North Branch Susquehanna River
Young-of-the-Year Walleye 2002
Commission biologists recently completed their annual assessment of young-of-the-year walleye production throughout the North Branch Susquehanna River. This year results were poor with only 4 young walleye collected for each hour of electrofishing. Catch rates of young walleye have been low during even numbered years and high during odd numbered years since the initial assessment in 1995. The biennial nature of abundance of these fish is perplexing and thought to be the result of unfavorable river flows during the first few weeks after hatching occurs in early spring. This years sample did collect a number of walleye from the 2001 and 1999 year classes, two years that produced excellent numbers of young. The 2001 walleye averaged 13 inches and the 1999 walleye have all entered the fishery as legal size fish. The catch rate of legal size walleye was the best we’ve seen since in the past five years. In addition to walleye a number of northern pike, muskellunge and smallmouth bass were also observed.
-- Area 4
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