BIOLOGIST REPORT

North Branch, Susquehanna River


Commission staff recently completed its annual assessment of young of the year walleye (fish hatched this past spring) on the North Branch Susquehanna River. The catch rate (number of fish caught per hour of electrofishing) was a dismal 0.5. This was the sixth consecutive autumn that a sample has been taken and it is becoming apparent that the success of walleye reproduction in the North Branch is quite variable. In the last six years, good numbers of young walleye have been documented in 1995, 1997 and 1999 while poor numbers were collected in 1996, 1998 and this year. The good news from this years sample is that the strong 1999 year class is doing fine with fish up to 12.5 inches. Some of these 1999 walleye should enter the "legal size" fishery by next fall with the bulk of them entering the fishery during the 2002 and 2003 seasons.

-- Fisheries Management Area 4

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