BIOLOGIST REPORT

Mauch Chunk Lake

2001 Survey


Mauch Chunk Lake (330 ac.) located in Carbon County near the town of Jim Thorpe, was added to the Big Bass Program for the 1997-fishing season. Big Bass regulations increased the minimum size limit from 12 to 15 inches, and reduced the creel limit from 6 to 4 bass per day. This program was designed to improve the overall bass catch rate and to increase the abundance of bass greater than or equal to 15 inches. Sally Corl, now Assistant Regional Manager of the PFBC Northeast Law Enforcement Region and former Waterway Conservation Officer for Carbon County, consistently reported positive angler satisfaction with the bass fishery since its inclusion in the Big Bass Program.

Both largemouth and smallmouth bass are present in the lake with largemouth being the dominant species. Smallmouth bass occur in low numbers and are generally found along the rocky dam breast. A total of 921 largemouth bass and 14 smallmouth bass were caught in 9.5 hours of electrofishing covering two nights. The catch per unit of effort (CUE; No./hr) for the total largemouth bass catch was 96.9/hr, and those greater than or equal to 12, and 15 inches was 18.3 and 1.6/hr.

The table below list the survey years with multiple night assessments. Area 5 refers to Mauch Chunk Lake as “Storm Central”; since it doesn’t matter where the storm is, if we’re going to survey the lake it will find us. Thus, to balance out any effect atmospheric pressure changes may have on the fishery; the lake is sampled at least twice with in a two-week period.

Average Catch per Unit of Effort (No./hr) of Largemouth bass in Mauch Chunk Lake.
  Pre Big Bass Post Big Bass
CUE (#/hr) 1989 1990 1991* 1992 1998 1999* 2001
Total 70.8 117.5 56.8 54.9 78.1 55.5 96.9
>= 12 in. 4.8 12.1 5.9 12.4 11.1 10.8 18.3
>= 15 in. 0.4 0.7 0 1.0 0.8 1.2 1.6

* Sever Drought Years

Pre and Post regulations averages for total catch CUE, and those bass greater than or equal to 12, and 15 inches were 75.0, 8.8, and 0.5/hr; and 76.8, 13.4 and 1.2/hr. Big Bass regulations have improved the bass fishery in Mauch Chunk Lake, and the results noted reflect the basis for the increase in angler satisfaction reported to the Commission.

-- Area 5


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