Biologists from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission’s (PFBC) southeast region office recently completed the majority of an extensive survey of Lake Galena. Sampling included night electrofishing in April for walleye and in June for largemouth bass, day electrofishing in June for largemouth bass and striped bass, gill netting in April and June for striped bass, and trap netting in April and May for panfish and other species. Additional work to be completed includes seining for fingerling sport fish, a lake chemical profile, and an evaluation of the aquatic plant community.
During the survey a total of 109 walleye were collected ranging from 12 to 28 inches long with the majority being 13 to 15 inches long. Although the walleye population was not considered dense, walleye were present in sufficient numbers to provide a targeted fishery and for the lake to be recommended to walleye anglers.
The channel catfish population in the lake was impressive. Late winter trap netting collected 318 channel catfish in 8 net sets. Channel catfish ranged in lengths from 3 to 30 inches with fish in the 18 to 23 inch range being common. The catch rate of channel catfish was 1.73 per hour. This means that 1.73 channel catfish were collected for every hour that the trap nets were fished. In other southeastern Pennsylvania lakes the average catch rate of channel catfish is 0.20 per hour. Furthermore, large channel catfish (> 20 inches) were collected at a rate of 0.29 channel catfish per hour. The southeastern Pennsylvania average is 0.04 channel catfish per hour. Clearly the Lake Galena channel catfish population was excellent. In addition to channel catfish, both brown and yellow bullheads were present in good numbers.
Fisheries Technician Bryan Chikotas with 31 inch striped bass
Striped bass fingerlings have been stocked into Lake Galena in hopes of providing a trophy fishery for these strong fighting fish. During the survey 3 striped bass were collected while two others were seen but escaped capture. The three striped bass that were collected measured 28, 29, and 31 inches long. Discussions with park personnel and fishermen at Lake Galena indicated that anglers were beginning to target striped bass at the lake.
The walleye, channel catfish, and striped bass populations at Lake Galena are supported through fingerling stockings.
Lake Galena’s crappie population was moderate in size but the abundance of fish nine inches long and longer was poor. Both black and white crappie were collected during the survey. May trap netting produced a total of 189 crappie. Black crappie made up most of the crappie population and ranged in lengths from 5 to 14 inches with the majority being 6 to 8 inches long. In 1997 the PFBC stocked 350 adult white crappie into Lake Galena in an attempt to establish a naturally reproducing population. White crappie have the potential to attain larger sizes than black crappie in the warmer southeastern Pennsylvania climate. The stocking successfully produced a reproducing population. White crappie collected during the survey ranged in lengths from 7 to 13 inches long with the majority being 7 to 8 inches long.
The most abundant fish species collected during the survey was white perch. There were approximately 7,789 white perch collected during the April trap netting survey and 20,585 collected during the May trap netting survey. The majority of the white perch were 6 to 7 inches long with the largest being 10 inches long. Despite their marginal size in Lake Galena, white perch have a very good quality flesh and anglers who enjoy an occasional meal of fresh fish should consider adding white perch to their menu.
18 and 20 inch largemouth bass
Daylight and night electrofishing was conducted in June to evaluate the largemouth bass population. A total of 58 largemouth bass were collected in 2 hours and 33 minutes of electrofishing. Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission biologists typically compare bass populations between 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 50/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 Lake Galena were as follows: total catch of bass = 22/hr, catch of bass > 12 inches = 20 bass/hr, and the catch of bass > 15 inches = 16/hr. Largemouth bass collected at Lake Galena ranged in lengths from 6 to 21 inches long. The majority of the largemouth bass collected were between 18 and 20 inches long. Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission Biologists were concerned about the lack of small largemouth bass present during the survey. Surveys in previous years indicated that natural reproduction was sometimes insufficient and other times sufficient to support the largemouth bass population without supplemental fingerling stockings. Additional survey work is scheduled for later this summer to again evaluate the largemouth bass spawning success. When spawning success has been consistently poor at Lake Galena the PFBC has responded by stocking bass fingerlings.
Lake Galena is a 365 acre impoundment located within the 1,500 acre Peace Valley Park. Peace Valley Park is part of the Bucks County Park System. Biologists observed light angler use during the spring survey period and recommend Lake Galena to anglers searching for new waters to fish. Motors are restricted to electric only at the lake.
-- Area 6
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