Tamarack Lake is a 562-acre PA Fish and Boat Commission impoundment located east of Meadville in northwestern Pennsylvania. An extensive fish restocking program has been ongoing following a complete drawdown of the lake in 1999 to repair and renovate dam structures. The fishery was sampled on May 22 using night boat electrofishing techniques, and this information will be used to assess the stocking program and gauge the progress of the reestablishment of the fishery.
During one hour of electrofishing a total of 553 fish were sampled. Bluegill were the most abundant species with 332 netted. They ranged in size from 3 to 8 inches with several year classes present. The majority of the 73 black crappie netted were between 5 and 7 inches and were from the 2000 year class. Yellow perch, also primarily from the 2000 year class, were running around 8 inches indicating good growth. Pumpkinseed sunfish and bullhead were also sampled in good numbers along with common carp and golden shiner.
Twenty-eight largemouth bass ranged between 5 and 16 inches, showed consistent year classes from the fingerlings stockings and had good to excellent growth rates. Eight walleye were sampled and ranged in size from 6 to 24 inches. The two largest walleye most likely came from stockings of adults. Two muskellunge were sampled and both were around 24 inches.
The results of this survey indicate that the Tamarack Lake fishery is moving steadily towards a full recovery and many anglers are already testing the waters. In the coming years the lake should be back to full form as game and panfish species reach desirable size in abundant numbers.
Fish Culturist Lenny Hetrick displays a three-year-old Tamarack Lake largemouth
-- Area 2
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