Red Bluff Reservoir

October 7, 2021

Pecos River Red Bluff Reservoir

Red Bluff Reservoir located on the Pecos River, in Loving and Reeves Counties in Texas and Eddy County in New Mexico. Situated approximately 40 miles north of Pecos on US 285.

Constructed in 1936 and impounded in 1937 but the Red Bluff Water Control District to provide water for irrigation and hydroelectric power. While further used as a source for recreational activities.

The surface area remains around 11 193 acres with an eight feet annual fluctuation and a maximum depth of 77 feet. This Reservoir Controlling Authority for this clear water reservoir is Red Bluff Water Control District who may be contacted at (432) 445-2037.

Predominant Fish Species

Largemouth Bass Habitat

Largemouth Bass

White Bass

White Bass

Hybrid Striped Bass

Hybrid Striped Bass

Structure and Native Vegetation

Red Bluff Reservoir structure varies from mud and gravelly flat to steep drop-off and creek channels. While large beds of sago pondweed, found predominantly in the lower part of the main area of the reservoir, provides ample cover for fish. Meanwhile areas of flooded terrestrial vegetation occur around all parts of the lake.

Red Bluff Reservoir Boat Ramps, Camping, Docks & Parking

Access to the reservoir may be limited to the Red Bluff Dam. However, when operating on or around water, please wear your Personal Flotation Device for your own safety.

Red Bluff Dam x x x

Red Bluff Dam

Red Bluff Launch Site

Red Bluff Dam located on US 285 offers the public parking facilities, picnic areas and primitive camping.

However, no restrooms, drinking water or paved ramps exist and boats may be launched from the shore. This free facility opens all year.

Operated by the Red Bluff Water Control District who may be contacted at (432) 445-2037 for any information.

Fish and Fishing

After a sever period of drought, Red Bluff Reservoir filled up in 2015 – 2016. While fish stocks may seem very low, developing populations of Largemouth Bass and White Bass occur, giving the angler fair fishing opportunities. Meanwhile Hybrid Striped Bass occur giving the angler poor fishing opportunities.

Largemouth Bass

The Largemouth Bass (Micropterus salmoides) is a carnivorous species of freshwater game fish. Has an olive green to greenish grey body with dark, sometimes black blotches forming a jagged horizontal stripe along each flank.

Meanwhile, the upper jaw extends beyond the rear margin of the orbit. Reach lengths of 29.5 inches weighing around 25 pounds.

Feed on snails, crawfish, crayfish, frogs, snakes, salamanders, bats, shrimps, insects, small water birds, mammals, baby alligators and small fish. Including bluegill, banded killifish, shad, yellow perch, ciscoes, shiners, sunfish, catfish, walleye, bass and trout.

Larger bass occupy deeper water and prey items may be as large as 50% of the bass’s body length or larger. While, they prefer open areas with little or no cover.

Meanwhile, in areas with overhead cover such as overhanging banks, brush or submerged structures, they use their sense of hearing, sight, vibration and smell to attack and seize their prey.

Generally, spawning occurs in spring from March until early July. Sought after by anglers for their exciting fight.

Often caught on Spinnerbait, plastic worms, jigs, crankbaits and live baits such as worms, frogs, crawfish, shiners and minnows. While, there is a strong cultural pressure among largemouth bass anglers encouraging catch and release practices of larger specimens.

Furthermore, bass have a white, slightly mushy meat which is of a lower quality than that of the smallmouth bass, bluegill, yellow perch, walleye or crappie.

The world record largemouth bass weighed in at 22 pounds 4 ounces. The Largemouth Bass populations in the Red Bluff Reservoir are improving.

However, feel free to click and read more on our site about Largemouth Bass. 

Largemouth Bass Habitat

White Bass

White Bass

The White Bass (Morone chrysops) is a freshwater fish in the Moronidae family of temperate basses. While, the state fish of Oklahoma. Meanwhile, other names include the Silver Bass or Sand Bass.

Further, the fish is silver white to pale green in color. While, the back is dark, and the sides and belly are white with narrow dark stripes running lengthwise on the sides.

Furthermore, has large rough scales and two dorsal fins. While, the more anterior dorsal fin is much harder and appears to have spines on them. Meanwhile, the more posterior dorsal fin is much softer.

While, the body is deep and laterally compressed. Moreover, the bass tends to grow to 10 – 12 inches but may reach up to 17 inches in length. Furthermore, as the vertebrae do not extend into the tail, the white bass has a homocercal tail.

While, the dorsal and ventral portion of the tail angle inward toward a point, creating a clear angle. Furthermore, has a notched tail.

While, a carnivorous fish eating calanoidacyclopoidadaphnia and leptodora. However, when not frightened, they will easily bite at live bait such as worms and minnows. While, larger fish may feed on other fish.

Generally, spawning occurs from mid-March to late May. Furthermore, young fish live in the shallows as adults move to deeper waters. Generally, the current world record on fishing tackle for the White Bass is 6 pounds 13 ounces. The White Bass populations in the Red Bluff Reservoir are improving.

However, feel free to click and read more on our site about the White Bass.

Hybrid Striped Bass

The Hybrid Striped Bass is a hybrid between the Striped Bass (Morone saxatilis) and the White Bass (Morone chrysops). Also known as the Wiper or Whiterock Bass.

Further, distinguished from the Striped Bass by broken rather than solid horizontal stripes on the body. While, resilient to extremes of temperature and to low dissolved oxygen. However, both a game fish and a food fish.

Moreover, the Hybrid Striped Bass has aggressive feeding habits which makes them a highly sought-after fish for anglers.

Reproduce in two ways, either taking the white bass eggs and fertilizing with the striped bass sperm or using the striped bass’ eggs and fertilizing with the white bass sperm.

While, the preferred method is using the female striped bass eggs and fertilizing with the white bass sperm creating the palmetto bass. Therefore, increasing the amount of offspring.

Generally, school by the thousands. While these stocked fish surface feed on bait fish such as shad, bluegill, sunfish, fathead minnows, white and black crappie.

Moreover, their surface feeding habits make the fish visible and easy to catch on a wide array of lures and baits including casting spoons, buck-tail jigs, soft-body plastic fish replicas and inline spinners.

Meanwhile, their quality as a high-fighting game fish is closely followed by their delicious firm, white and flake meat. Generally, these fish are used to control bait fish populations and provide sport for anglers. Hybrid Striped Bass do occur in the Red Bluff Reservoir and take a variety of different baits.

However, feel free to click and read more on our site about Hybrid Striped Bass.

Hybrid Striped Bass

Red Bluff Reservoir Alligator and Alligator Safety

Red Bluff Reservoir is a water source within Texas. As we are aware, there are alligators in Texas. Let us not fret over whether there are or are not alligators. Rather, take necessary precautions and always be on the lookout. Alligator safety does not take much time and it may save your life or the life of someone else around you.

Should you detect an alligator, regardless of size, do not feed them to allow them to get food as they will become a problem to everybody. Alligator safety is covered in our article Alligator Safety, but here is a quick breakdown.

If the gator hisses, you are too close, move away! In encounters, back away slowly.

Report the alligator to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Do not attempt to remove it.

If you have a pet with you, place it on a leash and keep it under control.

Do not swim in the water where there are alligators.

Killing or harassing or attempting to move an alligator is prohibited by state law.


In short, Red Bluff Reservoir offers plenty of fishing opportunities, swimming, jet skiing, boating, camping, and picnicking. While this 11 193-acre reservoir has a fluctuation of eight feet per annum with clear water. Constructed to provide water for irrigation and hydroelectric power but doubling as a recreational facility.

Further this 77-feet deep reservoir structure varies from mud to gravelly flats to steep drop-offs and creek channels. While large beds of sago pondweed and flooded terrestrial vegetation exist.

An influx of zebra mussels exist, contaminating the reservoir. Therefore, clean, drain and dry your boat, trailer, live well, buckets and gears before going to another body of water. Moreover, drain all water and do not transport zebra mussels, as this is illegal. Please see our article related to Zebra Mussels as Invasive Species.

Should you have any queries or need information feel free to contact Red Bluff Water Control District who are the Reservoir Controlling Authority on (432) 445-2037.


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