BIOLOGIST REPORT

Yellow Creek Lake

Indiana County - April 22-26, 2002


Sampling Gear: 16 trap net sets

Summary: Yellow Creek Lake is a 720-acre impoundment in Indiana County that is operated by the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) as part of Yellow Creek State Park. Big Bass Regulations were implemented at the lake in 1991. All the other fish species at Yellow Creek Lake are managed under statewide regulations. We surveyed Yellow Creek Lake as part of a statewide study of the Panfish Enhancement Regulations that have been implemented on a number of waters across the state. Yellow Creek Lake will be used as a control lake for the statewide Panfish Enhancement study. The PFBC stocks walleye fingerlings annually, muskellunge fingerlings on even years, and tiger muskellunge fingerlings on odd years. Yellow Creek Lake is a moderately productive impoundment that had a pH of 7.3 and alkalinity of 18 mg/l during our survey.

tiger muskie
Tiger Muskellunge

Thirty-five walleyes were collected during the 2002 trap net survey, which was an increase from 14 walleyes collected during the 1989 trap net survey and 7 walleyes during the 1996 trap net survey. All of the 35 walleyes in 2002 were 15 inches or greater with the largest walleye going 27 inches and 6.25 pounds.

walleye
Walleye

The northern pike trap net catch of 99 fish in 2002 was higher than the trap net catch in 1989 (51 pike) and in 1996 (57 pike). The number of legal pike (24 inches or greater) was also higher in 2002 than in 1989 and 1996.

northern pike
Northern Pike

Bluegills were the most abundant panfish species collected in Yellow Creek Lake, although the majority of the bluegills were between 3 and 6 inches long. Black crappie and yellow perch catches were low, but both fish were available in quality sizes. Bullheads and carp were abundant and quality-sized fish were present.

black crappie
Black Crappie

The most abundant fish collected during our trap net survey at Yellow Creek Lake was alewife with 4,432 fish captured. The alewife is a member of the herring and shad family that was stocked in Yellow Creek Lake in 1987 by the PFBC. Alewives are forage fish that primarily live in open water and are preyed upon by predatory fish such as walleyes.

carp
Carp

Yellow Creek Lake provides angling opportunities for bass, walleye, northern pike, and panfish. The walleye and northern pike populations improved since our last survey in 1996. We were unable to assess the bass population during the 2002 trap net survey. Night electrofishing is the primary gear we use to assess bass populations in lakes.

Fish Species Number Collected Size Range
(Inches)
Additional Comments
Walleye 35 15 - 27 All Legal Fish
Northern pike 99 10 - 39 14% greater than 24 in.
Tiger muskellunge 1 28  
Yellow perch 22 5 – 13 27% greater than 9 in.
Black crappie 30 3 – 15 57% greater than 9 in.
Bluegill 306 2 - 8 4% greater than 7 in.
Pumpkinseed 33 2 - 6  
Rock bass 3 3 - 10  
Largemouth bass 3 14 –20  
Smallmouth bass 2 12 – 16  
Brown bullhead 138 11 – 16  
Yellow bullhead 3 11 - 14  
Brown trout 1 21  
White sucker 61 Not measured  
Common carp 68 Not measured  
Golden shiner 19 Not measured  
Alewife 4,432 Not measured  

-- Area 8


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