BIOLOGIST REPORT

Kaercher Creek Dam


Kaercher Creek Dam is a 31-acre Fish and Boat Commission impoundment located in Berks County on the eastern edge of Hamburg. Access for anglers is excellent along the north shore of the lake with well worn angler paths, mowed grass fields, and two fishing piers providing access to the waters edge.

Kaercher Creek Dam

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission conducted a fish population survey of Kaercher Creek Dam during the spring of 2001. A variety of techniques were used to sample the fish populations of the lake including trap netting, gill netting, seining, and electrofishing. In addition to fish population sampling the aquatic plant community was evaluated and a dissolved oxygen profile of the lake was conducted. The survey revealed that the implementation of various fisheries management techniques has greatly improved the size distributions of the panfish and bass populations since the mid 1980's. 

Kaercher Creek Dam supported good populations of panfish including bluegill, black and white crappie, and yellow perch. Overall, the bluegill population was fair with fish reaching 8 inches. The total number of crappie collected was low but the size structure of the population was good with fish in the 10 - 11 inch size range relatively common in the collection. The largest crappie collected was a 15 inch white crappie. Yellow perch were collected in good numbers; however, their size distribution was below average with most fish collected being between 5 and 9 inches long. The largest yellow perch collected was 11 inches long. 

Limited opportunities to fish for catfish exist in Kaercher Creek Dam. Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission stockings of channel catfish have not been successful in developing a quality channel catfish fishery. Very few individuals were collected during the survey but the largest was 20 inches long. Yellow and brown bullhead catches were modest with individuals reaching 13 inches. It is likely that the bass predation limits the success of catfish reproduction and fingerling stockings in this lake. As a result channel catfish fingerling stockings will be discontinued. 

Recently reinstated Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission stockings of tiger muskellunge have created an attractive fishery. Tiger muskellunge ranging in lengths from 27-31 inches were collected during the survey and were abundant. Pure muskellunge, which have also been stocked in the lake, were not collected during the survey. Pure muskellunge stockings will be terminated, but tiger muskellunge stockings will continue. 

Night electrofishing for largemouth bass documented a dense population of bass with excellent numbers of fish >12 inches and good numbers >15 inches available. The largest bass collected was 20 inches long. 

Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission biologists typically compare bass populations among impoundments based upon the total catch of bass, the catch of bass > 12 inches, and the catch of bass > 15 inches per hour of electrofishing. In southeast Pennsylvania the average total catch of bass is 49/hr, the catch of bass > 12 inches is 12/hr, and the catch of bass > 15 inches is 3.5/hr. The electrofishing results at Kaercher Creek Dam from the 2001 sampling were as follows: total catch of bass = 140/hr, catch of bass > 12 inches = 37 bass/hr, and the catch of bass > 15 inches = 6/hr. The bass population was above average when compared to other lakes in southeast Pennsylvania. 

A study of the dissolved oxygen profile of the lake indicated that by the middle of June there was insufficient oxygen for fish survival below 11.5 feet. This means that anglers fishing the lake through the summer should concentrate their efforts in the upper 11.5 feet of the water column. Additionally, dense vascular aquatic plant growth through the summer restricts angling along portions of the shoreline.

-- Area 6

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