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Monongahela River
May 21 - May 28, 2003
Sampling Gear: Night electrofishing


The PFBC and Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO) along with assistance from PA Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) conducted night electrofishing surveys in the tailwaters of three Monongahela River Dams: Grays Landing, Maxwell, and Braddock. Fifty minutes of electrofishing were conducted on each side of the river below each lock and dam tailwater. The Monongahela River survey was conducted to document the fish populations in the river in response to the threat of mine pool discharges to the aquatic life of the Monongahela River. West Virginia University’s Center for Mine Drainage Research has been studying the mine pools in the Monongahela River Basin and predicted that several abandoned mine pools are filling up with water and will discharge into Dunkard Creek and Tenmile Creek, tributary streams to the Monongahela River, in the next few years.

30 inch, 16.5 lb. walleye
30 Inch, 16.5 lb. Walleye

The PFBC stocks walleye fry and fingerlings, musky and tiger musky fingerlings in each of the six pools of the Monongahela River in PA. The Charleroi and Point pools of the Monongahela River also receive hybrid striped bass fingerlings.

Freshwater Drum
Freshwater Drum

The number of percids (sauger, walleye, and saugeye) that we collected during the Monongahela River survey was highest at the Grays Landing Lock & Dam Tailwater and declined at the downriver tailwaters. The largest walleye was 30 inches long and weighed 16.5 lbs and was captured at the Braddock Lock & Dam tailwater. Smallmouth bass were the most abundant bass species collected in the Monongahela River, along with a few largemouth bass. We collected the highest number of smallmouth bass at the Braddock Lock & Dam tailwater with the Maxwell Lock & Dam tailwater a close second. Largemouth bass, white bass, hybrid striped bass, rock bass, and catfish were collected in lower numbers in the lock and dam tailwaters.

Smallmouth bass
Smallmouth Bass

Fish species not listed on the following table that were collected during the Monongahela River survey included longnose gar, gizzard shad, mooneye, common carp, spotfin shiner, emerald shiner, quillback, river carpsucker, smallmouth buffalo, silver redhorse, golden redhorse, shorthead redhorse, river redhorse, black redhorse, northern hog sucker, freshwater drum, green sunfish, pumpkinseed, spotted bass, and logperch. Additional species will be added to this when voucher specimen identification is complete.

Longnose Gar
Longnose Gar

Summary of Gamefish and Panfish species, sizes, and numbers collected:

  Grays Landing Lock & Dam Tailwater Maxwell Lock & Dam Tailwater Braddock Lock & Dam Tailwater
Fish Species Number
Collected
Size Range
(Inches)
Number
Collected
Size Range
(Inches)
Number
Collected
Size Range
(Inches)
Sauger 125 4 - 16 87 6 - 15 50 8 - 16
Walleye 22 8 - 21 17 9 - 19 10 8 - 30
Saugeye 10 8 - 18 11 7 - 15 12 8 - 15
Smallmouth bass 68 2 - 20 85 3 - 21 89 4 - 18
Largemouth bass 9 5 - 15 12 5 - 14 3 7 - 10
Hybrid striped bass 0   0   2 7 - 8
White bass 8 8 - 13 20 6 - 16 22 5 - 15
Rock bass 17 3 - 9 20 4 - 8 4 6 - 9
Bluegill 20 3 - 9 5 5 - 8 5 4 - 9
Black crappie 0   5 9 - 14 0  
Muskellunge 2 23 - 31 0   0  
Channel catfish 2 15 - 19 10 12 - 18 10 13 - 24
Flathead catfish 0   1 11 2 15 - 18

-- Area 8


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