Biologist reports logo Chapman Lake

Warren County
September 16, 2004

Night Electrofishing for Largemouth Bass


Chapman Lake is in Chapman State Park located 5 miles west of the town of Clarendon, Warren County. The dam impounds the West Branch of Tionesta Creek and forms a 68 acre reservoir. Chapman Lake is primarily managed with stocked trout as an Approved Trout Water.

Following a drawdown for repairs in the autumn of 2001, a fish kill revealed the lake had contained a good number of trophy (> 18 in.) largemouth bass. Our trapnet survey in May 2004 revealed a large population of white suckers, golden shiners and small yellow perch along with modest numbers of pumpkinseed, bullheads and carp.

On the evening of September 16, 2004 staff from the Area 2 Fisheries Management office, Waterways Conservation Officer Bill Martin and Deputy Waterways Conservation Officer Wendi Donachy conducted a night electrofishing survey of Chapman Lake to assess the status of the recovery of the largemouth bass.

Largemouth bass from Chapman Lake
WCO Bill Martin and DWCO Wendi Donachy with some of the largemouth bass from Chapman Lake

While dodging rain of localized thunderstorms, we electro-fished for 25 minutes and captured 26 largemouth bass that ranged from 8 to 17 inches (Table 1). Most of the bass were 8 to 11 inches, 2 years old and born the in spring of 2002 following the drawdown. It shows us enough bass survived the fish kill to spawn and produce a strong year class. Growth rates for these bass are average so it is going take another year or two for this big year class to reach legal size.

Table 1. Size distribution of largemouth bass captured electrofishing Chapman Lake on September 16, 2004.

Size (inches) Largemouth Bass Catch Per Hour
8 4 9.52
9 13 30.95
10    
11 4 9.52
12    
13 1 2.38
14 3 7.14
15    
16    
17 1 2.38
Totals 26 61.89
 
-- Tim Wilson, Area 2 Fisheries Technician

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