Biologist reports logo Tamarack Lake

Crawford County
May 18, 2004
Night Electro-fishing


In 1999, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) had to completely drain Tamarack Lake, a 562 acre PFBC managed lake in Crawford County, to repair the control towers at both ends of the lake. Following the completion of the repair work, the lake was refilled during the winter of 1999-2000. Immediately, a restoration plan was put into action to re-establish the fish populations in this reservoir. Table 1 provides a complete list of fish stocked through 2003.

Table 1. Stocking history for Tamarack Lake, Crawford County since the lake was refilled in 1999.

Year Species Life Stage Total Stocked Fish Per Acre
2003 Fathead Minnow Adult 50,000 89
2003 Walleye Fingerling 5,600 10
2002 Black Crappie Adult 500 1
2002 Bluegill Adult 500 1
2002 Fathead Minnow Adult 50,000 89
2002 Largemouth Bass Fingerling 5,600 10
2002 Muskellunge Fingerling 560 1
2002 Walleye Adult 500 1
2002 Walleye Fingerling 5,600 10
2002 Yellow Perch Adult 484 1
2002 Yellow Perch Fry 420,000 748
2001 Black Crappie Adult 500 1
2001 Black Crappie Fingerling 99,950 178
2001 Bluegill Adult 500 1
2001 Largemouth Bass Fingerling 7,097 13
2001 Muskellunge Fingerling 560 1
2001 Walleye Adult 250 0
2001 Walleye Fingerling 5,600 10
2001 Yellow Perch Adult 263 0
2001 Yellow Perch Fry 420,000 748
2000 Black Crappie Adult 500 1
2000 Bluegill Adult 300 1
2000 Bluegill Fingerling 156,600 279
2000 Channel Catfish Fingerling 6,000 11
2000 Fathead Minnow Adult 100,000 178
2000 Golden Shiner Fingerling 177,000 315
2000 Largemouth Bass Adult 115 0
2000 Largemouth Bass Fingerling 300 1
2000 Muskellunge Adult 37 0
2000 Muskellunge Fingerling 1,680 3
2000 Walleye Adult 500 1
2000 Walleye Fingerling 11,200 20
2000 Yellow Perch Fingerling 16,800 30
1999 Largemouth Bass Fingerling 1,400 2
1999 Muskellunge Fingerling 2,200 4

Fisheries Management staff from the Area 2 office in Tionesta sampled the burgeoning fishery at Tamarack Lake on the evening of May 18, 2004 by night electro-fishing for 70 minutes.

The highlights of the evenings catch were two muskellunge (31 and 33 inches), three year classes of walleye, two year classes of black crappie, largemouth bass ranging from 4 to 16 inches and large numbers of bluegills (most were between 4 and 7 inches).

Fisheries Technician Tim Wilson with a 16” largemouth bass
Fisheries Technician Tim Wilson with a 16” largemouth bass

33 inch muskellunge
The 33 inch muskellunge

The fish populations in Tamarack Lake are gradually returning to their former densities. However, it will probably take several more years to regain the quality size that was typical of Tamarack before the draining, especially the large predators: muskellunge, walleye and largemouth bass. The future looks promising though, with stocked fish surviving well and natural reproduction taking hold for most species.

20 inch walleye
And a 20 inch walleye

 
-- Tim Wilson, Area 2 Fisheries Technician

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