Biologist reports logo     Owl Creek Reservoir

Schuylkill County
November 4, 2003

Sampling Technique: Night Electrofishing

On November 4, 2003 biologists from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission’s (PFBC) southeast Area 6 region office conducted a night electrofishing survey of Owl Creek Reservoir in Schuylkill County. The survey was designed to gather baseline fish species data from the 67 acre Owl Creek Reservoir, which is owned by the Borough of Tamaqua (www.tamaqua.net) and was recently opened to public fishing.

View of Owl Creek Reservoir at dusk
View of Owl Creek Reservoir at dusk

The entire shoreline was surveyed in 84 minutes of electrofishing. The fish species collected included smallmouth and largemouth bass, chain pickerel, and pumpkinseed sunfish. A single golden shiner, most likely a bait bucket introduction, was also collected. A total of 30 smallmouth bass ranging in lengths form 5 to 16 inches were collected. Twenty-seven largemouth bass were collected with fish ranging from 2 to 17 inches long. Anglers fishing the reservoir have reported catching bass up to 20 inches long. Only seven chain pickerel were collected during the survey, although a few more were seen avoiding capture. Chain pickerel ranged from 4 to 16 inches long. The majority of the pumpkinseeds that were collected were between 2 and 4 inches long; however, 6 pumpkinseeds were collected between 8 and 9 inches long. In general the adult smallmouth bass and pumpkinseed sunfish were plump, while the adult largemouth bass were average and the chain pickerel were thin. Overall the density of bass was moderate and the densities of adult panfish and chain pickerel were low.

Largemouth bass
Largemouth bass

Owl Creek Reservoir is located approximately 2 miles southeast from the center of Tamaqua and is oriented northeast to southwest. Surrounded by 1,000 acres of borough owned woodlands, which adjoin state game lands, the reservoir offers a picturesque setting. Access to the reservoir is walk in only with the exception of designated parking areas for persons with special needs. Until a comprehensive fish population survey can be completed and a fisheries management plan developed, fishing at Owl Creek Reservoir will be limited to catch and release only as required by the Borough of Tamaqua. Anglers wishing to fish the lake will find the conditions along the north and south shores completely different. The substrate along the south shore was very rocky while the north shore lake bottom was covered with sediment.

Smallmouth bass
Smallmouth bass

Largemouth bass and pumpkinseed
Largemouth bass and pumpkinseed

-- Area 6


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