controlling authority for current conditions.

Lake Characteristics

Location: 10 miles north of Spearman on Palo Duro Creek, a tributary of the North Canadian River
Surface area: 2,413 acres
Maximum depth: 77 ft., mean depth 46 ft.
Impounded: 1991

Water Conditions

Current Lake Level
Conservation Pool Elevation: 2,892 ft. msl
Fluctuation: Severe, 4-10 feet annually
Normal Clarity: Turbid, visibility 1-2 feet

Reservoir Controlling Authority

Palo Duro River Authority
PO Box 99
Spearman, Texas 79081
(806) 882-4401

Aquatic Vegetation

Scattered stands of native emergent vegetation and stands of flooded timber

Predominant Fish Species

Lake Records
Current Fishing Report
Stocking History
Latest Survey Report

Lake Maps

A general information map is available from the Palo Duro River Authority (806) 882-4401.

Fishing Regulations

All fishes are currently managed under statewide regulations. For walleye, this means a five fish daily bag limit, and only two of those fish can be under 16 inches in length.

Angling Opportunities

Walleye are regularly stocked in Palo Duro Reservoir, and crappie are abundant. Fishing for largemouth bass can be a challenge, as water levels fluctuate dramatically.

Species Poor Fair Good Excellent
Largemouth Bass   yes    
Channel Catfish   yes    
Blue Catfish     yes  
Crappie     yes  
Walleye   yes    
Sunfish   yes    
Fishing Cover/Structure

The reservoir has extensive areas of flooded timber and flooded brush, and some areas of aquatic vegetation.

Tips & Tactics

Spring and summer are the best times of year for largemouth bass. Water levels can and do fluctuate dramatically. The reservoir is relatively new and has turbid water, especially in the upper end. Spinnerbaits and suspending baits are good options. Diving baits that have a lot of action and bump the bottom will attract strikes when visibility is poor. Carolina-rigged worms and crawdad imitations are good year-round baits. The peak period for walleye fishing is from April through June. Over 90% of the walleye harvested are caught during this period. The key to successful walleye fishing is to use small tackle and fish slowly. You will be most successful with 6-pound test line or smaller. Walleye can be caught on crankbaits and spinners, but the most successful method is drift fishing minnows or nightcrawlers on a small jig head. Drift-fish your jig in about 15 feet of water along the shoreline, focusing mainly on rock outcrops and drop-offs. The abundant stands of trees and the old road bridge structure in the upper lake are good areas to look for crappie. Fish jigs vertically or use minnows as close to structure as possible.