This spring, Fish and Boat Commission staff conducted extensive trapnetting on Pymatuning Lake, Crawford County for the purpose of sampling the walleye population. Over 1,770 (1,595 male, 96 female and 85 of undetermined sex) walleye were caught in 61 net sets. Close to 1,300 were 15 inches and longer. The largest was a female 28 inches in length and weighing slightly over 10 pounds.
In comparison to last year's effort, the overall catch rate as well as the catch of walleye 15 inches and longer, those 18 inches and longer, and those 20 inches and longer were double the 1998 rates. But, according to field reports angler catches have been on and off this year. This may be due to an abundance of forage and the rather unusual weather at certain times of the spring.
During spring sampling 81 muskellunge were also taken. All but 2 or 3 were legal size fish 30 inches or longer. Twenty-eight were over 39 inches in length. The largest ‘lunge was in excess of 47 inches. The overall catch rate was the highest in the last eight years of sampling and the rate for larger fish was over twice the best rate in the previous seven years. Abundance and size distribution indicates the ‘lunge population is continuing to rebuild from the almost non-existent population in the spring of 1991 when only 5 fish were captured in a similar sampling effort.
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